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Trout Hike – Middle Rose River (VA)

Another great day on the Rose.  In the last article, we hiked in from Skyline Drive – a pretty steep 2 mile trip.  To see some new water, we drove to the Eastern entrance as shown on the map below and walked in on the Rose River Trail.

When we arrived at the trailhead, we saw 4 other cars and one of them was unloading 2 other fishermen.  Hmmm.  Maybe this section of the stream was to popular?  They headed out first while we were getting geared up.  Our plan was to walk in about a mile to the waypoint (CUT) on the map and then swing over to the stream and fish up as far as we could go.  As we walked in, we saw that the earlier set of fishermen had decided to take the easy route and dropped to the stream next to the trail about a 1/2 mile in.  They were the only other fishermen we saw all day – surprising for a Memorial Day weekend.  But then again, we were in for a brutal trout hunt as a result of some pretty rough terrain.

At the CUT, there is a small game trail – you can miss it if you walk too fast.  Follow that trail down to the stream.  It will go along the stream all the way up to the FALLS – but in many places, it is very hard to follow as it is not a maintained trail.

We started fishing on the stream next to the CUT and I was immediately impressed by the beauty of the river – and the tough climbing to follow the river upstream from plunge pool to plunge pool.  There were more tough stretches of the river than easy – so be prepared for hands and knees as well as using your upper body strength to pull around the tight spots.

Was the effort worth it?  You bet!  I caught about 20 – 30 nice trout; mostly in the 6″ – 8″ range with the pleasure of hooking into a monster by the Falls that had to have been 12″ or 13″.  Every pool produced at least one fish – some were good for two before they were spooked.  Working upstream and uphill, it was fairly easy to sneak up – all I did was approach from the downhill side no matter how rough it was, get within about 10 feet of the pool with only my upper chest showing above the grade and start casting.  Being so low on the horizon, I was definitely out of view of the fish and it sure did pay off!  I normally got a hit on the first few casts.

Getting there:

  • In MapQuest, navigate your way to Syria, VA.  Once there, just stay on 670.
  • 670 deadends at the trailhead and turns into the Rose River Trail.  There is space for about 8 cars.

Note – there was a family having alot of fun at the trailhead.  You can walk down to the stream there and swim/play in the stream.

This was the view that awaited me when we hit the river at about 0830 – a great omen for a super day of fishing.

Equipment: 

  • As usual, I used my Panther Martins  – the two old standby flavors – gold spinner with black body or silver spinner with yellow/red body – the trout did not make any distinction and hit both with equal relish. 
  • Right before I went on this trip, I switched all my line over to the VANISH brand and was not happy with the memory it had.  There were a number of times where it would uncurl off the reel – I tried reels where I had loaded it from the same spool rightside up and upside down with no difference.  This caused some amount of wasted time as I had to deal with birdsnests.  I put it on my bass gear as well.  I’ll withhold judgement until I see how it behaves over there.
  • Water!  The air temp was 90 or so.  Next to the water it was 75 – 80.  If you are going all day, take a day pack and load it up with plenty of water.
  • Wading Staff. This thing saved me from falling more times than I want to admit.  It’s not just for wading – it is very helpful as you scramble across the rocks.
  • The bugs are out!  Do not forget to bring insect repellant.

Don’t lose track of the time.  If you follow the stream up, you will have to climb back down until you get to the falls where you can pick up the game trail.  Leave yourself plenty of daylight to get back to your car.

We ran into two hikers all day.  One knew what he was doing and had been on the trail next to the stream before.  The other set was totally stunned by the trail.  In their guidebook it showed a more improved trail next to the river with the words ‘some bushwacking’ – well.. there was more than some involved!  They were grateful when I used my GPS to point them to fire road so they could walk back out to Skyline Drive. 

Example of the tough climb to go from pool to pool.  You have to climb over and through rocks like this.

But – there are sections that are pretty easy walking.  This type of terrain was above the falls until the “e” in Rose on the map above.

Another view looking upstream – pretty easy going on the right.

Typical Rose River trout.  One or two of these in every plunge pool

This is a picture of the falls.  Some fairly massive trout live in this deep water.  I tied into a big one here and panicked with excitement and lost him around the big rock you see sticking up.  Had to be 13″ at least.

Smaller waterfalls abound – all feeding a nice pool

Your blogger taking a break.

Looking downstream from the end of the easy area above the falls.  It gets really rough from here north.

Another scenic spot

Bob working the waterfall.  He was using dry flies, flies with glitter, big woolly things and other items – he had a great day as well.

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Articles on this site are out of date since some go back to 2006. Regulations and property ownership may have changed since publication. It is your responsibility to know and obey all regulations and not trespass on private property.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  I disclaim all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

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