Trout Hotspots: West Virginia's Best Trout Streams for 2024

Trout Hotspots: West Virginia's Best Trout Streams for 2024WEST VIRGINIA -  Known for its rugged Appalachian landscapes and abundant waterways, boasts a vibrant trout fishing scene. From classic limestoners brimming with brown trout to remote mountain freestone streams alive with wild brookies, the Mountain State offers diverse options. Here's a look at its premier trout destinations for the 2024 season.

Trout Hotspots: West Virginia's Best Trout Streams for 2024
Trout Hotspots: West Virginia's Best Trout Streams for 2024

Where to Trout Fish in West Virginia

Legendary Limestoners

  • Greenbrier River (Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties): The Greenbrier is a West Virginia icon, offering a scenic float or wade experience with plentiful brown and rainbow trout. Its consistent hatches and limestone influence create the perfect environment for healthy trout populations.
  • Elk River (Webster, Randolph, and Braxton Counties): With both stocked and wild trout inhabiting its varied waters, the Elk caters to various angling styles: target browns with streamers or tempt selective fish with realistic dry flies during a hatch.
  • North Fork South Branch Potomac River (Pendleton County): Flowing along the Virginia border, the North Fork is a haven for large, wary wild brown trout. Experienced anglers seek out its deep pools and complex currents, seeking the thrill of landing one of its trophy residents.

Wild Brook Trout Havens

  • Cranberry River (Pocahontas and Webster Counties): Flowing through the scenic Monongahela National Forest, the Cranberry is a beloved wild brook trout destination. Its crystal-clear waters, pocket water, and stunning scenery add to its allure.
  • Williams River (Pocahontas and Randolph Counties): This smaller stream surprises anglers with its abundant wild brook trout. Explore its riffles and plunge pools for an intimate challenge. Its accessibility along the Highland Scenic Highway makes it a perfect choice for a short fishing adventure.
  • Shavers Fork of the Cheat River (Randolph County): This tributary of the powerful Cheat River boasts a thriving population of native brook trout in its pristine setting. Hike or backpack in for a remote, unforgettable angling experience.

Beyond the Basics: Hidden Gems

  • Gandy Creek (Randolph County): Gandy Creek delivers an intimate and beautiful setting with numerous wild brown trout and the potential for some larger-than-average fish. Its pocket water and boulder-strewn stretches reward a careful, stealthy approach.
  • South Branch of the Potomac River (Pendleton and Hardy Counties): Not to be confused with its larger North Fork sibling, the South Branch is a gem in its own right. Seek out this river for a picturesque setting, good hatches, and a chance at catching beautiful wild brown trout.
  • Blackwater River (Tucker County): The tannin-stained waters of the Blackwater hold healthy brook and brown trout, along with stocked rainbows. Its natural beauty and proximity to the Blackwater Falls area make it a fantastic destination for a well-rounded trip.

Important Reminders

  • Regulations: Always check the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website ( for the latest rules and regulations.
  • Access: Many of the state's best trout streams flow through public lands, but be sure to research access points and any specific requirements or restrictions.
  • Weather: Mountain weather can change quickly, so be prepared with appropriate gear and always check the forecast before venturing out.

The Adventure Awaits - West Virginia's trout streams offer the chance to reconnect with nature and experience the thrill of tackling its wild trout. Let the 2024 season be your invitation to explore the beauty of the Mountain State, one cast at a time!