In short, Luck’s always to blame.

Six months ago I almost ruined my entire ’16-’17 trout season. On a late summer day last year I asked one of my buddies to go fishing with me on one of our off days, both of us were looking for a nice end of the summer trophy fish. He mentioned Mossy Creek and the New River, while I suggested the Jackson River and the James River. All four of these places have citation fish caught each year out of them, however the problem that we were both stumbling over was that the odds of us both catching a trophy sized fish, on the same day, out of the same body of water was just damn near impossible unless we travelled outside the state of Virginia.

Over the past four years I attribute catching a lot of my citation trout on being vigilant to watching the stocking reports and putting myself in the right situation to catch a citation, but realistically I attribute my citations to being lucky. Hell I know my citation smallmouth bass was without doubt luck because it was the only fish I caught that whole day. So trying to figure out a place that both my buddy and I could be in the right situation, to have the right conditions, and to have luck smile on us at the same time was definitely a quandary. Luckily I had heard of one place that would provide us with such a chance; Cedar Springs Fish Farm.

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Smallmouth Bass Citation New River

I had heard about Cedar Springs from several different people I work with and from several fishing guides that I knew in the area. There general consensus was that Cedar Springs was just an amazing place to fish. I know a lot of people frown upon fishing farm fisheries, but sometimes as a fisherman you just need to have that one day to be able to catch a monster fish and farm fisheries provide you with that chance. Also some days you just want it to be more about the trip, to enjoy the surroundings and just relax without being crowded.  Simply put Cedar Springs Fish Farm provides all of this.

 

Cedar Springs Fish Farm, which is nestled just outside of the small town of Rural Retreat, VA (near Wytheville) is a wonderfully large farm, running through the farm’s interior is Cripple Creek; a medium sized freestone creek with large, deep holes. Although the State of Virginia feels that the minimum stocking size of a trout should be 7 inches, Cedar Springs doesn’t feel this is adequate, they do not stock anything below 15 inches.  Add in the fact that Cedar Springs only allows 6 anglers on the farm per day, you end up having all of the right conditions to potentially have a perfect day.

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Potts Creek Rainbow – Damn near citation

What I found to be truly special about Cedar Springs is that you still have to fish it like any other creek. It is not easy fishing, you have to work for every fish you put to net; from targeting a big fish, to casting your line so it doesn’t spook the fish, to proper drift management.  You will have to use all of your skills to catch a fish at Cedar Springs.

Not only did my buddy and I catch several trophy trout that day, but also my buddy’s dad, who was a late addition to our party, also caught several trophy rainbow trout.  In the end it was one of those days that all three of us will remember and be able to look back and smile on.  However like I said at the very beginning, that day almost ruined my trout season for this year. The very last rainbow trout I caught that day was a monster; just looking at this fish a person will realize it truly was a fish of a life time. Unfortunately no one in our party had enough sense to bring a measuring tape on our trip. I had to wait until I got back to Roanoke to measure it. Honestly that drive back from Cedar Springs to Roanoke was euphoria mixed with gut wrenching dread. I could not get over the fact of how huge that rainbow was, I dreaded learning how big it actually was, knowing that catching a fish like it again in any of Virginia’s streams was going to be hard accomplishment. My personal best for a rainbow trout is 24 inches, I caught that fish during the ’15-’16 season out of Big Stony Creek in Giles County. Fortunately after I measured the Cedar Springs monster rainbow I was completely euphoric, it only measured in at the minimum citation limit of 22 inches – my trout season was safe, and with a little luck, there was still hope of finding a fish in Virginia’s streams that could equal it without it coming from a fishery.

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Cedar Springs, Cripple Creek Monster 22″ Citation

 

Side Note:

I just wanted to relay something that I only became aware of over the past week. I knew that the state of Virginia awards certificates for each citation an angler catches, what I did not know is that the State of Virginia also keeps up with every citation and upon catching 5 citations of different species of fish (ex. rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, and musky) the state will award that angler a Master Angler award (which is a certificate and badge). There are four different levels, each with its separate requirements. Personally I think this is a very cool thing that the state of Virginia does, because it forces anglers to get out after other species that normally they wouldn’t even consider fishing for.

