Roanoke River – Green Hill Park

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

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 River. Additionally when fishing for Carp, a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.

 

About:

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.

Additional Notes:

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.

Directions

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Geographical Oddity

roanoke

Have you ever clicked with something to the very being of your soul, something that you do not have share with anyone else? For some people it is hunting, some it is collecting comic books, others it is building or gardening. For me it has, and will continue to be, fly fishing. Without it, nothing in the world truly makes sense to me; it is my life.

When I first moved to the Roanoke Valley I was a bit concerned. If you looked at a map of the different places I fished when I was living in Blacksburg, you would notice a trend; they are all within a 30 minute drive of Blacksburg. However now that I live in Roanoke every one of those favorite streams are easily over an hour away.

Once I moved I decided that I would need new streams to fish close by, not knowing of any I began my research on Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocking map. I had already been to Roaring Run (Roanoke’s alternative to Little Stoney Creek) several times when I lived in Blacksburg, I was certain there had to be good trout streams in the Roanoke Valley area. After my researching I noticed that Roanoke was a “geographical oddity,” exactly one hour away from even one stocked streamed, with the exception of Glade, Tinker, and of course the Roanoke River. Those three in particular I wanted nothing to do with. Now I am not trying to sound like a fishing snob, but the last thing I wanted to do was fish in an urban setting. Anytime I even considered urban fishing the hobbit in my head would start screaming, “I need mountains, Gandalf, Mountains….” Unfortunately without packing up my Jeep and being prepared for an hour drive, accessible mountain trout fishing like I loved in Blacksburg was not feasible.

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Realistically though, the Roanoke Valley (Roanoke/Salem) is one of the most enjoyable areas I have lived in; it has this vibe that the local government is trying its best to contend with places like Asheville and Richmond for the best land back area. The Roanoke Valley Government, along with several local businesses, is also making the Roanoke Valley into an Outdoors person’s mecca. I mean really, it is hard to beat the hiking, biking, and kayaking that you can do within a 30 minute radius of Roanoke. However hiking, biking, and kayaking just do not cut it for me; I need to feel more involved with nature, a feeling that only comes to me when I am able to fly fish deep in the mountains. Needless to say, during the summer months I was seriously bummed out living in Roanoke and took a lot of day trips out of town.

In my defense, the people that I had spoken with about fly fishing on the Roanoke River had not impressed me with the Roanoke’s ability to be a good trout stream. Add in the fact I felt that the Roanoke, Tinker, and Glade are a bit trashy and in an urban area, yeah there was no way I wanted to fish in the Roanoke Valley. Yes you can fish for carp, bass, and stripers (below Explorer Park going to Smith Mountain lake), but none of these fish was what I wanted to fish for during summer, I wanted trout. Again in my defense, I decided to fish for carp, bass, or pretty much anything else I would just go to the New River or to the James, essentially giving me an excuse to get out onto big water. To my surprise, after a late summer evening at the Salem Delayed Harvest Section, I found a love for the Roanoke River.

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Since this past summer was such a dry summer for the Roanoke Valley, the Roanoke River was extremely low. I was under the assumption that the Roanoke River would not have many hold over trout, much less wild trout because of the water levels and water temperatures. Man, I was wrong! My bad! There are a lot of nice places in Roanoke that the river will hold stocked rainbow and brook trout year round, and even though the State of Virginia no longer stocks brown trout, they can still be found year round throughout the river as well.

By no means am I an expert of the Roanoke River, and it will take me at least another year before I am confident to do a full “Stream” post for it. However I am very pleased with the trout fishing so far. I now love the idea of being able to drive to place before work, not far from the road, being able to fish it, and then go to work that afternoon. Although this doesn’t completely replace my urge to fish in the mountains, it does help the matter.

Other than the Roanoke has heavy foot pressure (the Greenway Park runs right next to it) and it being quite dirty in spots (the City is fighting this through local cleanups), the only issue I have is the fishing pressure in the Put and Take sections, which seems to fish out quickly. Currently there two Delayed Harvest sections and two Put and Take sections in Roanoke/Salem, this is not counting Tinker and Glade which is both Put and Take. I feel like these Put and Take sections are hurting Roanoke Valley’s broad plan to make the area more of an outdoors person destination when people go there to fish and there are no fish.

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Not that I do not want every fisherman to get their monies worth out of their trout fishing stamp, I think the benefits of Roanoke becoming a very strong fishery to compete with those in Western North Carolina and Tennessee out weights losing the Put and Take sections. Instead I would suggest two sections of Delayed Harvest and two sections of Catch and Release only, leave Tinker and Glade as Put and Take though. Roanoke Valley fishermen would still be able to take fish from the area within regulation, but it would also help the area grow its wild trout population and inspire tourism. This also prompts me to say, I would love to see Southwestern Virginia come up with its own trout trail like Western North Carolina has, with the Roanoke Valley serving as its heart.

I will always remember the first time I went to the South Holston River in Bristol, Tn, it was awe inspiring to see wild brown and rainbow trout by the hundreds hitting little sulfurs all around me, all I could think was that if I lived at the South Holston I would never go anywhere else. Now imagine that being the Roanoke River. Although I think that the Roanoke River cannot ever be as great as the South Holston, because of South Holston’s dam and rich/clean water supply, I do think the Roanoke has a lot of promise and has the potential of becoming a top notch fishery in Virginia.

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Virginia, especially Southwestern Virginia (I am a tad biased), is one of the most beautiful states on the east coast. We have everything from skiing, to breweries, plus beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Literally everyone should want to come to Virginia to vacation. Although our larger species fish (smallmouth, bass, and musky) do bring in fishermen, our lack of trout streams just make it easier for trout fishermen to bypass Virginia altogether. So how do we go about changing this attitude? Well I think transforming the Roanoke River and other streams into excellent fisheries is a good initial start. I also think that the State of Virginia should work with current landowners to open up streams that have been closed to the public before, also providing help through the use of fingerlings to beef up wild trout populations. Finally I think Virginia needs to have at least one Delayed Harvest Stream, one Catch and Release Stream, and one Put and Take Stream in each county that trout stockings occur. It is the only way to be fair to every fisherman, in state and out of state, and to make sure that the monies spent on Virginia Trout fishing are being well used and preserving fishing in the State of Virginia.

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)