Just about the first thing any serious fisherman will want to know is where is West Virginia fly fishing the best. Good thing is, there are several streams officially designated for fly fishing only although some spots are seasonal. All of them limit the angler to conventional fly tackle only and all of them require the catch to be returned immediately to the water.
The fly fishing is perfect every day of the year at these locations:
Elk River – Several spots along the river and its tributaries are areas reserved for fly fishing only but they can be fished year-round. A two-mile stretch that begins at the Elk Springs Campground flows downstream to Randolph County, where it stops at the Rose Run bridge.
Cranberry River - Enjoy excellent West Virginia fly fishing at the junction of the North and South Forks of this river. Access the area from the Cranberry Glades parking area of the Monongahela Forest off Route 76.
In the Woodbine Recreation Area of the Cranberry, enjoy fly fishing all the way down to Jakeman Run, also known as Camp Splinter. Access this fishing spot via National Forest Route 76 in Richwood. Also accessible from National Forest Route 76 is the North Fork of the Cranberry in Pocahontas County.
Potomac RIver, North and South Branches – Look for access here near Barnum in Mineral County, along the four-mile stretch that flows from Blue Hole to the Piney Swamp Run confluence, and near the Seneca Rocks Visitor Center at the mouth of Seneca Creek in Pendleton County.
Williams River – Access Tea Creek by way of National Forest Route 86 in Pocahontas County.
Anglers looking for seasonal excitement will want to mark calendars with these dates and places:
January 1 through October 4 - The Shavers Fork of the Cheat River boasts a five mile downstream run through the Monongahela National Forest. Start in Randolph County just north of US 250 and follow the stream all the way to the mouth of McGee Run, accessible from National Forest Route 92.
January 1 through June 15 – A seven-mile section of the Potomac River’s North Branch starts in the Maryland Potomac State Forest just north of Jennings Randolph Lake.
March 1 through May 31 - Head to Pendleton County, off US Route 220, to enjoy a beautiful mile of fly fishing that begins at Eagle Rock.
Other West Virginia fly fishing spots allow anglers to keep their catch although catch-and-release is a policy appreciated everywhere.