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Thornton River (VA – Main)

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In his book, Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia, David Hart points to the Thornton River as a decent size stream that is heavily pressured since it parallels US 211 out of Sperryville

It’s a short walk to the water from the turnoff… that’s the good news.  The bad news is that dense foliage packs both shorelines and reaches over the narrow streambed making it difficult to cast. The pools ranged up to 2 to 3 feet deep, but they are always protected by overhanging branches.

I walked upstream, testing the water with a Mr. Rapidan, and was pleased to see a positive reaction from the trout. Unfortunately, it was only the little, snapping ones that were interested. Given the closeness of the road, you wonder if thier big brothers still live here or whether they have all been taken out by the pressure Hart mentions.

The stream bed is classic Blue Ridge. It’s full of rocks with small sand beds spread in different spots and, of course, the requisite pools at the places you would expect them. Unfortunately, for someone with my skill level, it was borderline unfishable. After fishing upstream for 4/10 mile, I gave up and headed back to the truck.

Bottom Line: Not worth it. With so much other good water close by you should skip this one. Granted… this river is longer than the 4/10 mile I saw – so my conclusion is based on a very small view.  But… this is the first place you can get at it inside the park and the map shows that the river becomes an intermittent stream a bit farther west… so I think this is a fair view.

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:

Virginia VDGIF
Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia 

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Date Fished: 5/28/2010

Upstream from 1st crossing

Good pools, tight overhanging brush

Downstream back towards the crossing

Farther up… tighter

River narrows and less water

But… there are a few good pools

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

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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