Fly Fishing in Virginia

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Fly fishing Virginia is often referred to as the “gateway to the South”. Virginia is another “Brookie” state, with 2,800 miles of trout streams and myriad ponds, lakes and reservoirs, primarily located in the western part of the state.

There are 2,300 miles of wild trout streams, whose occupants flourish in Virginia’s temperate climate.

Surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, Virginia’s waterways maintain a low temperature all four seasons of the year.

Fly fishing Virginia…means trout fishing year-round, with the greatest yields in spring, fall and mid-winter.

Fishing is a bit more challenging between June and September, when stream flows are lower and temperatures begin to climb.

Experienced fly fishers, however, should have no trouble in Virginia at any time of year, reeling in trout, salmon, char, whitefish and grayling.

The brook trout, however, is Virginia’s most colorful species, spawning in October and November. The average female lays 100 eggs per bed, which hatch about two to three months after they’re spawned and grow to 6.5 to 16 inches.

Rainbow trout are another popular fly fishing Virginia catch. They’re generally found in the southwestern part of the state in spring creeks and streams, spawning in the spring.

Females lay many more eggs than do brook trout (800 to 1,000, on average). Many Rainbows reach 5 pounds.

Laurel Bed Lake, 10 miles northwest of Saltville, is located in the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area. The view is spectacular, as the lake is atop the mountain at a 3,600-foot elevation, surrounded by hemlock and hardwoods.

Fly Fishing in Virginia

Fly fishing here is ideal through June, particularly for rock bass, smallmouth bass fingerlings (catch and release only) and brook trout.

The best spots to fish are the coves where spring branches enter. No daily permit is required for Laurel Bed Lake-just a Virginia fishing license.

Currently, the limit you can keep is six trout per day (larger than 7 inches).

However, before going fishing make sure to check with your local fish and game representative to verify the laws and regulations for the area where you will be fishing.

Skidmore Reservoir, renowned for its natural beauty, is in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Its deep, cold water assures a steady supply of brook trout (12 to 16 inches).

You’ll also find largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, hybrid sunfish, rock bass and bullhead catfish. Bring everything you need, as the reservoir is no-frills: only a parking area and tiny boat launch. Its beauty, however, makes it worth the trip.

So while planning your next fly fishing vacation…don’t forget to take advantage of some great Virginia fly fishing!