Blue Ridge Fishing Culture

When you stay at our Blue Ridge Parkway cabins you can access some of the best public fishing waters in Virginia. Love Ridge’s mountain perch is at the headwaters of two major waterways–the Potomac and the James Rivers. The mountain springs which well up from the Blue Ridge run purest and coldest at their source, creating an ideal habitat for river fish. Trout in particular thrive in the mountain streams of the George Washington National Forest.

A man with his fresh catch from his Blue Ridge fishing trip
A person with his freshly-caught fish

Go on a Blue Ridge Fishing Adventure in Back Creek and South River

As you descend from your Blue Ridge Mountain cabin, track the mossy banks of Back Creek that feed upper and lower Sherando Lake. The Lakes and several miles of Back Creek are stocked with Rainbow and Brook Trout. As you head downstream, Back Creek joins the South River near Lyndhurst and offers four and a half miles of Fly Fishing Only special regulations trophy trout water. This stretch is one of only two Fly Fishing Only public waters in the state. Fishing both Sherando Lake and the South River will give you a sense for how fish behave differently in a lake versus in quick currents.

The South River continues to flow through downtown Waynesboro and provides the opportunity to catch trophy sized rainbow and brown trout. Ridgeview Park is an excellent spot for children and those who are unable to easily navigate river banks. The accessible pier includes benches and pull brackets. Put-and-take from the fishing pier and is a popular place to fish for bass, perch, bluegill, catfish and trout. The best fly fishing is catch and release, extending from the Wayne Avenue Bridge downstream to the second Street bridge and is easily accessed via the South River Greenway, a paved path alongside the river. From there, the South River continues its flow northward from there is one of the main tributaries of the Shenandoah River which flows northward to meet the Potomac River.

To see where many of the trout in the South River got their start, take a scenic drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Montebello Fish Hatchery. Stocked trout (brook, brown, and rainbow) get their start at the hatchery, which stocks over 100,000 fish a year in 23 rivers and lakes from Amherst County northward to Fairfax County. The Montebello Resort next door has a stock trout pond. There is no fee to fish but you keep what you catch and fish are sold by the pound.

Men fishing in the river

The South River Fly Shop and Guide service focuses on the South River and is licensed to guide in the Shenandoah National Park and the Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Make sure you inform yourself before you go about the season and conditions, and avoid scheduling trips when brook trout are spawning or when water temperatures and levels would affect the health of the trout population. Hike-in trips to catch Brook Trout are more physical and are recommended for those with experience and a taste for adventure. Generally, early fall and then February-June are the best times for mountain streams, depending on rainfall. If a float is more your speed, South River Fly Shop also guides smallmouth bass on the South Fork of the Shenandoah, the James River, and the Maury River.

A Blue Ridge fishing experience is as much about the thrill of the catch as it is the chance to experience the natural beauty of the Shenandoah’s streams and rivers. Even if you don’t prove a skilled angler, the proximity to mountain streams that wind through picturesque mountain forests and fertile farmland will surely create a memorable experience. Book your stay at our Virginia vacation rentals and start planning your fishing trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains today!