Trout Hike – Smith River Trout Fishing (VA – Trenthill)

After spending all morning on the special regulation section above the 666 bridge, I decided to work my way downstream and hit every bridge crossing that supported any public parking. According to all the books and reports, the Smith River is good because of the cold water that slips out of the Philpott Dam. Given that, the entire stretch supports a population of brown trout that is augmented by the VDGIF stocking program.

Public parking at the Trenthill Bridge is plentiful.  To the north of the bridge, there is a broad concrete pad on the right that makes it easy.  Gear up, and you can follow the well-beaten, moderate gradient path next to the bridge to get to the river.  As I waded into the water, I noted that a member of the kitchen staff from the Italian Restaurant on the other side of the bridge was sitting on a rock doing a little fishing during his break.  Good to know that downstream must be a good choice, but I did not want to disrupt his hole by sloshing downstream, so I pointed my rod upstream.

Unlike the flat part of the Smith that marks the beginning of the special regulation area, there are plenty of rocks here.  The water breaks over the boulders with energy, spitting small sprays into the air to add to the scene’s drama.  The river is reasonably wide – maybe 40 feet with a rocky bottom – small rocks.  Given the current and the generally shallow water in front of me, I decided to stick to dry flies and started lobbing them at the various seams I could identify around the rocks.

Within a few flips, I was rewarded with energetic slurps.  After my bad luck on the upper section, I was unprepared to react properly, so I took my standard New Fly Guy immediate action – a rapid hookset that missed the mark.  At some point in my fly fishing career, I hope that I can automatically execute the perfect, calm hookset that allows that carefully measured second for the trout to suck the fly all the way in and close his mouth to test his decision.

I waded upstream, fishing the rocks.  The action was consistent, but I failed to close the deal.  I fished this area for about an hour and then decided I had to move downstream to the next bridge crossing.

Smith River Trout Fishing Bottom Line: Worth coming back to.  In addition to the visible action I experienced, the bridge supports easy access for stocking activity.   There is an active factory on the east side of the bridge that limits the “trout experience”, but if you are catching fish, who cares.  The special regulation section starts about ¼ mile upstream from this spot, so another approach is to start at the 666 bridge and work your way down to this spot.  You can climb out and walk back on the road to your truck – cutting the corner of the river.

Getting There: Follow Route 57 into Bassett.  Turn right on Trenthill.  Go across the bridge and park on the right.

Google Local Coordinates: 36.766237,-80.000961

Secrets Revealed?  No.  This 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

Downstream from the bridge

Upstream from 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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