Martinsville, Virginia


Smith River Fishing

Smith River Trout Fishing

The Smith River, located in Martinsville - Henry County,  Virginia, is known for its native brown trout fishery. Fly fishermen enjoy casting to these trout year-round in the tailwaters of Philpott Lake, which keeps the water cool and the fish active. In addition to native brown trout found there, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries stocks portions of the river with rainbow trout as part of their put-and-take-program.

From Philpott Lake, the Smith River travels 44.5 miles on its way across Henry County before entering North Carolina. Ten public river access points make getting in the river a breeze. The river’s character is constantly changing all the way, so no matter your fishing style, there’s a place for you to enjoy. As the water temperatures warm up further downstream, small mouths and redbreast are abundant. 

On the river, you can explore some incredible scenic beauty, magnificent rock outcrops and Native American fish weirs dating back to the 1300’s.

Martinsville - Henry County is proud to be home to one of the nation's largest Trout-in-the-Classroom Programs. An informative display about this program can be seen at the Virginia Museum of Natural History

Fun Fact

The Smith River was named one of the best fishing rivers in Southwestern Virginia by the readers of Virginia Living Magazine.

NEW - See the Smith River in action!

Video Highlight: Watch as Natalie Faunce of WSLS 10's Daytime Blue Ridge enjoys fishing in the Smith River. 


Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout must be longer than 7-inches. There is a slot limit on Brown Trout. No Browns between 10 - 24 inches long may be kept. 

Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries- Trout Regulations

Safety Precautions 

Water in the Smith River fluctuates daily. Call (276) 629-2432 to hear a recorded message detailing generation times. Water levels rise quickly during generation and can travel between 3 to 5 miles per hour.

USGS Water Levels

Advice from Fishermen

"My First Time: Fly Fishing"  
Mike's Gone Fishing...Again! 
Perfect Fly
Smith River Trout Unlimited