Another road fishing experience. The upside is that the South Fork of the Piney is probably among the prettier stretches of pocket water I’ve seen outside the ‘doah.
I drove over from the Pedlar; coming in from the southwest. In itself, this was a fun experience as the dirt roads were deeply rutted and required a four wheel drive. It did take situational alertness to hit all the turns, but between the map and the GPS, I did just fine… kind of hard to get lost with a GPS…
There is a bridge at the west end of this stretch that pretty much marks the start of the public water. I stopped seeing the posted signs after passing over this bridge and started looking for a place to wet a line. I did not have to wait long. This entire stretch is nice water – the flows were great the day I was there – so, it’s just a matter of deciding upstream or downstream and where to start.
Given the proximity of the road, my low expectations were met. I did not catch a thing, did not have a single hit, did not see a single fish. They are either very spooky (probable) or fished out (maybe). I am always suspicious of anything this easy to get into.
There are no obstacles at all. You park your truck, take 5 steps and you are at a nice pool. I worked the pools using both nymphs and dry flies with no success. Granted, any day on the water is a great day, but I eventually started to feel like I was wasting my time and decided to head back over and fish a different stretch of the Pedlar.
The fishable, public water is about a mile long and then you hit the posted signs again.
Getting There: Take 60 out of Buena Vista. Turn north on 778. Take that to 666 north and then north on 827. 827 turns into a forest service road that follows the stream.
As you can see from the gradient – this is steep but not stressful as you can walk on the road to get back to your truck.
Murray’s book – “Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams: A Fly-Fishing Guide” has good coverage of the Piney and nearby Shoe Creek.
He cautions that the best time to fish this water is in the spring as it can get fairly low in the summer.
Bottom Line: This is an overnight trip for me to get here. I’d rather spend that time going to a bigger, better stream. I’ll pass on this in the future.
Piney at the upper end (bridge)
Very, very pretty pools… unfortunately only a stone’s roll from the road
On the day I was there, the water was at a decent flow rate
View of a pool from the road
Some of the pools are decent size
Good opportunity for multiple types of attack methods – spinners, flies, streamers…
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore