If you enjoy fishing renowned blue ribbon trout streams, miles of pristine waterfront all to yourself, or the experience of reeling in a beautiful bass on a scenic mountain lake, then the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia is your next destination for an incredible fishing experience. The scenic Jackson River is the perfect spot for fly fishing with its recognition as a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. It’s also ranked #25 in Trout Unlimited’s Guide to the Top 100 U.S. Trout Streams.
The Jackson River Scenic Trail runs adjacent to the river and is the perfect place to take in views of the Jackson’s beautiful emerald waters. The 14.4-mile trail is mostly flat and composed of smooth crushed gravel, making it perfect for all ages. If you need a kayak, canoe, or even a bike to ride along the trail, Alleghany Outdoors, a river outfitter located at the Intervale trailhead of the scenic trail, has you covered.
If you’re looking for a more private fishing experience, Escatawba Farms is your spot. Cradled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and heart of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Escatawba offers a secluded Virginia trout fishing experience on Dunlap Creek, a freestone stream that ambles its way through two miles of wooded mountains and fenced pastures. For novice anglers and stillwater enthusiasts, Escatawba Farms also boasts three spring-fed ponds. So whether you fish the stream or the ponds, your Virginia trout fishing experience will include dozens of big, cruising rainbows and brook trout—many of them citation size.
Lake Moomaw, considered one of Virginia’s most scenic lakes, offers 43 miles of undeveloped shoreline, providing anglers the perfect venue for a successful day on the water. The lake is the result of Gathright Dam, which creates great fishing for trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, and panfish.
Other options include the Cowpasture River, which forms the headwaters of the historic James River, and Douthat Lake at Douthat State Park, voted Best State Park by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine two years in a row. The lake and stream at Douthat are stocked with trout during the spring and fall with bass and panfish opportunities throughout the summer.
When it’s time to put the rod and reel away for the day, book your stay in a scenic riverfront cabin, a lakefront campsite, or a unique glamping experience in the heart of Virginia’s Mountain Region. It’s Uniquely Alleghany!
Cover photo by W. Curry Photography