Fly Fishing Virginia  by Beau Beasley

Fly Fishing Virginia Guide Book

by Beau Beasley (No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks)
Fly Fishing Virginia  by Beau Beasley
This guide gives you a quick, clear understanding of the essential information you'll need to fly fish in Virginia's most outstanding waters. You will not waste time. In a few moments, you will know where to go and how to fly fish. Take this guide along for ready reference, or use it to plan your Virginia fly fishing trip. Either way, you'll have enough information and your fly fishing experience will be new, fresh, and fun.

© 2007 Beau Beasley/No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Fly Fishing Virginia" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 35.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 35.

If you listen carefully you can probably hear the traffic of Northern Virginia whizzing by you as you stand fishing in Accotink Creek. But why listen? Yes, you can actually see Accotink Creek when exiting onto Little River Turnpike from the Capital Beltway. Yes, each day tens of thousands of people slog their way to and from work mere paces from an urban trout stream and they don’t even realize it. But here’s the thing: if you’re fishing in Accotink Creek, then you are not, at least for the day, one of those poor sods. Enjoy it. Don’t listen for the traffic. Types of Fish: Rainbow trout, brown trout.
Annandale, VA - Fly-Fishing
Back Creek, tucked away in the far western reaches of the state, is home to beautiful rainbows and browns—and some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. This outlying area was the military training ground of a young colonel in the Virginia Militia named George Washington. Then only in his early 20s, Washington, tasked with devising a way to protect vulnerable settlers from the American Indians of Virginia and Ohio, came up with the idea of stringing forts along the outer edges of the state in a defensive position. This approach worked and provided security for the local civilian population. Types of Fish: Chances are you will only land rainbows here, but occasionally you will land a brown. Local anglers also report that McConaughy rainbows migrate out of Lake Moomaw into Back Creek to spawn. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Warm Springs, VA - Fly-Fishing
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What makes Big Wilson Creek a mountain trout angler’s dream? This stream, carrying clean, cold water in the shadow of Mount Rogers, the state’s highest peak, boasts a healthy population of wild rainbow trout. Farther up Big Wilson near Grayson Highlands State Park, you’ll also run into wild brook trout. But what sets Big Wilson apart is the scenery—it’s simply breathtaking. Perhaps this water should be called Wilson’s Big Beautiful Creek instead. Types of Fish: Looking for wild rainbows and native brookies in a pristine mountain setting? You’ve found them. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Mill Creek, VA - Fly-Fishing
Briery Creek Lake in Prince Edward County is an 845-acre impoundment owned by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and is one of the state’s premier bass fisheries. The damming of Briery Creek and Little Briery Creek created Briery Creek Lake, which opened for public fishing in 1989. Much of the standing timber in this low-lying region was left in place to provide good fish habitat. Officials subsequently stocked the lake with Florida strain largemouth bass as well as crappie, red-ear sunfish, channel catfish, and chain pickerel. Was the Briery Creek Lake venture successful? Well, let’s put it this way: bass in excess of 24 inches long are commonplace here. Types of Fish: The predominant species here is largemouth bass, though anglers will also find quite a few sunfish available as well as channel catfish and crappie. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Worsham, VA - Fly-Fishing
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Few Virginia locales offer fly anglers the variety of saltwater fishing opportunities of the “islands” of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Situated off the Virginia coast between Cape Henry and Cape Charles and extending for 20 miles, this four-land engineering marvel connects Virginia’s mainland to its Eastern Shore through a series of low-level trestles and an underwater tunnel. As part of Route 13, these two sections of tunnel offer Virginia drivers the chance to travel nearly 100 feet below sea level—though I for one would rather not think about that while actually doing so. In fact, I find myself watching the walls as I am driving along just to make sure that they’re not leaking. I’m not sure what I would do if I actually did spot a leak—it’s not as if I could back out! Types of Fish: Stripers, bluefish, cobia, gray seatrout, speckled trout, flounder, croaker, drum, spade fish, false albacore. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Virginia Beach, VA - Fly-Fishing
The Conway River, known as Middle River by locals, flows through both the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area as well as the Shenandoah National Park. It’s the sort of water that brookie anglers love to fish—but don’t be too surprised if you pull out the occasional brown. Perhaps more aptly called a creek, the Conway has steep grades and large rocks that eager anglers will need to negotiate carefully. The water here is often low and almost always clear, giving the local brook trout every advantage. You’ll find pools alongside the rock-hewn banks, where the trout lie in wait for a meal to float by. Types of Fish: You’ll find rainbow trout here along with the occasional brown. The Conway used to be brook trout water, so you might catch a brookie every now and then. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Kinderhook, VA - Fly-Fishing