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Roanoke River Brook Trout – Damn near citation
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Big Stony Creek, Giles County Rainbow Trout Citation 24″

New Changes Coming to the Site

Hello,

Over the course of the next few months there will be on going changes being made to the website. One of the first few changes you will notice is that there will no longer be a Stream Report for the upcoming 2016-2017 trout season. The new VDGF website (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/trout/)  and the USGS website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) already provide this information more accurately. Instead of reproducing this information I will be doing a weekly update on what flies I am using and some of the creeks/rivers I have been to. This will be listed in a blog section that will be coming to website in the weeks to come.

Thanks and Stay Tuned.

Fly Bum Outdoors.

 

Stream Reports 3/28/15

Hello Everyone,
I have decided to add to the stream reports to include not only the local waters that I fish but also a majority of the counties in Southwestern Virginia, and some West Virginia streams near Blacksburg. However because I do not know the water conditions of these streams I will only include their last stocking date. My hope is that everyone that visits this site will benefit from this knowledge and be able to get outside and enjoy this areas fishing.

On a final note: this new stream report will give you some insight on my idea of what this website will include in the future. Hopefully by next season I will have stream guide to all of the streams I have listed; including directions to these streams and a lot of photos.

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Top Producing Flies

Dry Flies: Midges, Adams, BWO, March Browns, Pheasant Tail

Nymphs: Zebra Midge (Black, Cream, and Brown), Soft Hackle, Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, BWO, PMD, and Stoneflies.

Streamers: Wooly Bugger and Alevian.

Streams

Water Level

Stocking Date

Big Stony Creek

4

3/16

Little Stony Creek

4

N/A

Mile Creek

4

N/A

Wolf Creek – Giles

4

3/25

Dismal Creek

3-4

3/27

Craig Creek

3

1/13

Pandapas Pond

3

3/13

Poverty Creek

2

3/23

Toms Creek

3

3/23

Wolf Creek – Bland

3-4

3/23

Laurel Fork – Bland

3

3/23

Peak Creek

3

3/12

Peak Creek (DH)

3

10/31

Potts Creek

3-4

3/27

Brabours Creek

3

3/20

Bluestone River, WV

4

N/A

East River, WV

3

3/18

Camp Creek, WV

3

3/18

Burks Fork

3/24

Goose Creek

3/11

Laurel Fork

3/16

Little Indian Creek

3/20

Little River

3/24

Mira Fork

3/27

Rush Fork

3/27

West Fork Little River

3/27

Chestnut Creek

10/31

Crooked Creek

3/20

Little Reed Island Creek

3/20

Lovills Creek

3/19

Stewarts Creek

3/19

Lick Creek

3/26

Big Wilson Creek

3/25

Elk Creek

3/24

Fox Creek

3/04

Helton Creek

3/04

Middle Fox Creek

3/04

Laurel Creek

3/26

Little Tumbling Creek

3/13

Big Brumley Creek

3/13

Big Tumbling Creek

3/20

Straight Branch

3/21

Valley Creek

3/21

Whitetop Laurel (Lower)

3/19

Whitetop Laurel (Upper)

3/19

Cripple Creek (Rt. 94)

3/21

Cripple Creek (Ravens)

3/17

Stoney Creek (Wythe County)

3/23

West Fork Reed Creek

10/29

Comers Creek

3/18

Cressy Creek

3/18

Dickey Creek

3/18

Hurricane Creek

3/18

Staley Creek

3/26

Anthony Creek, WV

3/24

North Fork Anthony Creek, WV

3/24

Meadow Creek, WV

3/19

Second Creek, WV

3/20

Water Level Rates (1-Very Low. 2-Low, 3-Good, 4-High, 5-Very High) ( * is for frozen waters)

