After fishing Little Stony Creek, I decided to head over to Paddy Run but could not resist stopping to fish Big Stony as it loomed on the right as I made the turned back onto Route 675. I knew this had to be quick, so I pulled off at the first parking place I saw that was near the Route 42 bridge in Colombia Furnace.
If you walk directly under the bridge, heading south, there’s a big, deep pool that bumps up against a tall cliff face. The banks are very muddy and you will sink up to your knees in the leaves and the silt as you wade into the pool. If there was ever a place a stocked fish would like to live it would be here. I tried various streamer patterns without success, so I turned and began to walk upstream.
On the other side of the bridge, Big Stony is about 40 feet wide and generally shallow with a little bit of rock snot coating the bottom of the river. In his book (Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams), Harry Murray points out that this section is most productive between March and June. I was here in December, so had no illusions about catching fish; although the creek had been stocked three weeks prior to my arrival. I was encouraged by a big blue heron perched on a rock intently staring into one of the deeper pools while giving me dirty looks at the same time.
I walked upstream for about a half-mile, fishing through the long flat pools and skipping the riffled areas without producing anything. It is nice-looking trout water and you do have the distinct rural feel which is amplified by the strong odor of cow manure that holds in the dead air of the valley floor. I decided to give up and head over to Paddy Run so I walked back to the truck. As I crossed the bridge, I stopped to talk to a dad and his son who were going to fish the deep hole underneath the Route 675 bridge. We exchanged pleasantries and, feeling sorry for me, they recommended that I go around the corner in back of the Larkin Gas Station and try that stretch of water as they had seen fish holding their the day before.
Since I was here, why not? I drove over and pulled into the first small turnout across from a western clothing store and followed the beaten trail down to the creek. It was really pretty, with water running next to a cliff face across numerous rock ledges with the standard set of boulders poking their noses out of the water. I tied on a streamer pattern and began to work my way up the creek. About 25 yards up from the store, there is a broad, deep pool where I saw trout moving. The pool extends around the bend to the border of the moderate gradient which separates this pool from the Route 42 bridge pool mentioned above. The water here runs up to 5 or 6 feet deep with a smooth rocky bottom.
There are no posted signs on this section but there is a dog who lives in the home that borders the pool who insists that this territory belongs to him. While he’s contained by a nice fence, he will serenade you with constant barking every time you start to move. I fished this hole unsuccessfully for about 45 minutes and then decided to cash in my chips and head back to the truck.
When I got back to the truck, it occurred to me that things were looking familiar around here. I finally realized that the next bridge down — about 150 yards from where I stood — was where we had tried fishing Big Stony back in June after our trip to the Dry River.
Bottom Line: Harry Murray speaks highly of Big Stony has one of the best stocked trout streams in Virginia. He mentions that there are numerous spring seeps that serve to cool this water in the summer with the best summer action occurring down near Lantz Mill. After seeing this section of the creek and knowing what is north of where I ended my fishing trip, I’m certain to come back here during the height of the season between March and June.
By the way, you can get a pretty good sandwich at the deli in the back of the Larkin Gas Station.
Getting There: From I81 going south, take exit 283 onto 42 west. Follow it to Rt 675. Turn north on 675 and pull off into the parking area where the Rt 42 bridge crosses the stream.
Google Local Coordinates: 38.877169,-78.625417
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented on the Virginia VDGIF stocking plan and in Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams
Date Fished: 12/30/2008
Upstream just north of the Rt 42 bridge
Riffled area 1/2 mile upstream from the bridge
With higher water, this would be nice. This is across from the western clothing store.
Big pool leading up to the Rt 42 bridge. The dog is barking behind me.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore