Fishing & Hunting
Mountain creeks and limestone aquifers supply cold water to the rivers, keeping headwaters welcoming for brown and rainbow trout. Native brook trout lure fishermen to the county's many small streams. Warmer waterways teem with small-mouth bass, carp, and musky.
Virginia Rivers to Fish
The 42-mile Maury River, which begins and ends in Rockbridge County, encapsulates this diversity. Stocked with brown and rainbow trout near Goshen Pass and home to native brookies, the Maury's wild headwaters are a popular - and challenging - spot for fly anglers. Downstream, warmer waters are loaded with small-mouth bass and plenty of carp. From Jordan's Point in Lexington, walk downstream along the river-hugging Chessie Trail and pick your fishing spot.
Fly anglers looking to brag should make their way to the mighty James River, a trophy fishery for small-mouth bass. Recently introduced, muskies have thrived in the James, and their naturally reproducing population is catching attention from regional fishing guides.
Trout also fatten up near the state-managed springs feeding Buffalo Creek. Trophy fish may reach 16-20'' in these fertile waterways. The springs keep Buffalo Creek cold – and good for fishing – year-round. Buffalo Creek flows through private land, so a free special landowner permit (in addition to a Virginia fishing license) is required.
For fly anglers looking for a home base, Rockbridge County is a convenient launch pad for marquee fisheries west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. To the northeast, Augusta County is home to Mossy Creek, a public-private partnership renowned for its trophy trout. The Jackson River tail waters below the Gathwright Dam north of Covington are cold year-round and famous for their abundant wild trout. John Robert's Flyfishing offers catch-and-release fly fishing tours as well as B&B rooms at the Llewellyn Lodge.
Trade your fly-fishing waders for a paddle and canoe at Lake Robertson where you can cast for largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. The Lexington reservoir is home to large brook trout.
Bear, wild turkey, grouse, and other small game roam the forests and mountain foothills that ring the county. Public hunting grounds include the George Washington National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, and the state's Goshen-Little North Mountain Unit. Information for the National Forests Lands is available by calling 540-291-2188 or 540-962-2214. Information on the state-managed land is available at 804-367-1000.
For licenses, permits, and access information, visit the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.