Fly Fishing North Fork Moormans River


Taking spontaneous trips is not my kind of thing. As much as I love fantasizing about waking up one beautiful morning and road tripping out to the mountains for the weekend, it's just not a reality for me since I've started working. I know what days I have off in advance and therefore I plan what days I'm going to go for a hike or what weekends I'm camping. However, for the first time in a long time I went on a semi-spontaneous trip. Michael asked me Thursday night if I'd want to wake up Friday morning and head out to the North Fork of Moormans River to do a little rainy fly fishing. I excitedly agreed although I had to work a 12 hour shift that same night starting at 7pm (I ended up staying awake for 26 hours straight but it was worth it). Friday morning we woke up to stormy skies but we were still determined to fish so we quickly packed up the 4Runner, grabbed coffee (tea for me) and bagels at our favorite local coffee shop and we hit the road. We drove for an hour and a half through nothing but thick fog and heavy rain storms. When we arrived to the trial the rain had stopped but the clouds were still low. We set up our gear and headed up the trial in search of some fish. We caught zero trout but a handful of small fry (baby fish). As we worked our way up the river the clouds suddenly lifted and it turned into a beautiful day with bright blue skies and a warm breeze began drifting up from the valley below. When we got back down to the parking lot I suggested we hike down towards where the river meets Charlottesville Reservoir; farther upstream there was a man in waders tromping through the center of the river which was totally unnecessary considering there were rocks everywhere to fish from and the water was about 4 inches deep with the exception of the plunge pools, so I wanted to get around him and go downstream. As we were fishing in that last spot he came around us and put himself right in front of us, casting into the pool that we were going to try next and we watched in jealously as he caught trout after trout. To cap off the morning I absentmindedly left my fly rod propped up next to a tree beside the river and didn't realize I had left it until we were back home in Richmond. I cried (literally). At least it was a beautiful, fun morning.

Below the Charlottesville Reservoir is a special regulation area that I realize now is the section where the DGIF stocks brown trout. Other reports say if you hike up to the headwaters you can catch native brook trout as well. So while we didn't get skunked, we definitely did not catch any trout. The next time we go back we will certainly be better equip.

This location is a great place to cool off on a hot summers day because there are multiple swimming holes along the hiking trail. In addition, if you walk down to where the creek meets the reservoir there's an amazing view (last picture) and it's the perfect place to have a picnic or relax.  

It might just be me but I feel like this spring the mountains are moving slow togrow in their green leaves. Then again this is my second spring living in a city where the trees are a good two weeks ahead of the mountains and everything in Richmond is green! Either way I can't wait for the mountains to have that bright, early spring green hue. I hope everyone is making time to get outside and enjoy this beautiful spring in Virginia :)