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Dragon Run is a difficult place to describe to those who have never seen it. “The Dragon,” as it is known by locals, may seem at first blush to be an uninviting watershed. In fact, local plantation owners used to discourage their slaves from attempting to run away by spreading the tale that dragons lived in the local river. Who would believe that, you ask? Let me tell you that an afternoon spent floating through this unique fishery would be enough to convince anyone that there just might be monsters lurking here. Types of Fish: Largemouth bass, bluegill, bowfin, longnose gar, perch, chain pickerel. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Warner, VA - Fly-Fishing
Chesapeake Bay anglers have so much water to choose from that many places go untouched and unnoticed by most. Gwynn Island is just such a place. Connected to the rest of Mathews County by the Gwynn Island Bridge, Gwynn Island is a unique fishery. With Milford Haven to the south, Hills Bay to the west, and the Chesapeake Bay surrounding the island on its northern and eastern boundaries, anglers will find good fishing in every direction. Types of Fish: Stripers, blues, gray seatrout, speckled trout, flounder, croaker, and puppy drum. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Deltaville, VA - Fly-Fishing
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Holmes Run is a quiet little creek that runs from the dam at Lake Barcroft in Fairfax County, directly off of Columbia Pike and smack-dab in the heart of Northern Virginia. Far from where you would expect to land a handsome trout, this stream is one of the most picturesque in Virginia—sitting in the middle of suburbia, hiding right out in the open. Holmes Run starts just below Lake Barcroft in its upper section and extends nearly 1½ miles before it crosses into Cameron Run in Alexandria. Types of Fish: Holmes Run is stocked with rainbow trout at least twice a year by the VDGIF. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Alexandria, VA - Fly-Fishing
The Holston River has three forks—North, Middle, and South—but I’ve chosen to concentrate on the South Fork of the Holston because it is the best-known Virginia trout water of the three. The North and the Middle forks both boast good populations of smallmouth bass, but access to these forks is limited because most of the river is surrounded by private land. By contrast, the South Fork of the Holston is much colder than her sisters because it’s fed primarily by huge limestone springs flowing from nearby Sugar Grove. And it has very good cover, which also helps to keep the water cool all year, even in the heat of summer. Although it’s true that great trout fishing exists on the South Fork of the Holston in Tennessee as well, that will have to wait for another book. Types of Fish: This fishery is known for good rainbows as well as healthy brown trout, some of which can be quite large. You can also catch smallies. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Sugar Grove, VA - Fly-Fishing
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The lower portion of the Jackson River is a tailrace that begins at the base of Gathright Dam. The dam normally releases 58-degree water from Lake Moomaw via a 200-foot tower. Released directly below the dam, this water has two very positive effects: First, the river receives 58-degree water year-round, which the trout love. Second, because controlled releases carefully regulate the influx, this part of the Jackson can be perfectly suitable for fishing when other waters within 100 miles are out of their banks after heavy rains. Anglers will need written permission from the Army Corps of Engineers’ Gathright Dam office to fish directly below the dam. The fishing permit is free and is good for a year. Too busy to pick up a permit? Don’t chance it. Local sheriff ’s deputies patrol this area daily. You’ll find mostly healthy rainbows here, but you can also catch some nice browns. Every once in a great while you may even find a brookie. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Clearwater Park, VA - Fly-Fishing
Few Virginia waters can rival the trout fishing on the Jackson River. The Jackson courses through Highland, Bath, and Alleghany Counties before it meets the Cowpasture River, creating the James River near Clifton Forge. Here is a river that trout-loving fly anglers can sink their teeth into without fear of shallow water or the tight canopy cover that is a fixture of most good trout streams. It helps to think of the Jackson in two parts: an upper and a lower section, with Lake Moomaw and the Gathright Dam being the line of demarcation between the two. You’ll find mostly healthy rainbows here and you can also catch some nice browns. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Warm Springs, VA - Fly-Fishing
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In 1607 Captain John Smith sailed as far up the James River as he could go. Reaching what is now the city of Richmond, rocks and turbulent waters at what we now refer to as the fall line forced Smith to turn back. In his diary Smith recorded that the fish were so thick on this water that he could scoop them up with a frying pan. Smith recognized that this was the largest river he had discovered thus far in the New World—and being an astute person as well as an intrepid explorer, he quickly named the river after His Majesty, King James I of England. Types of Fish: Smallmouth bass are sought after more than any other species on the James, but you can also catch largemouth bass, catfish, shad, perch, carp, gar, and crappie. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Richmond, VA - Fly-Fishing
