Trout Fishing WV
Ask an angler what fly fishing is all about and you’re likely to get a one-word response – Trout!
It’s true. Trout is king to most fly fishermen and the waters of West Virginia offer several species that keep those flies hopping.
Cutthroat Trout / Oncorhynchus clarkii – These highly prized sportfish are easily identified by the bright slash of red running side to side on the underside of the fish’s lower jaw or just below its gill plates, making it look just like its name implies. These trout prefer still, remote spots off larger waterways or smaller,quiet streams but don’t let their lazy-looking surroundings fool you. These fish become serious fighters when caught, making them one of the most thrilling catches around. When mature, they reach lengths up to 40 inches. When trout fishing WV waters, look for these non-natives in the Potomac River Basin.
Rainbow Trout / Oncorhynchus mykiss – This totally freshwater version of the steelhead provides ideal fishing opportunities for landlocked states although there is speculation the steelheads might have migrated inland from the Chesapeake Bay and became acclimated to the beautiful WV rivers and streams.Find these freshwater treasures in all four major fishing areas of WV – the Ohio,Potomac, James, and New River Basins.
Brown Trout / Salmo trutta – The brown trout in WV waters is a German native,introduced for both eating and sport fishing. The average mature brown trout,which can be 20 years old, weighs about two pounds but larger ones are out there. Browns are found in all four of WV’s major river basins, as are rainbow and brown trout.
Brook Trout / Salvelinus fontinalis – Colorful speckles on the greenish brown body of the brook trout and its squared tail fins provide the inspiration for its other common names – the speckled trout and the squaretail. Eastern brook trout range between 10 and 26 inches when full grown and reach a weight of 1 to 7 pounds, with larger fish living in larger bodies of water where its food supply is most abundant. Look for these WV natives in the four major waterways of West Virginia, along with brown and rainbow trout.
It is possible to enjoy fly fishing in West Virginia and elsewhere even when there are no trout around but for the die-hard fly angler, there ain’t nothing like a trout!