On the way back up to the trailhead at the end of our day on the Rose River off of skyline drive, Patrick and I set aside an hour to investigate the possibilities that Hogcamp branch had to offer.
As we stumbled our way down the narrow, slippery trail in the damp of the morning, we couldn’t help but notice the sparkling water spilling over the tiny, pristine waterfalls of Hogcamp branch. I knew from a previous visit that this trail was heavily traveled by hikers who enjoy the Rose River Loop. Did that mean that Hogcamp would be heavily fished?
The answer is no. While the Hogcamp is a typical beautiful mountain stream, it runs exceptionally shallow except in a few places where water collects at the base of a small falls. Those pools run a foot deep with two feet being the exception. There are one or two deeper spots; I am sure they attract the attention of the few anglers who happened to stroll by. That said, it was still fun to sneak up on the tiny, wary trout that make those small pools of their home!
Dropping down to size 18 or 20 dry flies and floating those in the well defined current seams produced by the quickly moving water, we both had plenty of hits and I actually caught a trout or two — minuscule though they were — that made the event a worthwhile. Perhaps the best reason to fish the Hogcamp is that it gives you an excuse to pause on your brutal trek back from the Rose River.
The only reason to walk by the stream is to get to the Rose. If you decide you want to spend the entire day fishing the Hogcamp, you probably will not be happy with your decision. With a bit more exertion, you can find yourself on the Rose that joins the Hogcamp just downstream.
Bottom Line: Pass on the Hogcamp and go directly to the Rose
Getting There: Once you are on the Blue Ridge Parkway, drive to the Big Meadows Visitor Center. The parking area and trailhead for Hogcamp Branch / Dark Hollow Follows is just north of the visitor complex. The trail starts at the west end of the parking area.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.519463,-78.430946
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia.
Date Fished: 11/15/2009
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Scenic… but not fishable
Good water is a few steps from the path
Patrick working a pool
The deeper spots held small trout
With a view like this at the end of the day…. you have to love the Blue Ridge!
Click here for a short video of Patrick working a small pool
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore