The New River is the oldest river system in North America, and is, arguably, Virginia's best fishery for trophy smallmouth bass and musky. From humble beginnings in western North Carolina, the New flows north for 160 miles through southwest Virginia, through impressive gorges and over several class II and III rapids and ledges. Under the right conditions, the New offers anglers an excellent shot at a citation smallie.
South Fork of the Holston River
In the small farming community of Sugar Grove, the South Fork of the Holston River is born from several small mountain streams. For more than 30 miles it flows over karst limestone bedrock, through mountain gorges, hollows, and farm fields. Its spring influence keeps the South Fork fishing well throughout the summer and winter, when water temperatures elsewhere slow the fishing. Wild rainbow and brown trout swim every inch of this river. 100-fish days are possible under the right conditions, and fish over 20 inches are not uncommon.
Whitetop Laurel Creek
Virginia's poster wild trout stream, Whitetop Laurel is often called the state's largest wild trout stream, though in reality it falls second in length to the South Fork. Rising in the small village of Konnarock, Whitetop flows 20 miles through the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area before meeting the South Fork in the Appalachian Trail town of Damascus. Wild rainbow and brown trout, and the occasional native brook trout fin Whitetop and its tributaries, and some large brown trout can be caught--if you know where to look.