Dry River Virginia
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Dry River Virginia
Dry River is thought by many to be one of the most
highly populated wild brook trout streams in the state of
Virginia. It is called the Dry River because the
streambed is usually much wider than the water. In one
area, it actually goes underground. Most of the water
comes from the freestone portion but some also comes
from the bottom release of the dam at Switzer Reservoir.
Dry River has an excellent population of wild brook
trout. Dry River has one downfall to its good brook
trout fishing. It is stocked in Spring and consequently,
the crowds show up to catch the fish before the truck
leaves. Thank goodness, it isn't stocked during the
Summer or Fall and the corn crowds leave. One side
advantage is the trout that don't get caught do hold
over quite well. Fly fishing Dry River can produce about
as many wild brookies as any of Virginia's streams.
There are about a dozen miles of public access water
on this stream. Most of it is owned by the City of
Harrisonburg. Access is easy from highway #33 for
several miles. The road follows the stream closely. You
will find public access starting above Rawley Springs. It
seems the further you go upstream, the better the
conditions are. There are a few areas you can get away
from the traffic on highway #33.
Skidmore Fork, a small tributary located below
Skidmore Lake, also has a population of wild brook
trout. Dry River is for the most part a low gradient
stream that's easy to wade and more open than most
brook trout streams. It provides some great dry fly
action for most of the season.
This little stream has one of Virginia's best Eastern
Green Drake hatches. It also has a very good
population of many other aquatic insects as well as
plenty of terrrestrials, sculpin and small baitfish.
The fishing season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on nice, warm winter days.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the Dry River
because of its excellent aquatic insect hatches and
good water levels.
Summertime is okay but the water can get low during
the late summer.
Autumn is a great time for fly fishing the Dry River.
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