Roanoke River – Green Hill Park

Stream Category: Delayed Harvest

From October 1 through May 31, fishing on the following waters is permitted under the following regulations only:

1 Only artificial lures may be used.

2 No trout may be in possession (catch and release only) while fishing these waters.

3 No bait may be in possession while fishing these waters.

4 Trout license required October 1-June 15.

Note: During the period of June 1 through September 30 restrictions 1. through 3. above will not apply and these waters are like any other designated stocked trout.

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 River. Additionally when fishing for Carp, a larger fish net is recommended.
  • Additional Gear: Wading Staff

Casting: Overhead, Side, Tuck, and Roll.



Located on the outskirts of the City of Salem, Green Hill Park is a family/pet friendly area that appeals to everyone that loves the outside. Because of several Non-profit groups diligent help in maintaining and upgrading Green Hill Park, the park appeals to anglers of all ages and to those anglers that are disabled. Green Hill Park is also the starting point for the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem, Virginia. The Roanoke River Greenway, which began as a small initiative in 1993, is a greenway that extends almost 30 miles from Salem to Roanoke, following its namesake the Roanoke River.

The Delayed Harvest Section of the Roanoke river in Green Hill Park stretches from the Route 760 Bridge (Diguids Lane) upstream 1 mile to a sign posted at the upper end of the park. Due to the park being a delayed harvest section the state of Virginia only stocks these waters 3 times per year, however Trout Unlimited does secret stockings throughout this section to keep it a prime location for trout fishermen.

The entire Roanoke River is a freestone stream that has a plethora of insect activity, fast runs that flow into elongated pools, and plenty of tree line for fish to hide under. Treating this river as you would any other mountain stream is good way to find where the fish are holding. Look for fast runs that are followed by long pools, any large rocks in flat areas, and cover that fish could use to hide in. When fishing the numerous runs and long pools make sure you are fishing the entire area from beginning to end.

When it comes to flies; gear towards weighted nymphs and streamers, the weight will make sure you are getting to the depth that you will need in order to catch fish in the Roanoke River. If you haven’t use squirmy wormies or mop flies look these flies up (mop and glo and squirmy wormies) they are deadly on the Roanoke river.

Dry fly fishing is tedious throughout the Roanoke River, not just the Green Hill Section, very few stocked trout will rise to eat topwater flies. However if you want to be successful at dry fly fishing on the Roanoke river take a few minutes to observe what flies are hatching along the bank and see what nymphs are under the rocks, from there use a dry-dropper rig that matches the flies you have seen. Your dropper nymph should be slightly weighted and you should use a long section of tippet between your dry and dropper nymph.

Additional Notes:

When fishing at Green Hill Park use the parking provided by the park. The handicapped section of river is located at the second to last parking area inside the park, it will be visible from the road. Be mindful that the Roanoke River is a river and not a stream, the river can be very deep in spots so wade carefully.  Check weather conditions for the Salem/Roanoke, VA area, heavy rains and snow melts can quickly flood the river.

When fishing for any other species besides trout remember that this is a delayed harvest section between October 1 – June 15 and even though you are fishing for other species the delayed harvest restrictions still apply.



The Lies of Leaders, and Tippets, and Men!

Caught on the Roanoke River

Whether you are a newbie or an old head to fly fishing there is one thing that will always be a constant; fly fishing costs money. Unless you really pay a lot of attention to finances, fly fishing will not seem altogether to be an expensive sport at first glance. Besides the initial purchase of a quality fly line, rod, reel and a few other necessities, most of your common purchases that you will have to incur will be flies, leaders, and tippets.

While these items don’t look to be that expensive at the point of purchase, they will in fact cost you a pretty penny over a course of a year. Fortunately, this cost will only happen if you let it happen. In my previous post Flies! Flies! Flies! I went over how you can save a tremendous amount of money by not purchasing flies you will never use and the benefits of tying your own flies. In this post I will help you contend with the rising cost of leaders and tippets.

Caught on the Roanoke River

For the sake of this argument, let us say on average you fish every weekend during the year. You are using a loop to loop connection for your fly line to your leader and a blood knot for your leader to tippet connection. On average you will go through at least one leader per month using a blood knot connection ($5.00 per leader) and you will go through a roll of tippet line every month and a half ($10.00 per roll). This adds up to an average of $140 that you will spend, per year, fly fishing. However these numbers can go up and down depending on the type of leaders and tippets you use. Unfortunately there is no way of getting around the fact that you will need both a leader and a tippet in order to fly fish.

So, if you absolutely have to have a leader and tippet to fly fish; what can you do save money? Putting it simply, you need to forget using traditional knots (i.e. blood knots) to connect your leader to your tippet. First: if you get snagged or hook a fish and it breaks you off, using traditional knots you have a chance that your leader will be what breaks when it happens.  Second: every time you have to replace your whole tippet using traditional knots you will also be losing a portion of leader, eventually this leads to the diameter of the leader being too large and making it unusable.

Caught on the Roanoke River

Instead of using traditional knots, try using tippet rings or loop to loop connections to connect the leader to the tippet. Tippet rings attach right to the end of your leader, then you attach your tippet straight to them. The down side is that they normally break off on the leader side when you get snagged, and they are very hard to get tied on to both your leader and your tippet. Personally I do not recommend tippet rings. My solution is to use a loop to loop connection with your leader and tippet, like you would use with your fly line and leader. By doing this you will save the life of your leader from constant shortening when changing out tippets. Also it is a very strong knot; when you do get snagged or avfish snaps your line, the break usually happens right at the connection or somewhere on the tippet. Over the past year of using this type of connection I have only had to change out my leaders twice, which using my average cost of leaders has saved me $50.

Now that we have cut a big portion out the leader budget for the year; where can we save money on tippets? This question was very hard for me, I always use a dual nymph rig when fly fishing.   Before I was putting each fly 10-12 inches apart from each other, so if I got snagged I would lose the first fly altogether and enough tippet between flies that I was forced to only use the single nymph. My solution was spacing of the fly; I use at least 16 inches in between nymphs so that if I do get snagged I will still have enough tippet to run the second nymph. Also I force myself to read the waters I am fishing to see if I am justified in running a dual nymph rig. The final thing that will save you money on tippets is a strike indicator. Yes I know, a lot of people do not like this method, but hear me out. When you’re using a strike indicator you are able to adjust the depth of your fly in the water. If you are constantly snagging, adjust your strike indicator down a couple of inches until it is no longer snagging. The nymph will still be on the bottom of the river/creek where trout tend to feed the most, but it will no longer be snagging, which will save you on tippet material. Honestly, for me, doing small changes like these have brought me down to an average of 3 rolls of tippet per year, which is $50 savings in my budget.

Caught on the Roanoke River (same fish as above)

My only other piece of advice is concerning strike indicators; if you haven’t tried out the New Zealand Strike Indicator system then you should. They are simply a joy to work with, they don’t ruin your leader, they don’t feel bulky while casting, they float like a cork, and one bag of their wool has lasted me over two years now. I will never go back to previous strike indicators because of how well the New Zealand Strike Indicator has worked.

Ending as I have said in my previous posts, ultimately it is up to you. If you are diehard when it comes to your style of fly fishing then stick with it, but if you want to try a way to save money on fly fishing try out these ideas and see if they work for you.

Caught on Potts Creek