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Big Tumbling Creek (Clinch Fee Fishing Area)

The Clinch Mountain fee fishing area (Tumbling Creek) offers put-and-take trout fishing with the added advantage that trout are stocked several times per week throughout the season. The fee fishing program operates from the first Saturday in April through September at Clinch Mountain. For those anglers who miss the opening day of trout season, the fee fishing area still provides this opportunity on the first Saturday in April when it opens at 9:00 AM During the fee fishing season, a daily permit ($8.00) is required in addition to a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license. After the fee fishing season, these areas revert to designated stocked trout waters and a trout license is required instead of the daily permit.

The fee fishing area is located within the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area in southwest Virginia, about 7 miles west of Saltville. The area consists of approximately 7 miles of Big Tumbling Creek and its two major tributaries, Briar Cove Creek and Laurel Bed Creek. Big Tumbling Creek is a large, steep gradient stream with numerous small waterfalls and large, deep rocky pools. The two tributaries are much smaller with a more moderate gradient. Laurel Bed Lake is no longer part of the fee fishing program and does not require the daily permit. However, the lake continues to be managed for trout as well as for flow augmentation for Big Tumbling Creek. Trout are stocked 4 times a week (except Sunday) throughout the fee period in the streams, and fishing begins at 5 AM daily, except for opening day, and ends one hour after sunset. Camping is available at the area and VDWR owns and manages the surrounding land.

Maps & Directions

Access to Clinch Mountain Fee Fishing Area
From Marion take I-81 south to exit 35 at Chilhowie, then north on route 107 to Saltville, then west on 613 following Department signs to the fee fishing area.


The fee fishing area is open daily from the first Saturday in April through the last day in September. Fish are stocked 4 times per week during the fee season. A daily use permit costing $8.00 is required in addition to a resident or non-resident fishing license in order to fish the fee area. Fishing begins daily at 5 AM and ends 1 hour after sunset. Permits and licenses may be purchased on the web.

Biologist Reports

  • None available at this time.
  • Facilities, Amenities, and Nearby Attractions

    Parking and information kiosks are located along the stream and trash containers are plentiful for waste.

    More Information

    Additional information can be obtained by calling:

    Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
    Marion Regional Office
    Phone: 276-783-4860


    The Marion Fish Cultural Station
    Phone: 276-782-9314