Endless Opportunities to Fish in Virginia State Parks

No matter the type of fishing you enjoy—trout, big lake, small lake, downriver, tidal river, even Chesapeake Bay and ocean fishing—you’ll find something that suits you at a Virginia State Park. 

Famous for its trophy muskellunge, Hungry Mother State Park offers a unique fly fishing opportunity. The 108-acre Hungry Mother Lake is small enough that you can cover it in a day or two, accessible by boat or the spillway from the shore. The two main channels are typically the best area to catch muskie where several larger than 50 inches have been seen. These waters support a host of other sport fish, including largemouth, smallmouth, hybrid striped, and spotted bass, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, carp, bluegill, and walleye. 

Fly fishing at Douthat State Park, Va. Photo courtesy of Virginia State Parks

Douthat State Park is the place to be for trout fishing. Douthat Lake, a 50-acre fee fishing lake, is stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout twice a week during the fee season. The lake also offers excellent largemouth bass fishing and fair opportunities for landing sunfish, black crappie, channel catfish, and chain pickerel. Just below the dam, you’ll find a special trout fishing area has been created on a section of Wilson Creek, which is great for kids and adults alike.

Ample panfish are just waiting to be caught at Fairy Stone State Park, so it’s the perfect place to teach the kids fishing skills. For more serious anglers, the lake offers some good largemouth bass while bluegill, crappie, catfish, and October-stocked trout round out the park’s lake fishing. Just up the road is Philpott Reservoir, which offers good walleye and largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing. 

New River Trail State Park is a true gem for the fly angler and is famous for its smallmouth bass fishing. The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles, so you can hike, bike, or kayak to your fishing spot. The river supports outstanding populations of just about every major freshwater game fish in the state. You’ll find everything from smallmouth, spotted, largemouth, rock, striped, white, and hybrid striped bass, to muskellunge, walleye, black crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, yellow perch, redbreast sunfish, and bluegill. 

With 41 parks dotting the landscape from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, there are endless opportunities in between to fish a Virginia State Park. VirginiaStateParks.gov

Cover photo: Seven Bends State Park

Places to Go, Things to See: