Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the South River Virginia
The South River is one of the two tributaries that form
the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. It starts near
Staunton, Virginia, as a small stream that flows into the
Shenandoah Valley at Port Republic, where it merges
with the North Rivet to form the South Fork of the
Shenandoah River. You have several good options when
fly fishing the South River Virginia.
Near Waynesboro, the stream gets an enormous
supply of cool, limestone spring water, raising its pH level
and providing a excellent habitat for trout and the food
they need to survive. It also almost doubles the stream
flow. There are two areas open to the public to fish for
trout. The new Upper South River's "Special Regulation
Area", and a "Delayed Harvest" section located in the
city of Waynesboro.
The Upper South River's "Special Regulation Area" is
Virginia's newest SRA for trout. It was opened for fishing
on the first day of January, 2011. You must have a
special permit to fish this section of the stream. It's free
and available from the state at this address as well as
some of the local fly shops in the area. Fly fishing the
Upper South River's SRA is a real treat and should only
The "Delayed Harvest' section runs from the Rife-Loth
dam downstream to the Second Street bridge. Trout are
stocked between the first of October 1 and the 31st of
May. It is "catch and release" regulations during that time
span. Open regulations allowing anglers to keep a limit
of 6 trout per day are in effect from the first day of June
to September 30th.
The SRA area is just like a spring creek. It has a
population of aquatic insects as well as crustaceans. The
DH section is more like a typical freestone stream with
pools, runs and riffles.
The aquatic insect population varies depending on the
area but some of the major mayflies are the Blue-winged
Olives, Blue Quill, Quill Gordon, American March Browns,
Light and Cream Cahills, Mahogany Duns and Tricos.
There are lots of Cinnamon Sedges, Green Sedges,
Great Autumn Brown sedges, Little Black Caddis and
others. There are some stoneflies, mostly Little Winter
stoneflies, Needle stoneflies and Little Yellow Stoneflies.
Scuds are present in some sections. Sculpin are very
plentiful. During the summer months the terrestrials
become important. You should have imitations of ants,
beetles and grass hoppers.
The season runs year-round but special regulations
apply as mentioned above
Trout can be caught on nice, warm winter days. Spring
water helps keep the water temperature more constant
and warmer during the winter.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing South River
because of the aquatic insect hatches.
Summertime is okay in the upper SRA but not in the DH
Fall is a great time for fly fishing the South River.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.