Places to fish in West Virginia are abundant, from small ponds to major rivers, and there are very few bodies of water that don’t have good fishing. But some
are better than others, and these 11 are the best. Just remember that before you go fishing anywhere in West Virginia, you need to get a license.
1. Cheat River
The Cheat River is a great fishing spot, but it is also surrounded by other areas that are great for fly fishing. The river is an excellent spot for catching trout, and especially small mouth bass, which are present all year long.
2. Greenbrier River
The Greenbrier is a premier spot for fly fishing, and like the Cheat River, the most abundant species is smallmouth bass. You can also find a fair amount of trout in this area. There are also many forks and branches through which the Greenbrier is fed, if you want to follow them for more fishing opportunities.
3. Tygart Lake
This beautiful lake has many different species of fish to catch, with year round seasonality.
The lake has walleye and smallmouth bass, mostly. Also common is channel and flathead catfish, white bass, crappie and muskellunge. this location is best for boat fishing, since the shoreline is so steep. The best time to catch bass is in the spring, summer and fall, while walleye are most abundant in the spring and the fall.
4. Elk River
The Elk River is by far the most popular spot in West Virginia for fly fishing and is considered by most to be the best river for fly fishing in the Eastern United States. This river is packed with trout, both wild and stocked, many of which are fairly large. The upper portion of the river is where the wild ones are, while the lower is annually stocked.
5. Stonecoal Lake
If you are looking for a lake with a lot of variety, you should try Stonecoal Lake. The lake is stocked with trout, bass, walleye, crappie, muskellunge, carp, rainbow trout, golden trout and more. The lake has a boat ramp and launch, plus a floating dock.
6. Sutton Lake
Another excellent spot for fly fishing, Sutton lake is also adjacent to three campgrounds, with both electric and primitive sites, if you want to make a weekend of it. Also, there are roughly 60 bass tournaments held at the lake annually, if you are feeling competitive. Four boat ramps at various locations provide access to the lake.
7. Shenandoah River
Although a large part of the Shenandoah River is in Virginia, a trip to the eastern panhandle of West Virginia will allows you access to the 22-mile stretch that ends in Harpers Ferry. You will be able to catch smallmouth bass and bluefish along the river.
8. Bluestone Lake
This warm water river has more citation game fish than any other warm water river in West Virginia, with many record catches documented. The lake is filled with many species of fish that flow into it from the New River. These include eight species of bass (black, smallmouth, largemouth, spotted, striped, hybrid striped, rock and white). Other fish include crappie, bluegill, catfish and muskellunge.
9. Spruce Knob Lake
This is a great spot if you are primarily looking to catch many varieties of trout, which are stocked several times a year. In the summertime, green sunfish are the most common catch. It is also possible to catch smallmouth bass, but only occasionally.
10. Shavers Fork
Shaver's Fork, which is a tributary of the Cheat River, is a good spot to catch trout, and it is stocked weekly. A good fly fishing spot as well, Shaver's Fork offers beautiful scenery while you are waiting for the fish to bite. But chances are you won't be waiting very long.
11. Glady Fork River
Here is another spot stocked with several species of trout. Glady Fork is good for baitcasting, spinning or fly fishing. Whatever method you choose, chances are good that you will catch something. The peak times for catching fish there is between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
For more information about fishing regulations and licensing in West Virginia, check out the West Virginia Fish & Wildlife website
Have you fished in any of these spots? Are there other great fishing spots not on this list? Feel free to comment below and join the discussion.
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