North River is fishable along most of its length from its head in the mountains to the valley Floor. The upper stretch of the river above Elkhorn Lake is a great brook trout fishery that has been restored from flood damage by VDGIF and Trout Unlimited efforts. Brook trout fishing is typically great starting in March and continuing into late June or when water levels get low in the summer. The delayed harvest section of the North River extends from the base of Elkhorn Dam in the North River Multiple Use Area downstream 1.5 miles to the head of the Staunton City Reservoir. This is a very remote mountain top stretch of trout water making it a fly fisherman's paradise. The delayed harvest area provides excellent scenic fly fishing opportunity during the fall, winter and spring months in some of the best looking freestone water around. It is usually a good idea to call the shop before heading all the way into the mountains to fish this local favorite. We know when the water flows are favorable and when the fish have been stocked. We can also let anglers know the very best patterns to take to insure success. This stretch of North River is notorious for enormous caddis fly hatches in the early spring. You will also see hendricksons, drakes, BWO's, sulphurs, quill gordons, and yellow and black stoneflies. This is also a great stream for high sticking nymphs in pocket water or swinging small streamers or wet flies down and across current. When the water levels are high in the spring time, multiple nymph rigs with caddis larvae and emerger patterns can be highly productive. Do to its remote nature, we recommend fishing this stretch with a friend. North River below Staunton Dam provides miles of remote stocked waters. Anglers will still find the occasional brook trout in the lower stretches as well. There is one other public stretch on North River near Natural Chimney's. This is also State stocked waters and does not hold any wild fish. Below Natural Chimney's most of the water goes underground to fill the aquifer that feeds the main springs of Mossy Creek.
Directions to the Delayed Harvest and Upper reaches of
North River From Mossy Creek Fly Fishing
- Take 33 West to I-81.
- Take I-81 South to Exit 240 (Mt. Crawford/Bridgewater Exit).
- Take Rt. 257 West(3.3 Miles) to the town of Bridgewater.
- Turn left at the T intersection onto Rt. 42 South.
- Take 42 South(3.7 miles) and go straight over the bridge where 42 takes a 90 degree left turn.
- Continuing straight over the bridge follow Mossy Creek Road to Mount Solon. Stay straight on this road until you reach Stokesville.
- Take a left at the fork in the road(cross the 1 lane steel bridge) and continue until you see the signs for North River Multiple Use Area on the left.
- Follow the signs to Elkhorn Lake.
- Park at the lake and follow the foot trail over the backside of the dam.
Mossy Creek Fly Fishing guide Bob Cramer will be here giving out some pointers on how to tie the BEST smallmouth flies. Bob has over 30 years experience guiding for trophy fish in the Shenandoah Valley. Come watch a local master starting at 10AM. Bring a friend!
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1790-92 East Market Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Saturday 10-5 Sunday 11-3