I wanted to visit Sherando Lake and I took advantage of the fact that Back Creek was on the way. It had been stocked two weeks prior to my arrival, so I was optimistic that there would be some decent fish still finning in the chill water rolling off the west slope of the Blue Ridge in early April. The first thing you notice as you drive south after passing through the town of Sherando is the densely packed rural community that lines both the road and the creek. In fact, you have to pay close attention to the “stocked water” signs to determine where the public fishing starts. After backtracking once or twice, I concluded that it started at the first turn off associated with the GPS coordinates below.
It is a fairly large area and will hold 2 to 3 vehicles if parked head to tail. The river, in this particular location, is reasonably wide 30 feet or more and features a perfect rocky bottom for trout. In fact, there’s good boulder structure hidden under the water that provides good holding areas in addition to creating a clear boundary for the several deeper cuts than run parallel to the flow. The steep bank requires caution as you skinny your way down into the creek. If you could ignore the road noise that buzzes constantly in your ear, this might not be a bad place. But, the bottom line is that it is road fishing at its worst. The pressure on this creek has to be staggering given these facts:
- The proximity to the road
- The scarcity of turnoffs
Both of these conspire to funnel the stocking truck into a small number of locations that also focus the attention of the numerous local anglers. I fished upstream approximately 200 yards from the first parking area and, although I didn’t catch any trout, there were plenty of chubs anxious to chomp on the dry fly I was floating in the flow. When I tired of catching chubs, I climbed back into the truck and trundled down to the next access point. This one was even worse than the first. The road is so close to the creek at this particular spot that you could stand with a foot on the road and a foot in the water. After parking across the street in the VDOT.easement that borders the road, I dodged traffic and approached the creek.
The spot was markedly different than downstream. Whereas downstream was a run over a rocky bottom, this was a deep, still pool that ranged up to 5 feet deep. Several clusters of thick trees lined the bank and created an obstacle that made this particular spot problematic to attack with fly gear. The better approach would be to use a spin rod, hold onto a tree, and lean out to flip a lure either up or downstream. After realizing I had the wrong equipment, I gave it another quick glance and then climbed back into the truck. My next stop was the bridge that led into Sherando Lake. At this point, I did not want to expend any more energy in what I believed was a waste of time so I just took a look at the water from the bridge.
The water both up and downstream from the bridge looked shallow but acceptable and mimicked the perspective of the first parking area. The stream bed had a rocky bottom that was covered with a thick coat of Spring algae. I forgot to mention that that was also a feature of the first location. The algae defeats anyone who intends to use nymphs as they would immediately dredge up a thick glob of green goo. Stick with dry flies.
Bottom Line: Not a place I would choose to visit, but it’s probably decent enough when it has been recently stocked and you happen to be driving by anyway.
Getting There: From I-64, take the S Delphine Ave (Rt 624) exit and head south. Continue onto Lyndhurst Station Road making a slight left onto Mt Torrey road (Rt 664). Follow this road until it crosses the creek. There is a large turnoff on the right at the first possible fishing spot.
Google Local Coordinates: 37.937733,-78.970199
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the Virginia VDGIF stocking plan
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Date Fished: 4/5/2010
Upstream from first pull off
Downstream from first pull off
Upstream – 2nd pull off
Downstream – 2nd pull off
Upstream – bridge entering Sherando
Downstream- bridge entering Sherando
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore