The Dan River offers a little bit of everything for beginning and experienced anglers.
In the river’s upper reaches, high in the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Patrick County, one can fly fish for native brook trout.
Four counties to the east, it flows into 50,000-acre John H. Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake), where striped bass might be caught. In between is a river that evolves as it flows east, with a myriad of opportunities for catching catfish, large- and smallmouth bass, sunfish, and much more.
Regulations on fishing vary by state and species. There are two special regulation sections that require a free permit issued by the City of Danville, as well as catch-and-release and trophy trout sections.
The Upper Dan River
For trout, stick to the upper reaches of the Dan, as it cascades out of Patrick County.
Virginia’s wildlife agency, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, provides detailed information on the Upper Dan River on its website.
The river begins north of U.S. 58, near Meadows of Dan. In its uppermost reaches, you may find native brook trout in what’s classified by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as “wild trout waters.” The section of river around U.S.58 is a put-and-take stocked trout section.