Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Dan River Virginia
The Dan River has a little of everything from its small
headwaters to its large, lower section. It starts out with
pure mountain water and ends up in sad shape. The
quality of fishing depends on who you ask and the
section of the river they are talking about. It ranges
from a great trout stream to water that's not worth

The Dan River starts north of U.S. Highway #58 just
northeast of the Meadows of Dan. The upper part is
classified as a wild trout stream. Native brook trout is
the main species. From just above #58, the river is a
"put-and-take" trout stream, or what the state of Virginia
calls a category B stream. From there the stream
proceeds to flow through a very deep canyon or gorge
that's owned by the City of Danville. The canyon is a
wild and rugged area that requires some trough hiking
to access.  

The six mile long section of the river that lies between
Talbott Dam and Townes Reservoir offers some great
fly fishing opportunities.  It can be accessed from routes
#614 and #601 south of the Meadows of Dan, which
takes you to the Talbott Dam. This section has a good
population of wild, stream-bred brown, brook and
rainbow trout.

The section of the Dan River from the Townes Dam to
the Pinnacles Powerhouse is strictly  
catch-and-release.  This section of the river can be
accessed from route # 648 off of Routes #773 and
#103. This takes you to the powerhouse. A free permit
is required to fish this section and any section that lies
within the Pinnacles Hydroelectric Project area. These
permits are also available from the City of Danville.

Below the powerhouse, the Dan River offers several
miles of put-and-take trout fishing. Just below this
section, the water eventually becomes too warm for

The season is open year-round
You will find fishing tough on most Winter days.
Spring is the best time for fly fishing the Dan River.
Summertime is fine in the gorge and the brook trout in
the shaded areas of the stream.
Fall is a beautiful time to fish the Dan river's upper
sections and gorge.

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Type of Stream
Freestone and Tailwater

Brook Trout (wild and native)
Brown Trout (wild and stocked with
some holdovers)
Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked with
some holdovers)

Small to large

South Central Virginia

Nearest Towns


Good in some areas but hiking
required in most areas

Non-Resident License
State of Virginia

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.