Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Jackson River - Below Garthright Dam - Virginia

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Day 18 - 22 Griffiths Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midge Day 18 - 22 Griffiths Gnat, Zebra Midge
March Midge, Small Black Stoneflies Day 18 - 22, 14 - 16 Griffiths Gnat, Zebra Midge, Black Stonefly
April Blue Winged Olive, Midge Day 18 - 22, 14 - 18 Pheasant Tail, Zebra Midge
May Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olive, Midge Day, Evening 14 - 18 Pheasant Tail, Light Cahills, Hares Ear
June Sulphurs, Blue Winged Olive, Caddis Day, Evening 14 - 18 Pheasant Tail, Light Cahills, Elk Hair Caddis
July Caddis, Terrestrials Day, Evening 12 - 16 Elk Hair Caddis, Ant Patterns
August Terrestrials Day 10 - 14 Hopper Patterns, Beetle Patterns
September Terrestrials, Blue Winged Olive Day 10 - 18 Hopper Patterns, Pheasant Tail
October Blue Winged Olive, Midges Day, Evening 18 - 22, 14 - 18 Pheasant Tail, Zebra Midge
November Midge, Blue Winged Olive Day 18 - 22, 16 - 20 Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tail
December Midge Day 18 - 22 Zebra Midge, Griffiths Gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Jackson River, located below Garthright Dam, is known for its wonderful fly fishing spots. The trout-stocked waters are perfect for eager anglers. Key spots include:

  • Hidden Valley: This area, rich in Rainbow and Brown Trout, is good for both novice and experienced fly fishers.
  • The Water Trough: A year-round hotspot for trout, the Water Trough is noted for its calm, deep waters.
  • Fallen Timber: Features a variety of pockets and deep runs, ideal for experienced anglers looking for a challenge.
  • River’s Bend: Known for its rushing waters and scenic views, the Bend provides fishermen a real catch.

Remember to always check local fishing regulations and respect the delicate river ecosystem by practicing catch and release whenever possible.

Best Access Points

The best access points to fly fish on the Jackson River, below Garthright Dam, are many and help provide a delightful fly fishing experience. Favorable spots include:
  • Fortney Branch: Placed off State Rte. 687, this spot has a significant water area for you to cast your fly.

  • Petticoat Junction: A large deposit of trout can be found here. Access the river here from State Rte. 683.

  • Second Ford: Here, the river widens providing an ample space ideal for fly fishing. Located off State Rte. 640.

  • Hidden Valley: Accessed from State Rte. 631, this spot has a large section of private water that’s open to the public.

  • Johnson Springs: This is a great access point if you’re looking to fish in deep pools. Reachable from State Rte 701.
Remember to always check the local fishing regulations before setting up to fish.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout: These fish are prevalent in the Jackson River thanks to regular stockings, and are a favourite among fly fishermen due to their readiness to bite and beautiful colours.
  • Brown Trout: Brown Trout are stocked less frequently than Rainbow, but are present in both large and small sizes. They can provide a fantastic challenge to anglers with their elusive nature.
  • Brook Trout: As the state fish of Virginia, brook trout are a highly coveted catch among local fishermen. This fish’s distinct look and varying size make them an exciting target for anglers.
  • Smallmouth Bass: They are well distributed throughout the Jackson River. Smallmouth Bass attract fly fishermen because of their strong fights and acrobatic jumps.
  • Largemouth Bass: While less common than smallmouth bass, Largemouth can be found in the slower, deeper sections of the river.
  • Rock Bass: Commonly known as “redeye bass,” these fish are prevalent in the Jackson River and are more active at night time.
  • Bluegill: These small, feisty fish offer the ideal challenge for beginner anglers and children.
  • Chain Pickerel: Although it is not a common catch, a few lucky anglers have reported catching hefty Chain Pickerel on their fly rods. This aggressive predator can provide an exciting toe-to-toe battle.

About The River

Hailed as a scenic spot, the Jackson River is a real Virginia gem. This historic river below the Garthright Dam is brimming with stories, especially about its significant role in the economic and social development of the area.

The Garthright Dam, constructed in 1979, aided in controlling floods, thereby protecting the localities and providing recreational opportunities. Below the dam, the river stretches for about 18 miles, offering excellent trout fishing zones and picturesque landscapes.

  • The Jackson River carries a rich history of the Native American tribes who settled near its banks, relying on its fresh water for survival.
  • With the arrival of European settlers, the river became a valuable transportation route, driving the growth of agriculture and trade.

So whether you’re an angler, a history enthusiast, or a lover of nature, the Jackson River below the Garthright Dam has something enchanting to offer. Experience tranquility, charm, and a beautiful slice of history on its banks!


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