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Fishing in Southwest Virginia is has a rich history. Fishing has always been a very important part of Southwest Virginia’s culture. Although fishing today has a different purpose, the beautiful scenery surrounding Damascus, Virginia has countless fishing destinations to lure any fisherman. No matter if you are a young rookie fisherman or aged expert, Southwest Virginia has the best locations to cast your lines and have an unbeatable fishing experience.
Small Stream Fly Fishing:
The Whitetop Laurel Creek ranks as one of the best natural freestone wild trout streams in the Eastern US. The creek offers backcountry adventures just minutes from Damascus. The Whitetop Laurel Creek begins as two tiny feeder streams near Whitetop Mountain. Whitetop (5,520 feet) is the second highest mountain in Virginia and was formerly known as “Meadow” because of the prominent bald field near its peak. The extensive winter snows in that open field encouraged the change of its name to Whitetop Mountain. Whitetop has the highest navigable road to its summit, which provides a panoramic view of three states (Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina).
One important wild trout tributary, Beaverdam Creek, joins Whitetop Laurel Creek at the Damascus Old Mill. Beaverdam Creek rivals larger creeks especially for wild brown trout. Annual surveys list Beaverdam Creek’s brown trouts as the largest in the tri-state area.
Read more about fishing the Whitetop Laurel Creek at:
Watauga, South Holston Lake, and Tailwater Fishing:
The Great Valley, also known as the Great Appalachian Valley, is the central feature of the Appalachian Mountain system, and is also a major part of Washington County and Damascus, Virginia. The combination of elevation and water springs provided waterpower for milling grains and for sawing lumber from extensive acreage of standing forest.
Tailwater fishing refers to waters immediately downstream from a dam. The South Holston tailwaters extend over 10 miles between Boone Reservoir and South Holston Dam. The unique ability of the South Holston to support substantial reproduction, particularly by brown trout, led Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to emphasize management for wild fish. Put-and-take and put-and-grow trout with catchable rainbow trout continue with around 92,000 rainbow trout reportedly stocked annually. Marion Trout Hatchery in Marion, VA (less than 30 minutes from Damascus) is the oldest of the trout culture facilities in Virginia, with thousands of trout spawned, hatched, and reared each year.