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The Ten Best Fly Fishing Sites in Virginia

Virginia is a paradise for fly fishing enthusiasts with its abundance of streams, rivers, and lakes. With its diverse topography and ecosystems, Virginia offers excellent fly fishing opportunities all year round. From small mountain streams teeming with brook trout to large rivers with walleye, catfish, and musky, Virginia’s waters have something to offer for every angler. If you’re planning a fly fishing adventure in Virginia, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten of the best fly fishing sites in Virginia.

#1 The Smith River – Fee Fishing

The Smith River is an excellent choice for spin anglers and fly fishers. This 44-acre fee fishing site is stocked with rainbow and brown trout with some of the biggest fish reaching up to 10 pounds. In April, the first Saturday marks the opening day of the season and remains open through October. Anglers can fish with dry flies, nymphing, or spinners and can enjoy camping at the park.

#2 The Upper Smith River – Wild Trout

The Upper Smith River section below the tailwater of Philpott Dam is a freestone stream with a mix of high gradient pocket water and slower runs. The river supports a wild brown and brook trout population in the upper 8 miles of the stream, making it an ideal location for those looking for wild trout. The best time to fish here is from May to June.

#3 The Rapidan River – Wild Trout

The Rapidan River is one of the most picturesque streams in Virginia and offers some truly wild trout. The river offers some of the best dry fly fishing in the state, especially in the summer months. Located in Shenandoah National Park, the Rapidan is easily accessible and is best fished from April to October.

#4 The South Fork of the Holston River – Tailwater

The South Fork of the Holston River is a tailwater fishery, which means it comes from the bottom of the dam and remains cool year-round. This results in a steady supply of aquatic insects, making it an alternative option for anglers looking to fish in the winter months. The river is stocked with brown, rainbow and brook trout and the best time to fish here is from November to April.

#5 The Upper South Fork of the Holston River – Wild Trout

The Upper South Fork of the Holston River is a wild trout stream that offers some excellent fishing opportunities. The stream has a mix of fast riffles and runs, deep pools, and undercut banks providing some great hiding spots for wild browns and rainbows. The best time to fish here is from April to October.

#6 The North Fork of the Shenandoah River – Smallmouth Bass

The North Fork of the Shenandoah River is one of the top smallmouth bass fisheries in the state with some of the biggest bass weighing over 4lbs. This river offers some of the best topwater action in the summer months where anglers can catch bass on poppers, streamers and nymphs.

#7 The Dry River – Wild Trout

The Dry River is a spring-fed stream that offers pristine water quality and wild trout fishing that is hard to beat. The stream runs crystal clear with a mix of deep pools, riffles, and runs. The best time to fish here is from March to October.

#8 Douthat State Park – Trout

Douthat State Park is a beautiful mountain setting that offers some great fishing opportunities for rainbow trout and brown trout. The park’s 50-acre lake is stocked weekly from November to April, providing excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of all ages.

#9 Switzer Lake – Trout

Switzer Lake is a 4-acre lake in the heart of George Washington National Forest that offers some nice rainbow trout and a few brook trout opportunities for anglers. The best time to fish here is from May to October.

#10 Staunton River – Musky

The Staunton River is one of the best musky fisheries in the state, with a mix of small and large musky. The best time to fish for musky is in the fall with larger musky weighing up to 50 pounds caught occasionally.

In conclusion, Virginia is a fly fishing paradise with numerous, gorgeous streams, rivers, and lakes that offer some of the best fishing in the country. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an experienced angler; Virginia has something to offer for everyone. From fee fishing to wild trout streams or chasing after big muskies, you will not be disappointed with your experience in Virginia’s waters. Book your fly-fishing trip to Virginia now and experience some of the best fishing in the country.

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