A Call to Fish To Your Heart’s Content According to our calendar, Saturday, September 23 is National Hunting and Fishing Day...

10:30AM October 16, 2018
Written by Pam Vance

You know what that means around our corner of the world? A reason (in case you need one) to go fishing! And there’s plenty of fishing holes to satisfy your angler itch in the Heart of Appalachia! Among the pristine waters of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll find an impressive variety of fish against stunning scenic backdrops for your angling adventure.


The Clinch River is a biodiversity hotspot offering excellent fishing opportunities for native gamefish. You’ll find smallmouth bass, spotted bass, walleye, and sauger. Whether you kayak, wade or cast your line from the banks of the Clinch, the big one is waiting for you.

The North Fork of the Holston River is an excellent choice for smallmouth bass downstream to the Tennessee state line. There’s a 20” minimum size limit in effect for smallmouth in the North Fork and there’s an abundance of trophy sized fish to be caught.

The Powell River has limited public access but with landowner permission, there’s a variety of good fishing opportunities including smallmouth bass and sunfish. This river flows about 80 miles from the headwaters in Wise County to the Tennessee state line.

The Russell Fork River offers great fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass and is included in the State’s put-and-take trout stocking program. And the river winds its way through Breaks Interstate Park as a bonus for any outdoorsman or woman. Trout is stocked 3-8 times per year here.

Public Fishing Lakes

You can’t go wrong fishing Flannagan Dam & Reservoir. The largest in southwestern Virginia, Flannagan covers 1143 acres and offers 50 miles of gorgeous shoreline. Flannagan is home to many varieties of sportfish and holds several state record catches.

Pound Reservoir is amid the Jefferson National Forest and is an excellent bass fishery. This 154 acre lake boasts 13.5 miles of wooded shoreline and also offers a variety of other sportfish.

You’ll find excellent sunfish and bass fishing at Keokee Lake. This 92 acre impoundment is surrounded by National Forest land and unsurpassed tranquility as you cast your line.

Bark Camp Lake is DGIF-owned and is surrounded by forest lands. Bass, sunfish and catfish opportunities abound and is also included in the state’s put-and-take trout stocking program.

Lake Witten is the choice for largemouth bass. Included in the state’s put-and-take trout stocking program, this 52 acre lake is an oasis unrivaled.

Little Stony FallsTrout Streams

Perhaps our best kept secret, trout streams abound throughout the region. If you’re looking for waterfalls, consider Little Stony Creek. These special reg catch and release waters are a beautiful hike-in scenic treasure so you might want to bring your camera with you as well!

Big Stony/Mountain Fork is a special reg catch and release brook trout stream hidden within the Jefferson National Forest. This hike-in stream part of the Chief Benge Scout Trail so you’re likely in for some excellent wildlife viewing on your trek.

Roaring Fork is a remote special reg catch and release book trout waters located in the Beartown Wilderness. It’s also a hike-in journey to the big catch.

Little Tumbling Creek is a special reg wild brook trout fishery located within the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area. It’s also a hike-in to the headwaters via DGIF access road.

Dismal Creek is 7.5 miles of put-and-take trout waters accessible by a scenic drive along Dismal River Road to access the entire stream.

So… how do you get to all these great spots, you ask??? We’ve got you covered! Give us a call at 276-762-0011 or send us a request here for your very own copy of our FISH TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT map of all these and more fishing spots throughout the Heart of all things fun… the Heart of Appalachia! The map brochure was a labor of love developed with help from our friends at DGIF, Trout Unlimited and the artisan/manufacturer of Wynn Cane fly fishing rods. Get your map while supplies last!

Outfitters and Supplies

Big Bore Outfitters 412 Clinton Avenue, Big Stone Gap 276-523-4867

Clinch Life Outfitters 3022 5th Avenue, St. Paul 276-608-6907

Flannagan Marina & Powersports  598 Marina Cove, Clintwood  276-835-8408

Mefcor Outdoors 110 Prospect Road, North Tazewell 276-322-4695

Pathfinders Outdoor Adventure & Outfitter 534 Park Avenue, Norton 276-679-2629

Wally’s Sporting Goods 1376 Wadlow Gap Hwy., Gate City 276-225-0000

For more information on obtaining a fishing license or more details on excellent fishing opportunities in the Heart of Appalachia region, visit the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website at http://www.HuntFishVA.com.

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