Trout Hike – Smith River Trout Fishing (VA – Field Ave Bridge)

Even though I did not catch any fish on this section of the Smith River, I’m not sure there is any bad section in this great tailwater. After starting the day in the special regulation area above the 666 bridge, I had spent the rest of the afternoon working my way downstream; parking at the various bridge crossings and seeing what was there. This crossing would be my last stop of the day.

There’s a small parking area off to the right (west) of this bridge crossing, which provides easy access and convenient parking. I walked down the smooth embankment and easily stepped into the river below the bridge. As is my custom, I immediately turned and began to fish my way upstream. Initially, the river was about thigh deep, and I could easily wade in its center. However, the farther upstream I went, the deeper it became. I was eventually closed out due to the increasing depth and had to leave the river.

Since it was deep, I relied on streamer patterns for my fishing here. Nothing was moving on the October afternoon when I visited. Since I was closed out moving upstream, I returned to my entry point and headed downstream. Here, the river was much shallower—knee-high—and made for even easier wading and movement. I fished downstream for 100 yards or so, focusing on the spot where a small creek joined the river from the west. I did not catch anything—nada.

I certainly do not hold that against the Smith River but, rather, attributed it to the time of day, time of year, and lack of skill. There was clear evidence of other fishermen around – although not the normal empty bait boxes and other trash. Instead, some random footprints hinted at the visit of fishermen earlier in the day. Assuming these individuals were not visitors like me, I believe that this is an indication that this section of the river can be productive.

The river bottom in this area is mostly sand turning to gravel in the downstream riffled area. The banks are steep as you move upstream and are protected by thick undergrowth. I had to look hard for a place to exit the river once I was closed out. Downstream, the high banks continue and once you are in the river, you pretty much stay there.

Smith River Trout Fishing Bottom line: If you read all my reports so far on the Smith River, the common thing that will jump out is that I did not really do very well on my day here. I caught a few fish, but not a lot. That does not mean that this is not a great place to go. There is too much documentation and to many associated pictures you can look at of grinning fishermen holding trophies to conclude that the Smith River is a place to ignore. I look forward to my next opportunity to drive down and test my skill again.

Getting There: Follow 57 north into Bassett, VA.  Turn left onto Field Avenue near Fielddale.  Cross the bridge and park.

Google Local Coordinates: 36.700924,-79.933219

Secrets Revealed?  No.  The Smith River is a very public location that is documented in the following places:

Virginia VDGIF
Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia 
Virginia Trout Streams 
Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams 

Date Fished: 10/3/2008

Upstream from where I was closed out

Looking downstream to the Field Ave bridge

Riffled area downstream

Looking upstream back to the bridge

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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