5 Randolph County Fishing Spots That Will Get You Hooked…
West Virginia has one of the best trout-stocking programs in the nation. Each year, between 700,000 and 800,000 pounds of trout are stocked in West Virginia streams and lakes. Additionally, over 300,000 fingerling trout are stocked in our state’s streams and rivers. The Potomac Highlands has miles of West Virginia trout fishing rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes. Situated in the beautiful region of the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, Randolph County is a natural paradise that has long been a destination for anglers of all sorts. Whether you prefer to keep your feet dry and cast your reel from a boat or along the shore or you’d rather wade in the deep refreshing mountain water, you’ll find your paradise where the fish are biting.
The Cheat River, the East’s longest, free-flowing river, is a 78.3-mile-long tributary of the Monongahela River in eastern West Virginia. Owing to its ruggedness of the surrounding Allegheny Mountains, the Cheat remains largely remote, making this river one of the best tributaries in West Virginia. The Cheat River has been reported to have been named for its deceptively deep sections containing whirlpools that presumably “cheated” men of their lives by drowning them. The Cheat River has five forks, Black, Shavers, Dry, Glady, and Laurel Fork, these are known as the five Forks of the Cheat. Shavers Fork of the Cheat River is one of the longest, well-known trout streams in Randolph County, West Virginia. The High Falls of the Cheat is located upstream from the little town of Bemis on the Shavers Fork. Hiking the trail or riding an excursion train are your options to see these magnificent falls. There are plenty of remote sections along the Shavers Fork and is ideal for fishermen who like to “get away from people”. The Shavers, although shallow in some places, is a good-sized river that sports some big pools that trout absolutely love. Stay awhile, and check out the plenty of cabins available to rent for a night or a whole week.
The Elk River, called the Lady by the locals, is known as one of West Virginia’s premier trout streams. Anglers won’t be disappointed when fishing the Elk due to the number of trout in the river. The Elk River is home not only to stocked trout but to native trout as well. The Elk has always been a favorite among fly fishermen. Being a good-sized stream, the Elk provides plenty of room for back casts and the trout seem to eagerly hit flies all year long. Some of the rainbows and browns are in the 20-inch category. This watershed receives almost 25,000 pounds of fish each year. The stretch of the Elk River running through Randolph and Webster counties is blessed with an abundance of long limestone pools, which are great for holding trout and keeping the stream active. Along with other prominent trout waters, the river also features a gorgeous catch-and-release area on its upper end. Whether you want to fish on your own or use one of the many available fishing guides, the Lady will not disappoint. Stay overnight at the Elk Springs Resort and enjoy fine accommodations, great food, and good old-fashioned mountain hospitality.
In a state with no closed fishing season, trout enthusiasts come from all over to fish for rainbows, browns, brookies, and more. Classified as one of West Virginia’s most scenic streams, Gandy Creek rises on the west flank of Spruce Knob, the state’s highest mountain, and flows through a little desolate valley in the Monongahela National Forest. Gandy is a medium sized trout stream with above-average water quality. Its headwaters flow through the Sinks of Gandy. The Sinks of Gandy is a mile-long limestone canyon where the stream disappears underground. The Sinks of Gandy has 3 entrances, all of which are located on private property. Although property owners give the public access to see this phenomenon, it’s best to ask for permission. From the Sinks of Gandy downstream to the little town of Whitmer, Gandy is a prime trout stream, with a large population of wild brook and brown trout, as well as stocked rainbows and browns. Boulders were placed in the stream in the early 1990s to help restore habitat. These boulders are perfect places for trout to hide and thrive. The County Route 29 road runs along the stream for almost its entire length. There are many tributaries that you can hike up and get prime fishing and camping spots. Bring a travel trailer or tent camp, either way, the many dispersed camping sites will make you feel like you have the stream and wilderness to yourself.
Spruce Knob Lake
One of the most picturesque trout fishing destinations in West Virginia, Spruce Knob Lake has established itself as a high-quality trout-fishing destination. Built in 1952 for fishing, the 23-acre Spruce Knob Lake is regularly stocked with trout by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. It serves as one of the state’s most unique fisheries. In the winter, ice forms thick enough to go ice fishing. Spruce Knob Lake receives weekly trout stockings from March through May. The lake is also stocked once in January and once in February when weather allows and receives trout during the two weeks of fall stocking. There is a small boat launch, parking lot, and vault toilets. A wooden pier along the shoreline provides barrier-free access. Numerous small but hungry bluegills, sunfish, and smallmouth bass along the shoreline make fishing fun for beginning anglers. When you have finished fishing at the highest lake in West Virginia, visit the highest point in WV, Spruce Knob, and camp under the stars at Spruce Knob Lake Campground or Gatewood Campground.
Tygart Valley River
The Tygart Valley River, also known as the Tygart River, rises in Randolph County in the Allegheny Mountains. The upper part of the river above Elkins flanks the Monongahela National Forest. The Valley Bend Wildlife Management Area and Huttonsville Wildlife Management Area provide access to anglers on the upper part. The upper part of Tygart River is stocked from Valley Head, downstream 11 miles, to Becky’s Creek. US Rt. 219 follows along a stocked section of the river. Here you can catch stocked brook, brown, and rainbow trout. The Tygart Valley River backwater is one of the best places to catch big muskies. The Tygart River backwaters flow through downtown Elkins, is a perfect fishing experience for many anglers to catch carp, musky, large-mouth bass, pike, croppy, walleye, and catfish. The Scott’s Ford Fishing pier is ADA accessible water source, located in Elkins, that provides easy access for kayaks, canoes, and small fishing boats. Much of the Tygart River is composed of long, deep pools. These pools are very important because they provide the necessary cover to hold muskies year ’round. Some of these pools have fallen trees sprinkled along the shoreline that make really good habitats for all kinds of fish. Planning a whole vacation around your fishing experience? We have hotel and motels, vacation rentals, cabins, and campgrounds that will suit any of your travel needs.