It is a crying shame that the Pedlar River, below the Lynchburg reservoir, is not a trophy trout fishery in its own right. The problem is that it is not a tailwater. All of the water that flows in this section of the river spills across the top of the dam; making trout survival in the heat of summer problematic. According to Hart in his book, Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia, there may be a few hardy survivors the cower in the deep pools and channels that exist in the river below the reservoir, but probably not too many.
That said, with the trout season approaching in a few short months and the resumption of the stocking, this is a location you should put on your radar. Unlike the other three areas I described in my earlier commentary on the delayed harvest section of the Pedlar, this spot is easy to access. In fact, it’s probably too easy for most people. It is literally just off the road.
As you drive south from the reservoir to reach the delayed harvest area, the road swings into view of the bridge that stretches across a river. In addition to being a popular campsite, this is the ideal place to cross the river to fish both upstream to the reservoir as well is downstream into the start of the delayed harvest area. The picture tells the story here. You can see the numerous boulders and rocks underneath the clear surface of the water that all hold the insects and forage that would make a trout happy. Therefore, once the stockers are dumped in here, they tend to last until the heat ends their life unless they can find that spring seep or cool, deep hole.
It’s not worth fishing upstream from the northern end of the delayed harvest area since you can access that water much easier from here. Each of the three delayed harvest access points involve a fairly steep hike from the parking area down to the river’s edge. For those who cannot handle a 400 foot vertical drop in a short period of time, this is the perfect place south of the reservoir to access the river. The other access places on the Pedlar that do not require a tough, hard walk are those above the reservoir.
Bottom line: Just a short post to point out one last access point you should keep in mind, depending on your physical capabilities, if you decide to fish the Pedlar this fall.
Date Fished: 4/6/2010
Getting There: Follow Route 60 from Lexington over the mountains and into the valley. Turn right on Panther Falls Road. It will turn into FR 315 (do not turn off to Panther Falls). It will turn into Reservoir Road towards the dam. Stay on Reservoir until you see the bridge across the river.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia
Virginia Trout Streams
Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams
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Downstream from the bridge – note the road on the right that leads to the delayed harvest area and the easy walking on the left bank.
Upstream from the bridge
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore