Where: Balls Bluff Regional Park on the Potomac River near Leesburg Virginia
When: April 25, 2009 (Saturday) late morning to early afternoon
Water Temperature: 56°F
Permits: Virginia state permit
Catch: Two largemouth bass, maybe 1.5 pounds each
Access: Good parking and access to the water, bad/muddy wading
I tried a little fishing at Balls Bluff Regional park on a nice sunny Saturday, partly to get outside, partly to avoid shopping at the nearby Leesburg outlets. This is definitely the first time I had to walk through a civil war battle to get to the river. There was a reenactment going on this morning, and I made my way along the path to the river under heavy cannon fire, which was sort of interesting!
There was a nice parking lot, followed by a well marked path down to the water. Watch out for snakes, as I saw several 3-4′ black snakes sunning themselves along the trail. When I got down to the river, there were a few bait fishermen set up at the first couple of obvious spots, so I moved north along the trail. A few hundred feet up the trail I found what is probably the best spot for fly casting near a downed tree, with plenty of room between me and the treeline. Unfortunately the banks of the river drop off very steeply (and muddily), so even with my hip waders on I could only get out a couple feet from the shore. This was before the recent two weeks of rain, so it is probably running even higher now.
Despite the somewhat difficult wading conditions I did manage to land a couple largemouth bass. There was a family bait fishing next to me that also reeled in a good-sized carp.
Although the fishing and the access here are not nearly as good as at Pennyfield Locks, it was a very pleasant alternative to shopping at the Leesburg Outlets, which are only a mile away from Balls Bluff Regional Park. The trails were scenic and would be a nice place to walk your dog…just watch out for all the snakes!
The Balls Bluff Regional Park website