Adventure Ready Activities
Hunting & Fishing
There are several nice lakes, streams and rivers with lovely scenery to fish in the area. Many of the cold, pristine headwater streams in the mountains contain the native Brook Trout, one of nature's most beautiful fish. The creeks and rivers listed below are Designated Trout Waters requiring a special trout stamp in addition to a fishing license during the period Oct. 1 through June 15. A trout license is not required in these waters June 16 through September 30. All persons required to have a license (except holders of senior citizen license) are required to have National Forest Permit when fishing on National Forest Lands.
Irish Creek – Stocked 5 times Oct - May
South River – Stocked 5 times Oct - May
Mill Creek – Stocked 9 times Oct - May
Maury River – Stocked 9 times Oct - May
Special Regulation Trout
Buffalo Creek – Includes two nice spring-fed sections of Buffalo Creek managed by the state of Virginia. The fertile springs feeding this scenic stream make for some healthy and colorful Rainbow, Brown, and occasional Brook trout with impressive growth rates of 1/2" per month. Occasionally, trophy trout over 16-20" are taken. Only single-hook artificial lures may be used in this area. A free special land owner permit (in addition to a Virginia fishing license) is needed to fish this water and is available online at the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or by mail from the VDGIF regional office in Verona, P.O. Box 996, Verona, VA 24482 (include a self-addressed stamped envelope).
The first fishing section along Buffalo Creek is found near the Effinger district of Rockbridge County, about 7 miles southwest of Lexington via Collierstown Road (State Route 251). From Lexington: follow U.S. Rt. 11 South to Rt. 251 (Link Rd./Thornhill Rd./Collierstown Rd.). Continue about 7 miles on Rt. 251 (note that, just past the sign for Murat and the bridge over Buffalo Creek, you will need to make a right turn to stay on Rt. 251/Collierstown Rd.). Just before the Effinger Volunteer Fire Department, turn left on Rt. 612 (Blue Grass Trail). Proceed about 1/4 mile and look for the large brown Special Regulation VDGIF sign on your left. The fishing area extends upstream to the Jerry Hines Memorial Bridge.
The second Buffalo Creek fishing section is at the confluence of North and South Buffalo Creek branches. To locate this area, starting from the first section above: proceed southwest on Blue Grass Trail (Route 612) about 1.5 miles to the intersection of Route 611 (South Buffalo Road) and look for another large brown VDGIF sign. This area extends downstream for almost a mile. Please respect all landowner private property.
Lakes and Rivers: Bass, Catfish, Pan Fish
Lake Robertson – A 31-acre picturesque fishing lake offering excellent largemouth bass fishing annually producing a few 10 pound plus lunkers. The bluegill and redear sunfish fishing is some of the best around. Channel cats are also found here. Facilities include a boat ramp, boat rental, electric motors, bait tackle, food and beverages. From Lexington follow Rt. 11 South to Rt. 251. Pick up ''logo'' markers to lake and turn right on County 770 (Turnpike Road) to main entrance.
The Maury and James Rivers – Excellent smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. There are several float trip possibilities and there are unimproved boat landings on the Maury at Jordan's Point, Glen Maury Park, Alone Mill, Rockbridge Baths, and Ben Salem Wayside. The James also offers largemouth and spotted bass as well as channel catfish, flat-head catfish, and various other sunfish species. Canoeing is the best way to access the wider James; maps showing access points are available from the VDGIF - 804-367-1000, or see "Boating" section(p.8) for river access points.
Private Fee Fishing Areas
Ashland Trout Pond – Open Feb-June, Saturday & Sunday only - 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Offers young and old anglers alike a chance to catch and keep some nice Rainbow trout for the frying pan. Fish are priced by the pound. 540-463-4598. Follow Rt. 251 South from Lexington straight onto Rt. 677 (Kygers Hill Road). Continue straight to Rt. 612 (Blue Grass Trail). Follow 5 miles to pond. Seasonal hours, weather permitting. Please call ahead to confirm pond is open for fishing.
John Roberts Fly Fishing Adventures
Offering instruction & guided trout fishing trips.
Our area offers many opportunities to hunt deer, bear, wild turkey, grouse, and other small game. Public lands 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's unit is available at 804-367-1000.
Licenses are available from various license agents in the county. Check with them and review the latest Virginia Fishing Regulations to make sure you are properly licensed before going to the local waters. Questions may be directed to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 804-367-1000. You may check stocking schedules for daily updates at 804-525-3474 during the stocking season.