Abingdon, however, offers a lot more in the way of outdoor sports, including an outstanding but under the radar fly-fishing scene. Some of the best fly fishing on the east coast can be found in Washington County, a few minutes outside Abingdon.
The prize gem of the area is Whitetop Laurel Creek. Beginning in two smaller feeder streams (the Little Laurel & the Big Laurel), Virginia’s Whitetop Laurel Creek ranks as one of the finest natural wild trout streams in the Southeastern U.S. Paralleled for long sections by both the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Creeper Trail, the stream offers numerous large pools and access for handicapped anglers.
As waters cool in the Fall, trout begin feeding heavily and those in Whitetop Laurel are no exception. Autumn offers the best chance to tangle with one of the stream’s trophy brown trout as they prepare to spawn. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that Whitetop Laurel is an Autumn-only fishing destination, in spring, activity levels of trout increase greatly making Whitetop Laurel a true all season fly fishing hot spot.
Look for brown trout 20 inches or more as well as numerous wild rainbow trout, a rarity in the Southeast.
Want to get into fly-fishing, but don’t know where to start? Abingdon has you covered! The first choice of local anglers for equipment and tours is the Virginia Creeper Fly Shop; an excellent place for anglers of any level! Also look out for High County Angler Fly Fishing, Mountain Sports Ltd, and South Holston River Fly Shop.
For more information on outdoor recreation in the area, check out VisitAbingdonVirginia.com.