I wish I had spent as much time studying my textbooks as I have studying David Hart’s exceptional book — Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia. I was looking for additional disclosed brookie water to investigate on the east slope of the Blue Ridge and stumbled across a reference to Bucks Hollow. It’s an offshoot of the Thornton river just west of Sperryville. After an unsuccessful attempt to find the Piney (tricky access – I know where it is now), Lon and I decided to make a detour over and see what Bucks had to offer. After struggling a bit to find the parking area, we rigged up and walked up the wide trail that led directly to the Thornton River and, a few yards later, intersected Bucks Hollow.
There wasn’t much to look at at the confluence with the Thornton, so we continued up the improved trail to see what would develop. On many small streams, you don’t really know what will happen farther up — there may be plenty of plunge pools and other structure that mitigates the lack of volume. The trail crosses the creek intermittently and did not look good at the crossings. We began to scratch our heads as we wondered whether it would be worth fishing. As you can see from the pictures, it is very skinny water.
At most, the stream bed is 5 feet across, uniformly shallow without significant pooling. Concerned that we had missed good spots by staying on the trail, we walked up the stream bed to see what would happen. Short answer. Nothing. Failing to see anything interesting, we jumped back on the trail to move a good distance farther up to see if the character of the stream changed with a gain in elevation. Sadly, it did not. After walking in for 3/4 mile, we looked at each other and realized that this was a fools errand. Since we were here to fish, not hike, we beat feet back to the truck to move to a better location.
Bottom Line: This place is not worth the trip. I’m sure there are trout here, but I doubt there is anything larger than a few inches. There may be larger pools farther upstream, but we decided it wasn’t worth the energy to try and discover them.
Getting There: Head west from Sperryville on US 211. Approximately 0.6 miles after crossing into the Park, you will see a turnoff on the left side of the road. Be alert or you will miss it. Park there and follow the trail to the river.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.65831, -78.28199
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia
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Date Fished: 5/28/2010
Typical pool – very shallow
Downstream from where we turned
Looking upstream from where we turned around
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore