Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The North River Virginia
The North River has three basic sections - the
headwaters from its beginning to Elkhorn Lake; the
"delayed harvest" section below Elkhorn Dam to the
head of Staunton City Reservoir; and a few miles of "put
and take" waters where trout are stocked for
consumption. The "delayed harvest" section is the most
popular section during the fall, winter and spring
The wild brook trout water above Elkhorn Lake requires
hiking to reach. You can park at Elkhorn Lake and
follow a trail that goes along the lake to reach the
remote sections of the brook trout water. Thanks to the
efforts of Trout Unlimited, there has been much work
done on this stream to restore it from major storm
damage it received. It is rough, remote country. Fly
fishing the North River is well worth the effort for those
that go to the trouble to do a little hiking.
That portion of stream from the base of Elkhorn Dam
downstream for 1.5 miles to a sign posted at the head
of Staunton City Reservoir, is the delayed harvest
section of the North River.
Below Staunton Dam, the North River provides miles of
stocked waters as well as a few wild trout. It is also
stocked near Natural Chimney's. While we prefer the
wild trout water and the delayed harvest sections, the
extensive amount of stocked "put and take" water is
worth noting to those that are interested. It also helps
keep the "put and take" guys away from the delayed
harvest section and the wild trout waters.
The delayed harvest section is also fairly remote but
very popular during the most of the year. It can be
fished successfully except during the summer months.
The different types of water in the reservoirs along with
the fairly good water chemistry of the freestone section
produces a very good population of aquatic insects.
There are numerous species of mayflies, caddisflies
and some stoneflies. Most of the water is pocket water
that's fairly easy and fun to fish.
The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on nice, warm winter days.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the North River
because of the aquatic insect hatches and good water
Summertime is okay in the headwaters but the water
can get low during the late summer.
Fall is a great time for fly fishing the North River.
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