As a fan of the Mossy Creek fishing report I became interested in Beaver Creek. Beaver Creek is a unique partnership between the riparian landowners and Trout Unlimited. It is a spring fed creek that is fishable year-round. The TU chapter keeps it stocked with good sized fish to augment the natural reproduction that occurs in the chilly water. The typical fish, to include wild rainbow and brook trout, run from 6 to 15 inches.
The trick is that only 4 anglers are allowed onto this water each day and it shuts down on Sundays. You have to go to the Ottobine Country Store at the crack of dawn to purchase a pass for the remarkable bargain price of five dollars.
I finally had the opportunity to visit when I was doing my recon of the west slope of the Blue Ridge whose disappointment has been well documented in my postings over the last several weeks. I followed the good directions available from the Mossy Creek website to show up at the country store at the crack of dawn. When I called to find out what time they opened and whether they had breakfast and coffee, the lady told me to be there early because the passes go quickly. Therefore, I was there a little bit after 6 AM, picked up my pass and headed down to the creek after munching one of their breakfast sandwiches washed down with good, hot coffee. There are two places you can access the creek. One is from the store itself and the other is to go park at the elementary school and walk to the creek from there. Since I was at the store, I decided to get to the creek from that location. The proprietor told me that if I walked down to the bridge, the Trout Unlimited area stretched to the south – heading downstream – as well as upstream to the school.
Before I get into the description, I need to caveat what I’m about to say. The section breaks into three unique areas. Downstream, the middle section, and then working upstream from the elementary school. To sum up all three, this is great water. On the particular day I was here, late in a summer drought, I did not enjoy the optimum conditions. Therefore, take the discussion of the downstream section that follows with a huge grain of salt since I had great luck in the middle section that has more water.
I slid down the steep bank from the road on the left-hand side of the bridge and was immediately disappointed with the quality of the late summer water. My assumption had been that since this was spring fed, the flow should be pretty robust all year around. Instead, all I saw was the murky, slack water full of silt washed down from the farms upstream.
It’s one of those things that when you’re here you may as well go ahead and fish. I started to fish downstream and immediately began picking up as many fallfish as I cared to catch floating a size 14 grasshopper across the top of the murky water. I only encountered a few pools on my walk downstream and none of those produced any trout. The farther downstream I walked, the skinnier and skinnier the water became. Since I was not picking up any trout, my assumption was that they must be holding in deeper water elsewhere. In addition, I was starting to become nervous that I might be moving from the managed section onto private property. There is a sign posted under the bridge with arrows pointing in both directions to mark that this is the managed water. I expected to see a sign with a similar arrow pointing upstream marking the downstream boundary. Either I did not go far enough downstream to see that or, it was not obvious and I missed.
Since the water became skinnier and skinnier the farther downstream I went and, failing to catch the trout, I gave up and headed back to the bridge to see what upstream would be like.
Bottom Line: I know from reading reports and talking to other people, this is a great spot to fish. I was just here on a bad day.
Getting There: From I-81, take exit 243 onto US 11 west. Turn left at S Main Street and follow it for 0.7 miles to turn right on Corporate Dr. Turn right on VA 701 (Pike Church Road) followed by a left on Mosby Road to stay on VA 701. Turn left on VA 42S followed by a right on Mason Street. Mason is VA 257 and turns into Ottobine Road. Follow it to the intersection with VA 613. The Ottobine Country Store is on the right.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia and the Mossy Creek website
Tell a friend about this article by clicking on this link
Date Fished: 9/14/2010
Catch and release, FFO
Looking upstream to the bridge
Plenty of trees make casting difficult
Silty, murky pool
Water gets skinny farther downstream
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore