Virginia Tropy Trout Trail

by Chris McCotter

If you are the type of angler that prefers to spend your time exploring mountain streams for Virginia’s cold water species the next two months are prime time. Our W2 Trophy Trout Trail offers just about guaranteed success with great big fish potential and, if you really want a challenge, you can try for the Virginia Trout Slam.

  Starting with the W2 Trophy Trout Trail we recommend scheduling a visit to Cedar Springs Sportsman Lodge. Operated by the same family for the past 40 years, Cedar Springs produces some of the largest trout in Virginia each year. This is a privately owned and managed section of stream that is stocked with some bruiser rainbows, brook trout and brown trout.

  If you are closer to northern Virginia, you’ll want to try your luck at Orndorff’s Trout Farm and the private stretch of Paddy’s Run Roger Orndorff manages out past Strasburg near Star Tannery. 

  Another option would be Rose River Trout Farm in Madison County, closer to those in the Richmond area. Owner Douglas Dear maintains a private section of the Rose River and carefully curates a special trout fishing experience. Visitors can land the VA Trout Slam in one day from this stream. Lodging is available in the form of luxury yurts.

    If you think you don’t need to go to a pay fishing operation to catch trout, then don’t. You can enjoy the challenge of fishing the many stocked streams and rivers around the state. You can find out which are stocked and when by visiting

    The Jackson River both above and below Lake Moomaw is perhaps the finest trout fishery in the state, though there exists good trout fishing on the upper Maurey River above Lexington.

    Now if you think you are a really good trout angler, we encourage you to attempt to notch the Virginia Trout Slam. Three trout species. One day. That’s the Virginia Trout Slam! 

  The Virginia Trout Slam, created by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, is a challenge to anglers to catch all three species of trout (brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout) in the same day. Both stocked fish and wild fish count toward the slam, but catching all three in a wild trout stream is the ultimate trifecta. Virginia has more than 3,500 miles of trout streams in addition to numerous ponds, small lakes, and reservoirs with trout. 

  Chasing the slam not only offers a new challenge to anglers, but also promotes some of Virginia’s lesser-known trout fisheries. It adds adventure to a fishing trip by encouraging the angler to explore new streams in an attempt to complete the slam. For anglers planning a strategy to target all three species in one day, the DWR website has lots of information, including interactive maps, on where to find each species of trout at

  Once anglers complete the slam, they are encouraged to submit their catch to the DWR Trophy Fish Program. Fish do not need to be trophy or citation size to be counted as part of the slam. All anglers successfully completing the Trout Slam will receive a commemorative #vatroutslam sticker. They’re also encouraged to share photos of their catches on social media with the hashtag #vatroutslam.

  Anglers are encouraged to use Virginia’s  Interactive Trout Map to locate streams to complete the slam. There are many options to build your own trip, but below are some pre-planned trips you can try. Hiking may be required to access certain waters. For stocked trout waters, consult the Daily Trout Stocking Schedule mentioned previously. 

VA County Trout Stockings

Augusta County South River Special Reg: stocked rainbow trout, brown trout & brook trout. Paine Run: wild brook trout

Bath County Muddy Run: wild brook Trout & rainbow trout, Jackson River (HV / Spec Reg): stocked rainbow trout, brown trout & brook Trout

Highland County Laurel Fork: wild brook trout & brown trout, Crab Run: wild rainbow trout

Madison County Conway River: wild brook trout & brown trout, Robinson River: stocked rainbowtrout & brook trout

Shenandoah County

Little Stony Creek: wild brook trout, Stony Creek: stocked rainbow trout, brown trout & brook trout

Rockbridge County

Buffalo Creek Special Reg: (Get Landowner Permit): stocked rainbow trrout & brown trout

Lexington Reservoir: Stocked brook trout

Amherst County

Pedlar River: stocked rainbow trout & brown trout. North Fork Buffalo: wild brook Trout

Botetourt County

North Creek Special Reg: wild brook trout & rainbow trout, Jennings Creek: stocked rainbow trout, brown trout & brook trout

Nelson County

Tye River: stocked rainbow trout, brown trout & brook trout, South Fork Tye River: wild brook trout

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