Stream Reports 11/16/14

Stream reports as of 11/16/14

***Craig Creek Got Stocked on 11/14/14 so you better go there before it gets fished out***

https://flybumoutdoors.com/2014/09/21/craig-creek-montgomery-county-va/

Top Producing Flies

Dry Flies: Adams, and BWO

Nymphs: Twist and Shout Nymph, HobGoblin, Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, Soft Hackles, Royal Tellico, and Zebra

Streamers: Wooly Bugger, Muddler Minnow

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Wolf Creek (Giles County) Rainbow

Streams

Water Level

Stocking Date

Big Stony Creek

3

10/14

Little Stony Creek

2

wild

Mile Creek

2

wild

Wolf Creek – Giles

3

11/12

Dismal Creek

3

10/14

Craig Creek

3

11/14

Pandapas Pond

3

11/06

Poverty Creek

2

n/a

Toms Creek

3

n/a

Wolf Creek – Bland

3

11/03

Laurel Fork – Bland

2

10/09

Peak Creek

3

10/06

Peak Creek (DH)

2

10/31

Potts Creel

3

10/23

Brabours Creek

1

n/a

Bluestone Rivier WV

3

n/a

East River WV

3

n/a

*Water Level Rates (1-Very Low. 2-Low, 3-Good, 4-High, 5-Very High)

Roaring Run

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Stream Category: B  and Special Regulation Water

Wild Trout: Brook, Brown, and Rainbow Trout

Gear:

· Dry Flies: Adams, BWO, Terrestrials, Stimulators, Royal Wulff, and Caddis

· Nymphs : Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Copper John, Prince, Zebra Midge, and Soft Hackles

· Streamers: Wooly Bugger

· Rod: 7’

· Waders: Chest

· Net: No

· Polarized fishing sunglasses

Casting: Back, Side, and Roll Casts

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About:

Roaring Run is very similar to Little Stony Creek in Giles County, not only in the way the stream flows but also because of its native trout population and its friendliness to fly fisherman. The difference between the Little Stony Creek and Roaring Run is that Roaring Run is not an easily accessible stream, because of this it does not receive the same traffic as Little Stony Creek. Also Roaring Run still receives stocking from the state of Virginia, some of the fingerling trout are apart of Trout Unlimited’s “Trout in the Classroom” program.

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From what I have learned Roaring Run used to be a very heavily trafficked stream for both spin fishermen and fly fishermen, even now it’s special regulation water is known for its trophy trout water. However only one citation or ”trophy trout” was caught in the 2013-2014 season according to Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website. From what I have personally seen the trout in this stream are far from what I would call trophies, though there are several areas that could easily hold trophy trout.

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So here comes the problem with planning; when going to Roaring Run prepare as if you were going to Little Stony Creek, bring a small fly rod (7’) that you can easily cast with under brush and rhododendrons.  However make sure that your fly rod is at least a 5 weight with a 4 to 5 weight tippet and leader, any smaller you run the risk of losing any trophy trout you encounter. For the most part you will only encounter five to ten inch trout. Also you should choose which style you are going to fish before starting to fish, personally I like to dry fly fish from the parking lot up to falls, from there I like to switch to nymphs back to the parking lot. I only use streamers in the larger holes.

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Additional Notes and Precautions:

Besides the distance from any major cities Roaring Run is a fantastic stream. Just remember this fact, make sure you have enough gas to get there and back, take plenty of food, water, and definitely make sure you take a med kit. Cell phone service here is very spotty, if you are using GPS to get to Roaring Run make sure to print off directions back to where you started or back track using the directions below.

IMG_2749

Directions:

From Main Street in Blacksburg:

Take Main Street to US-460 E. Once on US-460 E continue until you reach I81 N. Continue on I81 until you reach Exit 150B US11-N/Us-220 N. Once on US-220n continue for 27.9 miles the turn left onto State Rte 615. Continue on State Rte 615 for 5.5 miles then turn right onto State Rte 621. Roaring Run will be approximately be .3 miles on you left.

From I81 in Roanoke:

Take I81 to Exit 150B US11-N/Us-220 N. Once on US-220n continue for 27.9 miles the turn left onto State Rte 615. Continue on State Rte 615 for 5.5 miles then turn right onto State Rte 621. Roaring Run will be approximately be .3 miles on you left.

