Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Hughes River Virginia
The Hughes River is a 14 mile long river that begins on
the eastern slopes of Stony Man Mountain in
Shenandoah National Park. It is regarded as one of the
best brook trout streams in the park.
The section of the Hughes River outside of the National
Park is stocked with both rainbows and brown trout.
There are some holdovers and also a few wild brook
trout in the waters outside the park.
Due to the hiking involved in fishing the Hughes River, it
the water is warm enough, it is a good idea to wet wade.
On the other hand, waders do help you get through the
tough terrain. It is difficult to get to the water from the
trail in many areas due to the thick undergrowth. The
brook trout fishing is generally good from March to
November and much of the time, waders are necessary.
You can access the headwaters of the Hughes River
from Skyline Drive. The Shaver Hollow parking area
near milepost # 38 will put you on the Corbin Cabin
Cutoff Trail. You will have to hike about a mile and a
half on it to reach the Nicholson Hollow Trail which runs
along the Hughes River all the way to the valley.
You can also access it from the lower section of the
river. Route #600 from Nethers will take you to the
Nicholson Hollow Trail. The trail will take you up the
mountain along the stream. You need to hike about two
or three miles to get to the best brook trout water.
Springtime brings about several aquatic insect hatches.
Some of the most common ones are the Little Brown
and Little Yellow stoneflies; Quill Gordon, Blue Quill,
and Light Cahill mayflies; and Green Sedges,
Cinnamon Caddis and Great Autumn Brown Caddisflies.
During the summer months imitations of terrestrial
insects produce well, especially ant and beetle patterns.
The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on warm winter days.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the Hughes
River because of the aquatic insect hatches.
Summertime is okay but the water can get low during
the late summer.
Fall is a great time to fish the Hughes River.
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