There are actually two South rivers that originate in Augusta County.  One begins as St. Marys River and flows south into the Maury River, but the one featured on this webpage starts near the village of Greenville and flows approximately 50 miles north and joins the North River to form the South Fork Shenandoah River.  Upstream of the City of Waynesboro, South River can be characterized as a small, low-gradient, meandering stream.  As it approaches Waynesboro, large springs begin to cool the river, increase flow, and increase productivity.   The South River offers both warmwater and coldwater (trout) fishing opportunities.

Warmwater Fishing

The river harbors good numbers of smallmouth bass, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, fallfish and even a few largemouth bass from near Lyndhurst downstream to the confluence with the North River in Port Republic. Anglers might also catch bluegill, green sunfish, channel catfish, carp, white sucker, or black crappie while exploring the river.

Trout Fishing

There are five separate sections of South River that fall under different trout management programs and are managed with different regulations.  They are listed in order from upstream of Waynesboro downstream to Grottoes.

  1. In the Lyndhurst area upstream of Waynesboro Trout Unlimited has partnered with several private landowners to open a 3 mile section of stream to public fishing.  This section is stocked annually with fingerling rainbow and brown trout by VDWR. Regulations are fly fishing only and all trout <20 inches must be released.  Only one trout >20 inches may be harvested per day.  A free permit is required to fish this section.
  2. The section of South River within Ridgeview Park in the City of Waynesboro is managed as a Designated Stocked Trout Water.  
  3. The 2 mile reach from Wayne Avenue downstream through Constitution Park to 2nd Street in North Park in the City of Waynesboro is managed as a Catch and Release Stocked Trout Water. A “greenway” walking trail parallels the stream for the upper half of this section.
  4. A ¼ mile reach of South River within Basic Park (City of Waynesboro) is a Youth Only Stocked Trout Water April 1 – June 15. Only youth age 15 and younger can fish during this time period.
  5. The reach from Grand Caverns Park downstream to Grottoes Town Park is managed as a Designated Stocked Trout Water.