Stream Reports 11/09/14

Stream reports as of 10/26/14

Top Producing Flies

Dry Flies: Adams, BWO, Royals, and Attractors

Nymphs: Twist and Shout Nymph, HobGoblin, Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, Soft Hackles, Royal Tellico, and Zebra

Streamers: Wooly Bugger, Muddler Minnow

Streams

Water Level

Stocking Date

Big Stony Creek

3

10/14

Little Stony Creek

3

wild

Mile Creek

3

wild

Wolf Creek – Giles

3/4

10/07

Dismal Creek

3

10/14

Craig Creek

3

10/07

Pandapas Pond

5

11/06

Poverty Creek

2

n/a

Toms Creek

3

n/a

Wolf Creek – Bland

3-4

11/03

Laurel Fork – Bland

3

10/09

Peak Creek

3

10/06

Peak Creek (DH)

3

10/31

Potts Creel

3

10/23

Brabours Creek

3

n/a

Bluestone Rivier WV

4

n/a

East River WV

3

n/a

*Water Level Rates (1-Very Low. 2-Low, 3-Good, 4-High, 5-Very High)

Potts Creek

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Stream Category: A

Wild Fish: Rainbow, Brown, Smallmouth Bass, and Bluegill

Gear:

  • Dry Flies: Pheasant Tail, Sulfur, Adams, Royal Wullf, Green Drake, Terrestrials, and Attractors
  • Nymphs : Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Soft Hackles, Prince, Zebra, Green Drake, and Tellico
  • Streamers: Wooly Buggers, Muddler Minnow,  and Leech Patterns
  • Rod: 7’-9’
  • Waders: Yes
  • Net: Yes
  • Polarized fishing sunglasses

Casting: Roll, Side, and Back

IMG_2755

About:

If you are looking for a remote spot to fish, miles away from anything or anyone, then Potts Creek is the place to go. Located in Craig County, Virginia near the town of Paint Bank, Potts Creek is a bit bipolar when you talk about its characteristic’s. Within the four mile stretch of stocked water this stream goes from a meandering field stream to a rocky freestone mountain stream. Needless to say when you fish Potts Creek you need to have a plan of attack.

The easiest way to approach fishing at Potts Creek is to break the stream down into two sections; the Butch Fields Section and the Steel Bridge Section. By doing this you can eliminate certain elements, such as parking and posted land, that could hinder your day fishing at Potts Creek and it will also help you when it comes to planning what to bring.

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The Butch Fields Section is a fairly wide area that can be best describe as a field stream. The water here is slow moving and often not that deep hitting just below the knees. In fact in this area the deepest water you will find will be located along the banks of the stream where trees have fallen or where the stream has washed away the roots of a tree. When fishing this area bring a small fly rod, dry flies, non-weighted nymphs, and a few streamers. Do not use a large suspension device in this area, instead use a large terrestrial or attractor fly combined with a smaller nymph dropper or a yarn strike indicator and a small nymph. Pay close attention to any surface activity and make sure you hit the deep holes with some streamer action.

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The Steel Bridge Section of Potts Creek is a typical mountain stream area and it is my favorite section of Potts Creeks. From the day use parking area you will find a small trail that leads to the creek, once at the creek you will find a hole that is easily 5’-6’ deep and 20 yards long. The water here moves very slowly but it holds monstrous trout, honestly you could easily spend your entire day just fishing this one hole and have great day fishing. However if you continue fishing down the stream from this hole you will find areas that are just as prime as this one. Just below this hole is an area that is nothing but a slate rock riffle/rapids area that holds trout in almost every deep rapid. And on below here the stream settles back down into a freestone mountain stream with flat deep areas. If you don’t feel like walking down the slate riffles you can always fish the area near the parking lot and then walk thru the campground to get to the freestone area. For all of these sections I use my 9’ rod, dry flies, and nymphs. If the fish are not hitting top water dry flies I stick to a multi (weighted) nymph rig and a suspension device. The size of the suspension device will be dictated by how deep you need to get your nymph, but really you could use a small thingamabobber throughout the whole section and be fine.

