Copyright 2012 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Dan River Virginia
The Dan River has a little of everything from its small
headwaters to its large lower section. It starts out with
pure mountain water and ends up in sad shape. The
quality of fishing depends on who you ask and the
section of the river they are talking. It ranges from a
great trout stream to water that's not worth fishing.
The Dan River starts north of U.S. Highway #58 just
northeast of the Meadows of Dan. The upper part is
classified as a wild trout stream. Native brook trout is
the main species. From just above #58, the river is a
put-and-take trout stream, or what the state of Virginia
calls a category B stream. From there the stream
proceeds to flow through a very deep canyon or gorge
that's owned by the City of Danville. The canyon is a
wild and rugged area that requires some trough hiking
The six mile long section of the river that lies between
Talbott Dam and Townes Reservoir offers some great
fly fishing opportunities. It can be accessed from routes
#614 and #601 south of the Meadows of Dan, which
takes you to the Talbott Dam. This section has a good
population of wild, stream-bred brown, brook and
The section of the Dan River from the Townes Dam to
the Pinnacles Powerhouse is strictly
catch-and-release. This section of the river can be
accessed from route # 648 off of Routes #773 and
#103. This takes you to the powerhouse. A free permit
is required to fish this section and any section that lies
within the Pinnacles Hydroelectric Project area. These
permits are also available from the City of Danville.
Below the powerhouse, the Dan River offers several
miles of put-and-take trout fishing. Just below this
section, the water eventually becomes too warm for
The season is open year-round
You will find fishing tough on most Winter days.
Spring is the best time for fly fishing the Dan River.
Summertime is fine in the gorge and the brook trout in
the shaded areas of the stream.
Fall is a beautiful time to fish the Dan river's upper
sections and gorge.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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|Type of Stream
Freestone and Tailwater
Brook Trout (wild and native)
Brown Trout (wild and stocked with
Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked with
Small to large
South Central Virginia
Good in some areas but hiking
required in most areas
State of Virginia
National Weather Service Link
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing this stream and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions. Please
allow up to 24 hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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