There aren't many cities as lucky as Roanoke. Few spots have a trout river running through town. While I'm sure there are lots of improvements that could make the Roanoke River better, I find it pretty amazing that we live as far south as Virginia and for most years, the Roanoke River supports a trout fishery year round.
Though we have lived here in Roanoke for over sixteen years, I've never fished the Roanoke River. I've always gone outside of town or farther up in the mountains. One of my goals this year is to change that. I love to fly fish, and most of the time I would just as soon not catch a lot. If I can have one or two rise to a fly that's plenty.
So I figure laying out a line on the Roanoke River might be very therapeutic. Now that I'm working the area, I have no excuse. I'm planning to get a license in the next few days and head on down to the river to tune up my casts.
We should be proud of this area, and make certain that we leave the Roanoke River in better shape for our kids than we found it.
It's a wonderful resource, and it's hard to believe the spot where I photographed the river is just yards from the very busy Virginia 419 or Electric Road. I sure the runoff from the roads isn't good for the river, but it's still an amazing resource, and one that we should never take for granted.
You can count on finding me wading in the river in the not too distant future. Don't worry about me catching fish. I can catch plenty when I'm down at the coast. The fishing that I have planned for here is more for the spirit than the frying pan. Of course this time of year in that stretch of the river catch and release is the only way to fish, but most of us do that all the time anyway.
How much happier can you be than a Presbyterian fly fisherman in a town where a trout river runs by the city streets? After all they don't allow worm dunkers in the river this time of year. (not that I didn't dunk a lot of worms in my youth) If you look closely at the photo to the right, you can see the bridge where Route 11, Apperson Drive, crosses the Roanoke River at Route 419.
While this is in the middle of the some of the busiest streets in the area, it's still a haven from civilization. I hope it stays this way forever.