Stream Category: Delayed Harvest
From October 1 through May 31, fishing on the following waters is permitted under the following regulations only:
1 Only artificial lures may be used.
2 No trout may be in possession (catch and release only) while fishing these waters.
3 No bait may be in possession while fishing these waters.
4 Trout license required October 1-June 15.
Note: During the period of June 1 through September 30 restrictions 1. through 3. above will not apply and these waters are like any other designated stocked trout.
Stocked Trout: Rainbow and Brook
Wild Trout: Rainbow, Brook, and Brown ( Although there are holdovers from previous DGIF stockings, wild trout, especially brown trout, can be seen throughout the entire Roanoke River.)
Other Species of Note: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Carp
- 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 River. Additionally when fishing for Carp, a larger fish net is recommended.
- Additional Gear: Wading Staff
Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.
Located on the outskirts of the City of Salem, Green Hill Park is a family/pet friendly area that appeals to everyone that loves the outside. Because of several Non-profit groups diligent help in maintaining and upgrading Green Hill Park, the park appeals to anglers of all ages and to those anglers that are disabled. Green Hill Park is also the starting point for the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem, Virginia. The Roanoke River Greenway, which began as a small initiative in 1993, is a greenway that extends almost 30 miles from Salem to Roanoke, following its namesake the Roanoke River.
The Delayed Harvest Section of the Roanoke river in Green Hill Park stretches from the Route 760 Bridge (Diguids Lane) upstream 1 mile to a sign posted at the upper end of the park. Due to the park being a delayed harvest section the state of Virginia only stocks these waters 3 times per year, however Trout Unlimited does secret stockings throughout this section to keep it a prime location for trout fishermen.
The entire Roanoke River is a freestone stream that has a plethora of insect activity, fast runs that flow into elongated pools, and plenty of tree line for fish to hide under. Treating this river as you would any other mountain stream is good way to find where the fish are holding. Look for fast runs that are followed by long pools, any large rocks in flat areas, and cover that fish could use to hide in. When fishing the numerous runs and long pools make sure you are fishing the entire area from beginning to end.
When it comes to flies; gear towards weighted nymphs and streamers, the weight will make sure you are getting to the depth that you will need in order to catch fish in the Roanoke River. If you haven’t use squirmy wormies or mop flies look these flies up (mop and glo and squirmy wormies) they are deadly on the Roanoke river.
Dry fly fishing is tedious throughout the Roanoke River, not just the Green Hill Section, very few stocked trout will rise to eat topwater flies. However if you want to be successful at dry fly fishing on the Roanoke river take a few minutes to observe what flies are hatching along the bank and see what nymphs are under the rocks, from there use a dry-dropper rig that matches the flies you have seen. Your dropper nymph should be slightly weighted and you should use a long section of tippet between your dry and dropper nymph.
When fishing at Green Hill Park use the parking provided by the park. The handicapped section of river is located at the second to last parking area inside the park, it will be visible from the road. Be mindful that the Roanoke River is a river and not a stream, the river can be very deep in spots so wade carefully. Check weather conditions for the Salem/Roanoke, VA area, heavy rains and snow melts can quickly flood the river.
When fishing for any other species besides trout remember that this is a delayed harvest section between October 1 – June 15 and even though you are fishing for other species the delayed harvest restrictions still apply.