Roanoke River – City – Wasena

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Stream Category: Category A – stocked 8 times between October 1 and May 31.

Type of Stream: Freestone River

Stocked Trout: Rainbow and Brook

Other Species of Note: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Carp

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Gear:

  • Dry Flies: Adams, Midges, Caddis, and Terrestrials
  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Prince Nymphs, Zebras, Caddis Pupae, Grub Worms, Squirmy Wormies, and Mop Flies
  • Streamers: Kreelax, Leeches, Sculpins, Wooley Buggers, and Minnow Patterns
  • Rod: 9-10’ 5-7 weight (depending on what species of fish you are targeting) Also Switch and Spey rods can be used on most sections.
  • Waders: Chest or Convertible Chest ( During late Spring, Summer, and early fall you can wet wade in shorts and river sandals. During late Fall, Winter, and early Spring waders will be needed)
  • Net: Big fish can be caught throughout the Roanoke River, it is highly recommended to bring a trout catch and release net wherever you are on the Roanoke. Additionally when fishing for Carp a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.

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About:

***I apologize for not sugar coating this post, normally I try to keep my opinions to myself when it comes to Stream Posts for this site, however staying true to my intent of this site this must be said.***

Located in the City of Roanoke from Wasena Park to River’s Edge Sports Complex, adjacent to the Roanoke River Greenway, this section is a prime example of how detrimental over fishing and lazy “spot” stockings can be to a river.

This section is one of the easiest to access, a favorite of kayakers, tubers, bicyclists, walkers, and runners. Offering fast runs, deep pools, and several areas that are easily access by handicapped people. It’s a beautiful spot, it offers not only the outside lifestyle that most Roanokers love, also it offers several restaurants and bars that are within yards of the river. Sadly, when it comes to fishing, this area is a horrible and should be avoided.

So why is this section so bad that I would recommend avoiding it? Honestly it has nothing to do with kayakers and tubers, during the times that this section is stocked (October 1 – June 15) there are not that many kayakers and tubers out on the river to make a difference. The big problem is the lazy spot stockings that the state of Virginia executes each time this section is stocked. I understand that it might take extra work for the DGIF personnel and volunteers to stock different areas of this section instead of their yearly favorites (every low water bridge), nonetheless these yearly favorites give the stocked trout little chance to migrate through the river in order for this section to be a challenge to fishermen. Stocking in this section truly needs to be “spot” sporadic so that this section can be enjoyable for all fishermen.

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The final problem, the one that plagues every easily accessed stocked trout stream here in Virginia is over fishing. I’ve seen some of old photos (not of the Roanoke) where fishermen are elbow to elbow casting into the same hole after a stocking, every sized fish being taken, well this section of the Roanoke is exactly like those photos. People are literally elbow to elbow on the banks and off of the low water bridges fishing exactly where the state has stocked. The day after stocking, sadly, the only thing to be found in the river are hooks and fishing line that have been left to rot, zero fish- the occasional fish can be found on the bank, dead, from swallowing some fishermen’s power baited bass hook. I apologize to those spin fishermen that follow this site, however spin fishermen need to rethink how they fish and understand the harm that they cause to a river/stream by using tackle to big for trout (and probably bass).

So what are some solutions that could help this section of the Roanoke River? Honestly if the state of Virginia made this section delayed harvest or catch and release, this section of the Roanoke River would be one of the top areas to fish in the state. Because of it’s beauty, ease, and local attractions fishermen throughout the state would seek out this section to fish, knowing (because of the restrictions) that big fish will be found in this section throughout the State’s Trout season. Until the state addresses these issues, I can not in good conscious say that this section is worth the time and effort to fish.

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Directions:

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