Roanoke River – Salem


Stream Category: Category A – stocked 8 times between October 1 and May 31.

Stocked Trout: Rainbow and Brook

Wild Trout: Rainbow, Brook, and Brown ( Although there are holdovers from previous DGIF stockings, wild trout, especially brown trout, can be seen throughout the entire Roanoke River.)

Other Species of Note: Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, and Carp



  • Dry Flies: Adams, Midges, Caddis, and Terrestrials
  • Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Prince Nymphs, Zebras, Caddis Pupae, Grub Worms, Squirmy Wormies, and Mop Flies
  • Streamers: Kreelax, Leeches, Sculpins, Wooley Buggers, and Minnow Patterns
  • Rod: 9-10’ 5-7 weight (depending on what species of fish you are targeting) Also Switch and Spey rods can be used on most sections.
  • Waders: Chest or Convertible Chest ( During late Spring, Summer, and early fall you can wet wade in shorts and river sandals. During late Fall, Winter, and early Spring waders will be needed)
  • Net: Big fish can be caught throughout the Roanoke River, it is highly recommended to bring a trout catch and release net wherever you are on the Roanoke. Additionally when fishing for Carp a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.



Located in the City of Salem from Woodbridge Trailhead of the Roanoke River Greenway to Colorado St Bridge, the Salem stocked section of the Roanoke River gives anglers the perfect opportunity to experience freestone river fishing without having to go to bigger rivers like the Jackson and Smith River. VA DGIF does an excellent job with the stocking in the section, several citation Rainbow and Brook have been caught on this section of the Roanoke River. On occasion you will also find large brown trout lurking under down trees and in deep pools. Also this section is excellent for smallmouth, bass, largemouth bass, and carp.


Depending on what species you are targeting will have an impact on what gear to bring. If fishing for trout use nymph and streamer patterns. The brook trout in this section love meaty streamers and mop flies, while the big rainbows love zebra midges, prince nymphs, and squirmy wormies. When it comes to dry fly fishing make sure you are using a dry/dropper rig if you are wanting to catch fish in this section. Very few stocked trout will rise to a dry fly.


Additional Notes:

Make sure you are keeping a close eye on the VDGIF stockings page when you want to fish this section for trout, this section gets fished out quickly. Make sure you are fishing areas where spin fishermen usually over look. Parking will be roadside pull offs and the occasional parking lot, please be respectful of property owners so that anglers can continue to use these areas.




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