Stream Category: Put and Take – A
Stocked Trout: Brown, Brook, and Rainbow
Other Species of Note: None
Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, and Terrestrials
Nymphs: Stone Flies, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Midges, Mop Flies, and Squirmmy Wormies, Perdigon
Streamers: Kreelex, Minnow Patterns, Articulated Minnow Patterns
Casting: Tuck, Roll, and Overhead
Honestly I was optimistic like I was when I first began this website, when I was young, loving to explore – hearing of great places to fish and wanting to fish them, still thinking that they would be amazing, that I would never get skunked, that every fish that I caught would be like the big ones on social media and in magazines. However now that I am older and wiser I have become very grim over the state of fishing in Virginia.
A lot of the books and information that is out there for anyone to find are often very outdated. Always check the copy write date on a book, not to mention what publication of the book it is. Honestly several of my posts are probably outdated, but I don’t think they are outdated enough for me to re-do them in their entirety.
So when I first heard of the Hidden Valley section of the Jackson River I was super stoked about going there, my buddy made it sound like it compared to the South Holston and Watauga Rivers of Tennessee. Both of which I have visited and will always admire. Now fast forward several years later, a buddy and I (who also has heard amazing things about Hidden Valley) see that it has been stocked the day before and decide to go to Hidden Valley. At that point in time I was living in Blacksburg and he was living in Pembroke, no matter how we went we were looking at a minimum of a two hour drive. So being young and stupid (there are a lot better places to fish in the Blacksburg area than Hidden Valley) we decided to take the day off and go see what all the fuss was about. Upon first seeing the place it was as describe, the Mecca of Virginian fly fishing; perfect parking, you could easily cast over handed, you could streamer fish to your hearts to delight. However what we quickly found out was that this was hardly the case. The water was low, the parking lot was filled with vehicles, the bridge leading to the bed and breakfast was as packed as Myrtle Beach, and that at almost every good hole or run there was already someone there.
Granted I knew that Hidden Valley was put and take, put I thought the people that would be there would have a little bit more class, especially since so many fly fishermen had recommended to me. Again I was wrong. By the end of the day my buddy and I were so disgusted of the place that we gave up only after being there a couple hours, yes we had caught some fish, but they were not the fish of legend.
So several years go by and one of my fishing buddies has heard stories of Hidden Valley and how great it was and wanted to go. I told him my original experience with the place, but he insisted that we go. Guess what we found… the same fucking thing that I had seen several years before. But being wiser and older I had learned how to combat fish, sadly my buddy didn’t know how to do that. I would bomb people’s holes with my nymphs, I would cast with reckless abandonment, and eventually a good hole would be ours. Hey spin fishermen due to same thing to us fly fishermen all of the time, it is only fair that they get a taste of it back once in a while. Needless to say we caught some fish, decent, but not great. After that we left. Since then I have been back only one more time and that was just to get photos of the damnable place.
Ok, enough bitching, as you can already tell – I do not recommend going here. The Hidden Valley of the Jackson river is a very lazy freestone stream, with the proper eye ware you can spot most of the trout from the banks. The spots going towards the Special Regulation section are a bit tougher to get to, but I do not think they are stocked as well as below the bridge at the bed and breakfast. Below the bed and breakfast just follow the path, look for any side openings in the brush and go explore them. There will be one section that the stream just opens up and almost becomes like a limestone stream, there is good fishing here if it is not packed.
So the moral of the story is having the correct information before going somewhere is often crucial, that is why I continue to do this website. If I had only known about Cowpasture or Bullpasture, I would have easily gone there instead of Hidden Valley.
Additional Comments: Parking can be found at the Hidden Valley Parking lot.