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Fishing Trip Resources

Fishing in the Scenic Roanoke River Blueway

The Roanoke River Blueway is a hidden gem in Virginia, perfect for fishing enthusiasts. This picturesque river boasts a diverse and abundant aquatic life, offering an exceptional fishing experience for both seasoned anglers and beginners. It’s renowned for its rich population of various fish species, supported by a healthy ecosystem. The river’s winding course through scenic forests and historic towns provides a tranquil yet exciting setting for fishing. Each bend and stretch holds potential for a great catch, with different areas favoring different species. Moreover, the changing seasons bring about distinct fishing opportunities, with spring and fall being particularly favorable for those seeking the thrill of reeling in a big catch.

Roanoke River: Bass to Trout

The Upper Roanoke River offers diverse fishing experiences, including float, wade, and bank fishing, with species like bass, redeye, bluegill, catfish, and trout. Its freestone mountain stream characteristics from Elliston to Roanoke enhance fishing, particularly for trout, which are abundant in Fall through Spring due to the VDGIF’s trout stocking program (see the Roanoke River Blueway Interactive Map designated stocked trout reaches). The Green Hill Park and Colorado Street areas of the Upper Roanoke River offer extended trout fishing opportunities due to delayed harvest. This stretch is also notable for underappreciated smallmouth bass fishing, accessible by kayaks and wading between Salem, Roanoke, and Vinton. The Roanoke River Gorge, near Niagara Dam, provides a 3-mile stretch rich in smallmouth bass, with largemouth bass and other species migrating from Smith Mountain Lake. As the river approaches the lake, catfish and striped bass are more prevalent, suitable for small motorized boats. Fishing in these areas requires a Virginia freshwater license and a separate license for designated trout waters. For additional information, visit the links below.

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Freshwater Fishing Information
Designated Stocked Trout Waters (Catchable Trout Stocking Program)
Trout Stocking Schedule (DGIF)
Fish Virginia First Program
Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Fish Consumption Advisories 


Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

4010 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA23230

Trout Unlimited – Roanoke Chapter

P.O. Box 11725
Roanoke, VA 24022

Float Fisherman of Virginia (Roanoke Valley Chapter)

P.O. Box 1750
Roanoke, VA 24008