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Gristmill Guide to Fishing


Bath County is known for some of the best fishing east of the Mississippi. With crystal clear rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams, this area is home to brown trout, speckled trout, large and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, crappie, and alewife. An angler’s paradise!

Day One
Rise early, because we’ve all heard that saying…the early bird gets the worm! Couldn’t be truer. You will want to get on the water early when the temps are cool and the fish are biting. Ask for your breakfast packed to go or get it the night before and stash it in your in-room fridge. Also get a box lunch* from us since you’ll be too busy reeling in the fish to break for lunch. If you need some supplies stop by our gift shop as we have a selection of flies and other items that you might need while out on the water. Then head out to one of many great areas to fish such as: Blowing Springs, Dominion Back Creek area, Hidden Valley, Poor Farm, Tomahawk Ranch*, Lake Moomaw, the lower Jackson River, and Cowpasture River at Walton Tract, just to name a few. Make sure to have your current fishing license with you just in case!


If you are a new angler and would prefer to have some instruction reach out to Kate who can help you arrange an experienced guide during your visit. Make sure to give her a few days’ notice!

After fishing all day you’ll be ready for a hot shower followed by a delicious dinner. If you aren’t too tired of fish, order the trout at the Waterwheel Restaurant. This trout comes right from the same company who stocks the rivers and streams around here. Talk about fresh catch!

Day Two

Today you should make the short drive down to Covington to check out Escatawba Farms. Located in the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia, Escatawba Farms is cradled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the heart of the George Washington National Forest. They offer a secluded Virginia trout fishing experience on Dunlap Creek, a freestone stream that ambles its way through two miles of wooded mountains and fenced pastures.  They have guide services available you can arrange with some notice, or just spend some time alone on the water. They take online reservations by clicking here.

One your way back to Warm Springs after a full day of fishing stop by Bacova Beer Company. With locals and visitors alike in the tap room, you’re bound to run in to a fellow angler anxious to swap stories of fishing on our majestic waters.

Cap off the day with another farm fresh dinner at the Waterwheel. With two full days of fishing you definitely deserve a steak paired with a deliciously bold glass of cabernet! After dinner enjoy sitting outside in the square and reminisce about all the great fishing and make sure to check the calendar to see when you schedule will allow you to come back and try your fishing skills again!

Area Guides:
Jason Woods
Justin Fishbach
James DeBoe
Wesley Hodges