In a dream world, one could spend the year fishing across West Virginia. Actually, so many quality bodies of water exist, that those dreams can come true. Here are three dozen choices for you to consider.
West Virginia anglers often have to endure some frigid weather in January, but the muskiest at 2,650-acre Stonewall Jackson in Lewis County can heat up even a cold day. Unlike riverine impoundments like Bluestone or extremely deep ones like Summersville, Stonewall features relatively shallow water in the rolling hill country of the central part of the state. If a few days have air temperatures in the 40s â€” a real possibility â€” look for muskies to go on the prowl here.
The best action often takes place in areas with standing or fallen timber. The Little Skin Creek area is one of the best locales of that nature.
For more information call Stonewall Jackson Resort at 1-888-278-8150 or visit www.stonewallresort.com.
In keeping with the â€śbig teethâ€ť theme, Jennings Randolph Lake features a northern pike fishery, and the Buchanan River in Upshur County has a special regulations section for muskiest.
One of the best, stocked trout streams in the Mountain State is Anthony Creek in Greenbrier County. This Southern West Virginia stream flows through both public and private land and offers easy access in a number of places. State Route 92 runs near or parallel and roadside pull-offs are fairly common.
Anthony receives one stocking in January and two more in February, so there should be solid numbers of trout this month. From my experiences, the best fishing is often a hundred or so yards away from SR 92, but quality trout seem to pop up everywhere along this creek.
Guide Craig Miller, who operates Serenity Now Outfitters in Lewisburg, said Anthonyâ€™s good fishing continues all the way through May, as the stream receives weekly stockings then.
You can contact Miller at 1-877-WVFISHN or visit his Web site at www.serenitynowoutfitters.com.
Middle Island Creek in Tyler County boasts a 6-mile special regulation section for muskiest, and the Little Kanawha River sauger can turn on this month.
Guide Britt Stoudenmire, who operates the New River Outdoor Company, said March can bring some of the best trophy smallmouth bass fishing of the year, especially on the section of the river above Bluestone Lake.
Two floats are available on this section: from Glen Lyn, Va. to Shanklins Ferry, covering 11 miles, or 6 miles from Shanklins Ferry to Indian Creek.
The Glen Lyn junket requires that West Virginians purchase a Virginia license, but because anglers need licenses from two states to work this water, fishing pressure is very light. Be aware that Class III-plus rapids dot these 17 miles of the river.
For more details, contact Britt Stoudenmire at (540) 921-7438 or check out the Web site www.icanoethenew.com
The Kanawha Falls on the New River has a reputation for producing some enticing March walleye sport.
Also, fly-fishing fans may enjoy fishing for trout in the special regulation section of Thorn Creek in Pendleton County.
One of Northern West Virginiaâ€™s most fascinating trout fisheries is the Blackwater River in Tucker County as it flows through Blackwater Falls State Park. This is a true hike-in fishery, as anglers have to descend into a canyon and pick their way past huge rocks and through rhododendron shrouded mountainsides just to reach the stream.
But once there, you can expect quality action for rainbows and browns and majestic natural beauty, given the boulders, rapids, and heavily vegetated stream banks. A 3Â 1/2-mile section is catch-and-release from the County Route 29/1 bridge to the mouth of the North Fork.
Be aware, though, that you must be in good physical condition to attempt accessing this fishery.
For additional details visit www.blackwaterfalls.com, or call (304) 259-5216.
April is also a fine time to check out the largemouth bass action on the Kanawha River, or the channel cats on Mount Storm Lake.
Best bets for May, June, July and August can be found on page two!