Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Douthat State Park
There are many fishing festivals that occur in spring in Virginia. It is a high season for fishing, be it for trout, bass, or something else yet. You already know about the fly fishing film tour, but you may not have realized that there have been Trout Unlimited fishing shows occurring in their respective chapters. Beyond that, there is a “Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival” on April 20th & 21st in Waynesboro: http://vaflyfishingfestival.org/
Tickets are $20, and include wine tastings for those over 21. Hopefully that’s not the only thing that gets you excited. Speakers such as Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser will be there. Most talks / activities start at 10 (including a talk entitled “Fly Fishing for Beginners” ): http://vaflyfishingfestival.org/Schedule/saturday.html
I see talks from 10am to 4pm that I’d like to go to, and I’m sure everyone will find something that interests them.
But after listening to all aspects of fishing, are we to just go home to Charlottesville? No, that’d be silly, we need to go fish!
Let’s then drive to Douthat State Park, camp the night, and fish on Sunday. Douthat State Park is a fee fishing area: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/fishing/trout/fee-fishing-areas/, so it will require a regular statewide freshwater fishing license and a day use fee ($23 + $9). The lake and 4 miles of Wilson Creek are covered by this Fee Fishing Area, and most of the 4 miles are downstream of the dam. I find fly fishing much better suited for the stream, so it is my intention to fish the stream, but people can fish where they choose. (Although, there is a short stretch below the dam that is kids only).
The intention of the fee fishing area is that the area is heavily stocked, so the chance of catching trout should be reasonable. Of course, catch-and-release is permissible, but I expect there will be some who will want to keep their fish, and we can plan on doing so.
Is that all? Well, we could fairly easily tack on a view of the Falling Springs Falls:
http://www.covington.va.us/images/falls.jpg It is located 40 minutes away from the campground, but could be viewed either before our arrival to the campground (Saturday), or when we are done fishing on Sunday.
When all said and done, this trip will cost $52, unless you already have a valid freshwater fishing license (then it’s $29 ). Additionally, this is not an introductory trip in itself – you must have some prior experience, even if it is only one of my “introduction to fly fishing” trips. Due to all constraints involved (primarily gear), I will limit the number of attendees to 4, but may adjust as necessary. All attendees are waitlisted to start.
> State freshwater fishing license + fee license
>> buy at: http://secure01.virginiainteractive.org/horf/
> Polarized sunglasses
> Fishing gear (+waders) if you have it
> Sandals if you are ok with chilly water.
> A camera
> Camping gear if you have it
> Water bottle(s), snacks
> $$ for lunch Saturday, and dinner Sunday (or pack your own meals)
> Vest or day-pack.
> A ride
> Camping fees + some food $ for Saturday night, Sunday Breakfast, Sunday Lunch.
> Camping gear
> Fishing gear if you need it:
>> 3 sets of rods
>> 2 waders (men’s size 9 and 10)
A word on licenses:
You may wish to look through the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries’ website to decide what license(s) you want. You will need a statewide freshwater license. Other fishing licenses that could be useful are: stocked trout license and national forest permit.
For regulations on fishing: