You had to get up before dawn to be certain of getting a good spot. Wait until daybreak to arrive and you’d more often than not be out of luck because the opening day of Trout Season in Virginia always drew a crowd. This was especially so on the picturesque Rose River in Madison County. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Rose River provided a Currier and Ives setting for opening day. I don’t ever recall driving through the tiny hamlet of Syria in late March without encountering a sea of parked cars and pickup trucks; their occupants up to their knees in the nearby Rose ready to make that first cast into the fast moving, clear water at the appointed hour. I was an anomaly. The only person around with no fishing rod. Just a camera.
The excitement of opening day for Trout Season is now a thing of the past in Virginia. Trout Season is now year round in most places. Six fish a day none less than 7 inches but I bet the crowds of passionate anglers still show up in March In Madison County to flip that fly into one of the prettiest mountain streams anywhere. Trout fishing tapers off from June through September when stream levels are low and the water temperature rises. It makes trout season more difficult or, depending on your point of view, more sporting. And if your luck takes a holiday. drive on just west of Syria to Graves Mountain Lodge. Jim and Rachael dish out some of the best food you’ve ever encountered. One meal there and you will almost forget about not getting a bite in the Rose. And even if you do catch the limit, make the trip. Tell em I said Hi. After all, as Sir Winston said “you should never measure the pleasure by the catch. See you next time on most of this same site.