Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Laurel Fork Creek Virginia
It seems like there's a Laurel Creek everywhere there's a
trout stream in the eastern United States. There's more
than one in Virginia so to distinguish it, this is the Laurel
Fork in Highland County Virginia. This one's a good trout
stream and I suspect it's for one main reason. You have
to hike a good ways, close to three miles, to fish Laurel
Fork. The stream, located in the Alleghany Highlands, is
approximately nine miles long, if it is measured in a
Laurel Fork Creek, usually just called Laurel Fork, is
located near the West Virginia border in the George
Washington National Forest. It has many small tributary
streams including Buck Run, Locus Spring Run, Slab
Camp Run, Lost Run, Bearwallow Run, Newman Run,
Molinaux Run, Cool Spring Run, Christian Run, and
Knotmaul Run. There's a Christian Run Trail that takes
you to the lower part of the stream but it's difficult to get
to the trailhead and we don't recommended it.
There are three trails that will take you to this stream that
are all off of Forest Road #106. They are Locust Run,
Slab Camp Run and Bearwallow Run. Bear Wallow Run
is the shortest at just under three miles, but it takes you
to the upstream part of Laurel Fork. The others are
about four miles each and take you to lower parts of the
stream. All of these are very good trails.
Laurel Fork is a good size mountain stream averaging
over thirty feet wide. Being a freestone stream, it's
completely dependent on melting snow and rainfall for its
water and the stream levels change drastically during the
season. The creek drains terrain from about the 4000
foot elevation level, so the water starts out cool even in
the summer. Laurel Fork is lined with rhododendrons that
help keep it cool.
This is a rather wild area with bears, deer, rattle snakes
and many other animals. There aren't any roads,
building, etc., near the stream, just wilderness country.
It's a lovely stream to spend a day on and chances are
good that if you see anyone, it will be a hiker. Anglers
rarely go to the effort to fish the stream but rest assured,
it's well worth the effort. It has plenty of large, native
brook trout that usually willingly take dry flies. The stream
has a good pH level and consequently, a large number
of aquatic insects. Hatches are common, especially
during the Spring.
Fly fishing success is largely dependent on water levels.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing Laurel Fork.
The stream levels usually get rather low during the
Summer and the fishing action slows down some.
Fall is an excellent time to fish the stream although the
water levels may still remain low.
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