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Additional Notes and Precautions:

This area is located in the Jefferson National Forrest and because of its seclusion one must keep in mind back country safety issues. There is little to no cell phone service here, I would highly recommend telling a friend or a relative that you are going here and a general time you will be back. Likewise make sure you bring plenty of water, some non-perishable food, and a med kit in case of an emergency (the closest hospital is over an hour away). Lastly, I suggest bringing bear mace because you will be in area that bears are known to be in.

Additionally here are a few places of interest you can stop by in Paint Bank if you have enough time; the General Store, the State Fish Hatchery, and the Buffalo Farms on VA-600.

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Directions:

From Main Street Blacksburg:

Turn on to E Roanoke St; make slight left onto Owens St, Turn Right on Harding Ave/VA-785. Continue to follow VA-785N for 13.1 miles. Turn left onto State Rte. 697 then turn right onto VA-624. Follow VA-624 for 4.5 miles. Turn left onto VA-311 N and follow it for 28.3 miles until you get to Paint Bank. Potts Creek will be the stream you pass over. Turn right on to VA-18 N and you can start fishing from here.

From I81 in Roanoke:

Take exit 141 for VA-419 toward VA-311 N/Salem/New Castle. Turn left on to VA-419 N, then turn right onto VA-311 N. Follow VA-311 N for 35.6 miles until you get to Paint Bank. Potts Creek will be the stream you pass over. Turn right on to VA-18 N and you can start fishing from here.

Pandapas Pond

IMG_1094

Stream Category: A

Wild Fish: Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Chain Pickerel, Carp, Brook, and Rainbow Trout

Gear:

  • Dry Flies: Damsel, Midges, Adams, BWOs, Stimulators, Pheasant Tail, Caddis, Terrestrials, and Poppers (for Bass)
  • Nymphs : Damsel, Chironomid, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares Ear, Zebra, and Blood Worms
  • Streamers: Wooly Bugger, Minnow, and Leech Patterns
  • Rod: 9’-10’, Spey
  • Waders: Yes
  • Net: Yes
  • Float Tube
  • Polarized Fishing Sunglasses

Casting: Back and Roll

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About:

Whoever named Pandapas Pond must have liked the way the two words roll off the tongue because Pandapas is not a Pond but a small lake. This manmade 8 acre pond is located minutes away from downtown Blacksburg between Sinking Creek Mountain and Brush Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest. Known to local residents for its beautiful scenery, wildlife, and its hiking trails; this is a great place for those of all ages looking for still water fishing in the New River Valley.

While Pandapas Pond holds a variety of species of fish year round, the state of Virginia stocks it heavily between October and May with rainbow and brook trout. Fly fishing from the banks here can be a bit awkward unless you have a spey rod. This is due to the high volume of people walking on the trail around Pandapas Pond, if you don’t check each and every back cast you will hook someone. Furthermore don’t even attempt to wade out into the pond either, you will find yourself in water above your head just after a few steps from the bank.

Without a float tube I wouldn’t even recommend Pandapas Pond to fly fishermen, just bring a spin rod. However if you are able to get out into the pond you will find yourself with the chance to catch citation size trout in seconds. My favorite flies for this pond are chironomids, blood worms, and weighted wooly buggers, you will want these flies to sink deep to get to the bigger trout.

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Additional Notes and Precautions:

Pandapas Pond is open to the public from sunrise to sunset each and every day. There are two free parking areas; both will requires a short hike however the second parking lot is handicapped accessible. The gates leading to the pond does blocks people from launching a larger boat, make sure if you bring an inflatable that you can carry it for more than 50 yards.

Directions from Blacksburg, VA:

Take US-460 West towards Pembroke. Then turn left onto Forest Service Rd 808 (entrance to Pandapas Pond). The first Parking area will be on your left as you turn onto this road and the second parking area will be the area where the road dead ends.