The headwaters of Virginia’s venerable James River begin in the mountains of western Virginia where the Jackson and the Cowpasture rivers meet near Iron Bridge. As the best-known river in the state, the James draws spin and fly anglers from across the country. Enthusiasts have written entire books on the history and fishability of the James River—I can’t possibly do it justice in this space, even by breaking the river down into its upper and lower sections. Nevertheless, let us consider the upper James to be that stretch that runs from Iron Bridge to Scottsville. Anglers will find hundreds of places to wet a line in just this section of river by canoeing or wading in public parks. Types of Fish: Smallies are king on the upper James. Anglers may also catch rock bass, carp, catfish, and the occasional muskellunge. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Lynchburg, VA - Fly-Fishing
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Perhaps the best way to describe Lake Brittle is that you’ll find it hiding out in the open. At the eastern end of bucolic but rapidly developing Fauquier County, Virginia, and lying right in between Gainesville and Warrenton off of busy Route 29, Lake Brittle offers easy access to a variety of warm water fish for those willing to take the plunge. It’s often bypassed by anglers headed to the Shenandoah National Park and other better known waters. This leaves Lake Brittle nearly devoid of other anglers during the week and hence is a great way to blow a summer afternoon. And stopping here saves residents of Northern Virginia an hour’s drive each way to and from the Shenandoah National Park. For these reasons alone, those looking for a warm water fishing alternative might want to check out Lake Brittle. Types of Fish: Most anglers come for the largemouth bass, but you’ll find sunfish as well as walleye (which were introduced to Lake Brittle to keep the levels of sunfish and gizzard shad in check). This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Broken Hill, VA - Fly-Fishing
I love to drive over the Lisner Bridge with my windows down. This way I can smell the salty sea breezes while I drive. And I always strain to see if I can identify birds working in the distance, no doubt feeding on small baitfish that hungry stripers or blues are pushing up from below. Below the bridge the Lynnhaven River, which ultimately feeds into Lynnhaven Bay and then becomes Lynnhaven Inlet, encompasses 64 square miles of saltwater and offers anglers more than 120 miles of shoreline. Types of Fish: Lynnhaven offers anglers many choices, including stripers, bluefish, spot, speckled trout, flounder, croaker, and puppy drum. Known Baitfish Anglers fishing in and around Lynnhaven can expect to see shad, menhaden, shrimp, squid, crabs, a variety of small baitfish, and eels. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Virginia Beach, VA - Fly-Fishing
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Originally named the North River of the James because it flows into the James from the north, the Maury River courses across Rockbridge County for approximately 30 miles, passing through Lexington and Buena Vista and a part of the state steeped in history and heritage. The river was renamed for Matthew Fontaine Maury, a professor at Lexington’s Virginia Military Institute who had distinguished himself as an oceanographer and had served in the Confederate forces. Maury fell in love with the river and asked that upon his death his remains be carried through the dramatic Goshen Pass and on to Richmond for burial. A small monument exists to honor him near the point at which a VMI honor guard carried his remains through Goshen Pass, according to his wishes. Types of Fish: Rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth bass, bluegill, carp, and rock bass. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Buena Vista, VA - Fly-Fishing
Outdoor writer Dan Genest once described Mossy Creek to me as “an enigma meandering through a meadow”—and to date, his is the best description I’ve ever heard of this water. Mossy, as it is lovingly referred to by fly anglers in the Old Dominion, is arguably the most famous trout stream in Virginia, and with good reason. Anglers regularly catch trout in the 20-inch range here, as well as fish that exceed six pounds. Types of Fish: The river is famous for its big browns. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Mount Solon, VA - Fly-Fishing
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The lower section of the New River runs for 80 miles from the top of Claytor Lake all the way to the West Virginia state line. You can clearly see the dam at Claytor Lake from Interstate 81, and although dams are not generally thought of as friends to fishing, this dam has helped to prevent flooding and does generate electricity. Built in 1939 by the American Electric Power Company, the dam created Claytor Lake, which stretches out for nearly 4,500 acres, and has provided good habitat for the fish that call this lake home. Once the New River escapes from Claytor Lake, it begins its mad rush north into West Virginia. Types of Fish: Smallmouth bass are the predominant species on the lower New River. However a strong population of rock bass exists as well. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Pembroke, VA - Fly-Fishing
We may mentally divide the New River into an upper and lower section—and because the river flows north, the upper section is south of the lower section—with the midpoint being Claytor Lake. The upper New begins just four miles from the Virginia-North Carolina border and zigzags north for more than 150 miles before it enters West Virginia. One unique characteristic of the upper New is that it lacks shore access, due primarily to the river’s remoteness and the fact that much of it is surrounded by private land. As a result, fly anglers can expect to enjoy limited pressure on the upper New. Types of Fish: Most anglers floating the New pursue smallies, but trophy walleye, white bass, and black crappie might also be on the menu. This fly-fishing chapter describes the "where, when, and how" for fishing in this area. It includes a full-page map and information on the known hatches, suggested equipment to use, the best flies to use, season, limits, nearby accommodations, and camping.
Galax, VA - Fly-Fishing
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