On the way back from fishing the Dry River, we were cruising north on I81 when the sign for the Edinburg exit popped up. Someone in the car mentioned that Edinburg was where Harry Murray hung out in his fly shop and then someone else commented that that’s where Stony Creek was stocked as well. Given the combination of those two items, we decided to pull off and go check out the fly shop and then go look at Stony Creek; maybe even fling a fly or two.
This late on a Saturday (around 1630), the fly shop guys were doing the only logical thing — they were gone and hopefully they were fishing. That left us without Harry’s advice on picking the appropriate patterns but also without guidance on how to find the stocked section of Stony Creek. We drove around lost for about half an hour until we finally got on 675 going north towards Columbia Furnace. We drove up and down this road looking for the stocked water signs, but did not see any. Growing a little bit frustrated, we decided to stop at a bridge crossing south of Columbia Furnace and fish there.
I worked upstream from the bridge crossing and was successful picking up bluegills and a number of smallmouth bass on various terrestrial patterns. The creek here was reasonably deep — about thigh high — and flowing fairly quickly. It was the least 50 to 60 feet wide and offered plenty of places for fish to hide. There was overhanging structure of both banks and I could see a riffled area hundred yards up that oxygenated the water. About a half-hour into the event, it started to sprinkle rain so we decided to end our day here and pile back into the car.
Bottom Line: The lesson learned is to take the reference books with you when you go fishing. After all, you never know where you may end up that might look good. If we had taken Murray’s book with us, we would have known that the best place on Stony Creek is above Columbia Furnace; a place we never got to. Murray goes on to say that Stony Creek is one of the best stocked trout streams in Virginia! He does mention that the section from Lantz Mills up to Columbia Furnace is stocked although we did not see any signs or public access points that were obvious. There are a few bridge crossings between these two towns and we drove down to look at them but did not see any place that looked like a good parking area. Granted, we were a hurry and eventually just settled on the bridge crossing shown on the map above.
I have to give this one the benefit of the doubt. In any case, it’s a good excuse for a return trip. Now that I have become a fly fisherman, I also realize that I shortchanged Little Stony Creek in a report I did on it in early 2006. Both of these locations need additional reconnaissance and focus. I did revisit Little Stony last month – here is that report.
Getting There: From I81, take exit 279 and turn west on Stony Creek Road towards Columbia Furnace. Follow that road until you cross the creek. We parked on the far side where there is a wide spot. According to Murray’s book, the stretch above Columbia Furnace is good as well.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.870654,-78.63061
Upstream from the bridge
Downstream from the bridge
Typical small smallie I picked up here
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore