Fishery: Rural Retreat Lake and Trout Pond
Attractions: Fort Chiswell Animal Park, The Log House Restaurant, Graze on Main
About Rural Retreat Lake and Trout Pond
Southwest Virginia’s Mountain Empire is dominated by steep mountain ridges, countless trout streams and several ancient rivers. Rural Retreat Lake, a 90-acre lake in Wythe County, is one of the region’s many stillwater fishing spots.
Located near the town of Rural Retreat, VA, Rural Retreat Lake is a fertile impoundment and supports a great diversity of sport fish. A growing population and average size of largemouth bass is one of the most commonly fished at the lake. Rural Retreat Lake also supports a healthy channel catfish population. Bluegill and black crappie provide panfishing opportunities, though trophy specimens are not common. Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources biologists have stocked muskie, northern pike and hybrid striped bass as predators to control the panfish populations and increase their average sizes. Although northern pike stocking ended in 2009, muskie and hybrid striped bass are still stocked and caught.
A small, two-acre pond immediately adjacent to Rural Retreat Lake is stocked with trout by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources from October 1 to May 31 during the stocked trout season. During this time, a trout stamp is required to fish the pond.
Boating anglers should be aware that only electric motors are allowed on Rural Retreat Lake. A concrete boat ramp makes launching crafts from bass boats to kayaks easy. For shore-bound anglers, there is a handicap-accessible fishing pier and ample shoreline access via a hiking trail along the lake.
Things To Do in Wythe County, VA
The Wythe County Parks and Recreation Department owns and operates the property surrounding Rural Retreat Lake and offers an array of amenities, making the lake a great family fishing destination. The county maintains a campground with both primitive and water/electric hookup sites available, picnic shelters, a nine-hole disk golf course, a swimming pool and a concession that sells food, bait, and tackle, all of which are open seasonally.
For visitors not wishing to camp on the property itself, the nearby town of Wytheville, VA. offers a wealth of lodging and food options. In downtown Wytheville, the 1776 Log House Restaurant is a classic stop that serves up traditional southern fare. For casual yet upscale dining, visit Graze On Main in the historic Bolling Wilson Hotel.
Families touring the area should visit Fort Chiswell Animal Park, where visitors can get up close and personal with a variety of exotic animals. Guided safari bus tours run daily between May and November, and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in April. Self-guided walking tours of the petting zoo are available upon arrival.
Rural Retreat Lake offers warmwater anglers diverse opportunities in a stillwater setting, rich with amenities and alternative recreational activities.