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The Best Fishing Spots in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

Published on May 10, 2019 by Shannon Payne

Three of the most highly sought after destinations for anglers from all over the country can be found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Whether you’re looking to catch some wild trout or you’ve got your sights on hooking a trophy, you won’t be disappointed with our favorite fishing spots!

1)  The New River

Contrary to its name, The New River is the oldest river on the North American continent and one of the few rivers to flow northward. The New is home to every major freshwater game fish in the state of VA, from walleye to trophy smallmouth bass and musky, black crappie and redbreast sunfish. The warm waters of the New River flow through Grayson County and offers resourceful anglers the opportunity to catch the smallmouth bass of a lifetime. Fast water and large rock outcroppings are a feature of the New River, creating the perfect habitat for big smallmouth bass and flathead catfish. Several lazy, slow stretches also abound, where you can fish for rock bass near grass beds. The slow waters near the dams along the river will yield big flathead and channel catfish, as well as walleye and smallmouth bass.

2)  Big Wilson Creek

Accessible by way of the Mount Rogers Recreation Area in Grayson County, Big Wilson Creek is referred to as one of Virginia’s finest stocked mountain trout streams. In the upper most sections of Big Wilson, you’ll be treated to a plethora of brook, brown, and wild rainbow trout that hide in the many deep pools which are protected by huge boulders. Spring is the ideal season for a trip to Big Wilson Creek. March is one of the best months to fish this stream and the most effective method is dry fishing.

The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 33 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park’s entrance.

3)  Whitetop Laurel Creek

One of Virginia’s most beautiful streams, Whitetop Laurel Creek, is considered one of the best trout streams in the entire Southeast. For anglers, the place to begin on Whitetop is the 6 miles of stream below Konnarock beginning at Creek Junction, near the convergence of Whitetop and Green Cove Creek. This marks the beginning of a 6-mile artificial only stretch where all trout smaller than 12 inches must be released. This stretch can be accessed by way of Creek Junction Road, just east of Damascus. Locals say that prime time on Whitetop is during the spring months, when feeding trout will appear for just about any type of dry fly.

From I-81 south take exit 29 (Glade Spring) to 91 east towards Damascus, in Damascus take 58 east. Whitetop Laurel flows along 58 east, where it can be accessed easily. Signs to the parking areas and the Virginia Creeper Trail are along 58 east. Sections of Whitetop Laurel Creek that are not adjacent to 58 east are easily accessed from the Virginia Creeper Trail. Parking areas have maps and trail information on display.

For Virginia Licensing Requirements, go to:

https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/regulations/licenses.asp

Meet The Author
My husband and I both grew up in the wonderful small town of Fries, VA. We purchased River Mist Retreat from family in 2009. We have a special connection to this property as we shared many picnics here while we were dating. The property is truly a relaxing retreat. It’s secluded with enough amenities to keep you occupied (hammocks, a fire pit, horse shoes, volley ball, playhouses, the creek, and the river). The head of the New River Trail in downtown Fries is five minutes from our property. As an old railroad line, the terrain of the New River Trail is gently sloped without hills, making it perfect for visitors off all ages to hike, bike, and ride horseback. For adventure seekers, canoes, kayaks, tubes, and bikes can be rented from New River Outdoor Adventures. Several guests have enjoyed a four hour float from the public boat landing at Riverside on Route 94 back to River Mist Retreat. We hope that our guests enjoy River Mist Retreat as much as we do and create memories to treasure!
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