The New River State Park includes parts of the north and south forks of the New River in North Carolina. The park is nestled in the hills of the northern part of the state, near the Virginia border. In 1976, the river was named a national scenic river. The waters are calm, making for great bass fishing, and it is just swift enough in places, to make trout fishing a positive experience.
The New River State Park has 2,200 acres of wooded land, and 26 miles of the New River. The smooth waters make for great canoeing and boating for small craft. There are primitive campsites along the river. There is ample room for fishing along the banks from a boat.
Anyone over the age of 16 needs a North Carolina Fishing license. Trout stamps are needed too if you plan on catching trout. In-state residents are people who have lived in the state for at least six months, or full-time college students. Non-state residents can purchase a short-term fishing license.
Both the south and north forks offer great smallmouth and redeye bass fishing. The south fork is stocked with muskellunge. There are several smaller and faster flowing tributaries along the river, which offer trout fishing. Those tributaries are stocked regularly by the state with rainbow and brown trout. Trout can also be caught in the river itself, whether from the bank or from a small boat.
With 26 miles of river, there are many places to fish. The park has miles of trails with access to the river. There are no restrictions as to where you may fish, so any spot that looks good along the river is a good place to fish. Some areas of the river are only accessible by the many trails, and some of those also lead to primitive camping areas along the river.
A fishing program is given during the summer by park rangers. The presentation involves a question an answer session about fishing on the New River. The main topic is catching smallmouth bass, though questions about trout are also addressed. The program is open to anyone and is free. The program takes place at the Highway 221 access point primitive campground.
The smooth waters of the river make for calm canoe trips, and many people fish for smallmouth bass from their canoes. Local outfitters and guides also arrange fishing canoe trips on the river. The easy flowing water makes the river suitable for beginning canoe fishermen, and the scenery makes it desirable for the experienced canoeist. Kayak fishing is also popular along the river.