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

4:34AM April 20, 2019
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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