Fishing Holes and Watering Holes: Get Hooked Along the Beerwerks Trail

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Fishing can be a solitary sport, and that’s perfect for practicing social distancing. With its beautiful lakes, rivers, and fresh mountain streams that boast over 30 species of fish, Virginia is an East Coast hotspot for freshwater fishing. Now that fishing weather is upon us, drop a line in one of our best fishing holes and then swing by a nearby watering hole along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail to get some beer to celebrate your catch.

Check each brewery’s website or Facebook page for updates as their offerings/services change frequently. Many Beerwerks breweries with outdoor spaces are offering limited onsite seating in accordance with the current guidelines. However, if you’d rather take your beer home with you, most Beerwerks breweries are offering to-go sales on cans, bottles, growler fills, merchandise and gift cards. In several cases, you can call your order in ahead of time and pick it up at the curb or take advantage of delivery options.

Mossy Creek

20 minutes from Pale Fire Brewing Co.

If you’re up for a fly fishing challenge, Mossy Creek is a worthy destination. The creek flows through private property, but landowners, The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, and Trout Unlimited have made a four-mile stretch open to the public. No wading is allowed, but anglers who patiently persevere from the steep banks often score big catches of brown trout. Fishermen must carry a signed permit card along with their VA fishing license.

Shenandoah River

30 minutes from Stable Craft Brewing

The beautiful, lazy Shenandoah River is one of the world’s best sites for smallmouth bass. You can also catch largemouth, carp, and musky. The South Fork has 20 public access points, so you can fish from your canoe or take advantage of shoreline access to the river in Port Republic. So many fish make this body of water their home that anglers rarely report returning home empty-handed.

Braley Pond

30 minutes from Skipping Rock Beer Company

4.5-acre Braley Pond is part of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Constructed by the U.S. Forest service for recreational purposes in 1965, the beautiful, forested setting can be reached in minutes from Rt. 250 west of Staunton. The pond is stocked with rainbow trout, and fishermen can also catch largemouth bass, channel catfish, and bluegill.

Hone Quarry

35 minutes from Brothers Craft Brewing

Located in the George Washington National Forest, Hone Quarry is a five and a half acre lake with a primitive boat launch. It is stocked with trout, channel catfish, bass, sunfish, and crappie. Make a weekend of it: Hone Quarry Recreation area also offers camping and hiking.

Lake Tams

5 minutes from Queen City Brewing

Lake Tams, within Staunton city limits, is a stocked 2.5-acre pond where you might catch largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. This spot is perfect for introducing your youngest family members to the sport. This site boasts ample parking and plenty of room to set up lawn chairs.

The South River

5 minutes from Basic City Beer Co.

Home of the South River Fly Fishing Expo, The South River offers opportunities for both warm and cold water fishing. Anglers can expect to catch smallmouth bass, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, fallfish and largemouth bass along the length of the river. Several sections of the river are stocked with rainbow and brown trout. One of only two urban trout fisheries in the state, the South River flows through Waynesboro and can be accessed in several places.

Upper James River Water Trail

20 minutes from Great Valley Farm Brewery

The Upper James River Water Trail is a 59-mile stretch of the James River from its headwaters in Botetourt County to Glasgow in Rockbridge County. Recently designated a Virginia Scenic River, the UJRWT is also a favorite destination for anglers from all across the country. Species at home here include smallmouth, spotted, and largemouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, and sunfish. Several stocked trout streams feed into the James.

Glen Maury Park 

15 minutes from Heliotrope Brewing

The Maury River is the only river in VA that starts and ends in the same county…Rockbridge! Glen Maury Park, in Buena Vista, is a wonderful place to experience the river with the youngest anglers in your family. Stocked with trout eight times a year, the Maury River is also home to small-mouth bass, rock bass, fallfish, and bluegills. The park features a boat launch for canoes.

Licenses and Permits

Make sure you have your fishing license in hand before you bait your hook. Many areas also have special regulations. For information, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fishing.

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