I was the first guy to roll into Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro on November 6. This was a day or two after stocking and I intended to also visit the delayed harvest area based on a recommendation from Mossy Creek fly fishing. Since I had the entire day to focus on Waynesboro, I decided to check out all of the venues available.
Ridgeview Park is…. a park. In addition to the fields and picnic tables, it also features a decent stretch of the South River. The river takes a straight run through the park with no twists and turns to make construction of the improved banks challenging. In the eastern end of the park, the river bumps against a well constructed stone bank which allows fishermen access to the river without even getting their feet muddy or wet. West of the bridge that is the landmark that anchors the park, the river becomes deeper and more obstructed on the banks.
There’s a thick band of vegetation west of the bridge that limits access. In addition, the river is deep next to the bank here which makes wading challenging. As you can see from the pictures, the river is exceptionally wide; giving plenty of room to roam for whatever fish are here. My assumption is that this venue gets a significant portion of all of the stocked fish destined for the South River given its easy access and ability to serve more people. After all, you do not need to wade or break through brush to get access to this stretch of water.
I did not give this much time — and only spent an hour here before moving on to the delayed harvest area. But it was enough to convince me that this is not worth a return and unless you are bringing your family for a day that merely included fishing rather than fishing being the purpose of the trip. I did not catch anything here, but I really didn’t try very hard either. I waded up the middle on the east end of the bridge, flipping streamers and a few dry fly patterns at the likely looking spots.
I chatted with another fisherman who showed up about half an hour after I arrived and he said that most of fish had already been cleaned out since stocking was a few days ago. He was hopeful to catch any holdovers that were still here. After that conversation, I moved west of the bridge where I discovered that it was just too deep to wade. The thick brush blocked effective backcasts and my rollcast does not go very far yet, so I decided to move on.
Bottom line: A good place for a family picnic, a bad place for a dedicated fishermen. East of the bridge is actually a good place to teach someone how to fish. The easy access and broad, unobstructed river were provide the perfect spot to teach fly fishing. In fact, I believe this is the venue for the big Waynesboro fishing show that occurs every summer and includes on-site instruction.
Getting There: Take exit 94 off of I64 towards Waynesboro. Turn right on 13th Street followed by a right on South Magnolia. Follow it to the park.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.064987,-78.907156
Date Fished: 11/6/2008
Downstream from the middle of the park
Upstream from the middle of the park
Downstream from western end point
Back to bridge from western end point
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore