Cowpasture River


Stream Category: A


Wild Trout:

Stocked Trout: Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Tiger (I visual saw a person with two Tiger Trout)

Other Species of Note: None



Dry Flies: Adams, Caddis, and Terrestrials

Nymphs: Stone Flies, Pheasant Tail, Prince, Hares, Midges, Mop Flies, and Squirmmy Wormies, Perdigon

Streamers: Kreelex, Minnow Patterns, Articulated Minnow Patterns

Waders: Yes

Net: Yes

Casting: Tuck, Roll, and Overhead



Cowpasture River is one of those streams that I wish I had known about earlier in life, I would not have wasted a large majority of my time on certain streams if I had known about this river. The fishing here is simply amazing, even with low water. Also even if all of the stocked truck chasers in the world came followed the truck to Cowpasture they would be in for a rude awaking, that or a work out.


In order to get to the stocked portion of the Cowpasture: you have to stop at a specific parking lot, then walk almost a mile just to get to the river or more just to fish certain areas. So yeah, if you are a spin fisherman, or one that harvests fish, then there is no hard feelings between us… you earned the right to fish this river. Would I love to see a delayed harvest section, a catch and release section, or a special regulation set on this area? Sure, but honestly it is not going to happen, especially when Spring Run is just up the road.

The Cowpasture is a flat freestone river with a lot of insect activity, but not a lot of big holes. I caught a lot of my fish using Mop flies and Perdigon flies, but also the fish here love midges. As far as Streamer fishing goes, the sky is the limit, there are several bait fish in this river, and I am sure that some hungry hippo of a trout would love to eat your streamer. I prefer the Kreelex.


Honestly if you are fishing in Bath County, forget about Hidden Valley and 623 of the Jackson, rather fish here at Cowpasture or on up the road at Bullpasture. They just seem to be a fly fisherman’s dream come true.


Additional Notes: Parking when you come in. Also remember to carry out what you bring in.




3 thoughts on “Cowpasture River

  1. What are the directions from Roanoke to this location? I know where the Millboro mercantile is if that makes it easier.


  2. In addition to the public access to the Cowpasture River just before the Coursey hatchery, are there additional public access locations to the stream that I should fish? I’m in Lexington.


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