Fishing in the Alleghany Highlands
Year round in the Alleghany Highlands, the fly fisher can find wild reproducing trout, state stocked trout, trophy stocked trout on private waters, smallmouth and largemouth bass, native brookies, muskies, panfish and perch caught in our lakes, rivers, and streams. The opportunities here are quite diverse, and you can be assured that there are more trout than humans in these mountains. The area offers small outfitters, shuttle service and private water, and you will find that these businesses will go the extra mile because your business really does matter to them and the area.
The Jackson River offers a premier fly fishing experience. The access points are easy to find and well spaced. There are also many native brook trout streams in the areas that are accessed through the abundant National Forest in the Alleghany Highlands. Some 50 percent of the land in the Alleghany Highlands is within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
One can pursue trophy trout in the private waters available at the Escatawba Farm section of Dunlap Creek. Escatawba Farm has the most productive waters on the creek with its numerous springs that guarantee cold, clear water for outstanding fly fishing. The proprietors limit the fishing to eight rods per day, so you are promised weekend solitude, something hard to find on Virginia’s trout waters during the spring.
There are two lakes in the area that offer diverse fishing. Lake Moomaw is the result of Gathright Dam which creates great fishing for trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch and panfish. The 2530 acre lake offers all anglers, fly fishers and gear folks these opportunities around the lake’s more than 40 miles of shoreline. There are marinas, campgrounds and primitive camping sites on the lake.
Douthat State Park offers many opportunities as well. The lake and stream are stocked with trout during the spring and fall with bass and panfish opportunities throughout the summer. Douthat State Park is a destination in its own right, with some of the best mountain biking trails anywhere, along with great hiking trails. The family oriented activities such as Critter Crawls, Moonlight Canoe Trips and Kayaking 101— an Introduction to Recreational Kayaking — are offered in season.
The accommodations in the Alleghany Highlands are diverse from chain motels to inns, B&B’s, cabins, campgrounds, and luxury resorts like the historic Homestead. Both Covington and Clifton Forge offer the non-angler many opportunities to eat, shop and visit interesting historic and cultural venues such as the Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center and the C&O Railroad Heritage Center. The Jackson River Scenic Trail runs adjacent to the Jackson River where hiking and mountain biking are popular. Outdoor opportunities such as golf, caving, rock climbing, recreational kayaking, mountain biking and hiking abound throughout the Alleghany Highlands.
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