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A Four-Season Fishing Experience in Franklin County, VA

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Franklin County, Virginia offers a fishing paradise with picturesque lakes and meandering rivers. The breathtaking scenery and charming southern Virginia ambiance will leave you yearning to return time and time again.

Photo credit: Franklin County Tourism

Premier Lakes
The second largest freshwater lake in Virginia shares its water with Franklin County, and not surprisingly, makes for an excellent fishing spot! Smith Mountain Lake is a 20,600 Acre Impoundment and is Virginia’s premiere bass and striper fishing lake. Anglers have the opportunity to catch 10+ pound largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trophy-sized striped bass, and crappie. With abundant recreational activities, the lake serves as both a top-notch fishing spot and a vacation destination.

For a quieter experience, head to the deep clear waters of Philpott Lake. This 2,900-acre reservoir’s undeveloped shoreline invites fishermen and women to reel in catfish, bass, and walleye with picturesque views of the surrounding landscape. It is one of Virginia’s premier walleye destinations!

Photo credit: Franklin County Tourism

A Unique Trout Fishery
Renowned as one of the Commonwealth’s most unique trout fisheries, the Smith River, as endorsed by the Department of Wildlife Resources, is a haven for anglers. Fed by cold water discharge from Philpott Dam, this river stretches 31 miles, offering premium brown and rainbow trout waters.
For the latest in baits and techniques, gear up at local outfitters like SML Tackleshack or Captain’s Quarters. Looking to fulfill your boating needs? Check out the newly opened Rock Outdoors. There are also numerous outlets to rent a boat at Smith Mountain Lake, or you can book a charter with one of the many talented fishing guides.

Photo credit: Franklin County Tourism

Small-Town Charm
To complement your fishing adventure, head to the Booker T. Washington National Monument to learn about the significance of this historic figure. Or, head to Bridgewater Plaza for shopping, dining, and entertainment options. During the summer, catch a world class performance at the Coves Amphitheater, or visit the charming Town of Rocky Mount just 20 minutes away. Franklin County and Smith Mountain Lake are home to many unique lodging options ranging from mountainside cabins to lakefront condos and everything in between.

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