Fishing Season: all year, March - December best

Lower Jackson River - VA

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Angler's Lane's Tip of the Week

While flows from the dam will remain at 240cfs for a while, the increased flows from rain on Sep 1 helped raise the tributaries and improve fishing. Action on streamers started back again. Nymph rigs and hopper-droppers are best - fishing the deepest, higher oxegenated water you can find. Fish hitting dries selectively. Cool nights are helping fishing in the early morning, especially on warmer days.

Directions open in app

Map of Lower Jackson River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

The Homestead

5-Day Outlook as of 9/13/21

Check outflows at More info on flows and tailwater at

Techniques & Tips as of 9/13/21

Nymphing deep, Hopper/Dropper rigs. Selective dries at key times.

Current Conditions as of 9/13/21

Check outflows at More info on flows and tailwater at

Local Species Available all year, March - December best

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    Brown trout

Angler's Lane's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Caddis Pupa N/A 14, 16
Tunghead Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig N/A 14, 16
Electric Prince N/A 6 8
Vernille San Juan Worm N/A 20
Green Monster Green or Gold 12, 14, 16
Purple Haze Purple 10-20
Sulphur Parachute N/A 6 8
Adam's Purple Parachute N/A 12-18
Quill Jig Purple 12, 14
Goldie White 4

Bead Head Caddis Pupa

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Angler's Lane's Recommended Gear

Description: About Lower Jackson River

Often described as one of the top southern trout fisheries, the lower Jackson below Gathright Dam offers both wild rainbow and brown trout angling opportunities to the fly angler. Whether its drifting a size 26 midge with 8x tippet or seducing some of the larger fish with a size 4 zonker, the lower Jackson has many offerings for the fly fishing enthusiast. Operators of the dam in summer 2021 have done great job of maintaining a relatively steady flow of cold clean water. Its waters hold a multitude of diverse aquatic invertebrates and forage fish for these trout to feed upon. Access is limited and trespassing is a serious deal here. The state discontinued stocking trout on the lower Jackson in 1993. However, the river has proven itself time after time in yielding strong numbers of wild trout. Just below Gathright Dam is the tailwater section that is open to public fishing. Small tippet, small flies, and long leaders work best in this section. Summer time water temps average in the 50’s and low 60’s which make for great southern summer trout fishing. There are other public water access points, but float fishing is by far the best way to fish this section of river. The area immediately below the dam has some didymo, which improves after Johnson Springs put-in/landing. For most experienced float operation check out

Nearest Airport:



Baetis and caddis nymphs. Occasional baetis hatch including BWOs. Plenty of action on nymphs. Anglers Lane can provide details.

Best Time to Fish:

All day

Best Stretch:

Any of the public access points downstream from the dam. For some select private access call Angler's Lane at 434-385-0200. Day pass entitles you to variety of access points, and runs $109.

Best Access:

Public: Below Gathright Dam, Johnson Springs, Indian Draft, Petticoat Junction, Filtration plant