Tips, best fishing spots and helpful reminders to get you ready for your fall fishing adventures in Almost Heaven, West Virginia.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, fall is a great time to go fishing in West Virginia. Select streams and lakes will be stocked with large catchable-size trout and trophy monster trout during the weeks of October 16 and October 23. With beautiful fall foliage and several big and small game hunting seasons being open, there’s no better time to experience all of the beauty, goodness and adventure that West Virginia has to offer.

Fishing should be relaxing and enjoyable, so don’t worry about finding the perfect spot or catching the biggest fish. Just enjoy yourself and let this guide help you plan your fishing adventure! But before you cast your line, make sure you buy your fishing license and stamps at and find your fishing spot at

What Kind of Trout Can I Catch?

During the weeks of October 16 and October 23, we stock more than 40,000 pounds of trout in 43 lakes and streams around the state. These fish are bigger than the trout we stock in the winter and spring. Most of the trout we stock in the fall weigh 1-2 pounds, but we also stock about 6,500 pounds of monster trout weighing 3-6 pounds.

If you love trout fishing, don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to reel in the catch of a lifetime. There’s even a chance you could win a prize as part of the Monster Trout Contest!

Looking for tips to help you catch a trout? Click here for tips and tricks for catching rainbow, golden rainbow, brown, tiger and brook trout.

Essential Fall Trout Fishing Gear

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, having the proper gear can make all the difference in your fishing experience. First, you’ll need a fishing rod and reel that is appropriate for the type of fishing you plan to do. For trout fishing, a fly rod or lightweight spinning rod and reel combo are great choices. Make sure you use light lines such as 4 to 8 pound test and consider using fluorocarbon leaders in the ultra clear waters typically found in fall streams.  

In addition to your rod and reel, you’ll also need to bring along bait or lures, and hooks. When it comes to bait, live bait such as worms or minnows can be very effective for catching a variety of fish including trout but check your regulations because live bait is not allowed in some special regulation areas. Alternatively, lures such as  spinners and jigs can also be effective and they come in a wide range of colors and styles. Make sure you bring a variety of smaller sizes and types to match the conditions. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and accessories such as rain gear or sunscreen to ensure that your fishing trip is comfortable and enjoyable.

Best Fall Trout Fishing Spots

The quickest and easiest way to find a good fishing spot is to ask a friend or family member who’s an avid angler to give you a recommendation. If you’re asking us, many state parks and forests have popular fishing streams and lakes that are perfect for anglers of any experience. You can also contact your local WVDNR District Office to speak with the fishery biologist or use our interactive fishing map to find a spot that fits your needs.

Cranberry River

This 14.39-mile section of the Cranberry River in the Monongahela National Forest, is arguably West Virginia’s top trout stream. Known for its beautiful scenery and excellent trout fishing, the Cranberry is stocked in the spring and fall with rainbow, golden rainbow and brook trout, making it a great spot any time of year for experienced and novice anglers. In addition to fishing, the area offers camping, hiking and stunning scenery and native brook trout can be found in many of the small tributaries of the Cranberry River

Blackwater River

This 7.33-mile section of the Blackwater River in Otter Creek WMA is an ideal trout stream thanks to its high elevation and its proximity to Blackwater Falls and Blackwater Falls State Park. Because of this, the Blackwater River is an ideal fishing spot for people who want to enjoy a fall getaway.

But when it comes to fall trout fishing, don’t miss your chance to cast a line in a stocked lake or stream. Here are a few fishing streams and lakes stocked with trout that we think you’ll enjoy this Fall.

Elk River

This 21.7-mile section of the Elk River in Webster and Randolph counties is remote, pristine and representative of a West Virginia trout stream with plenty of large pools, small waterfalls, runs and plenty of access points. The section stocked is from Rose Run downstream 18 miles to Webster Springs, and. WV secondary Rts. 26 and 26/1 provide access.

Upper Guyandotte River

This 14-mile long section of the Guyandotte River is a pristine trout stream located between Mullens and Pineville. Located outside Twin Falls Resort State Park, the upper Guyandotte provides excellent trout fishing all year. This stream is a new trout stocking location, officially added to the schedule in 2021 during a ceremonial stocking of rainbow trout.

North Fork South Branch of The Potomac River

This 35.02 mile-section of the Potomac River’s South Branch in Grant and Pendleton County runs through Seneca Rocks and is known for its scenic beauty, stunning mountain views and easy access points for casting your line. The stream is stocked downstream, from Judy Gap to 1/2 mile above the junction of South Branch, near Cabins. WV Rt. 28 parallels the stream along this section.

Shavers Fork

Shavers Fork is an 88.5-mile long stream that forms the Cheat River at its confluence with Black Fork in Parsons. Located in Tucker, Randolph and Pocahontas County, this stream is one of the highest rivers in the eastern United States in terms of elevation, which makes it an ideal trout water. During fall trout stocking, Shavers Fork is stocked in Bemis (0.78 miles), in the lower section between Bowden and Elkins (7.28 miles) and in the upper section in the Cheat WMA (7.75 miles).

Watoga Lake

The 12-acre Watoga Lake is stocked with rainbow, golden, brook and brown trout and provides a great opportunity for all anglers, experienced and novice alike, to enjoy fall trout fishing. Fishing is accessible even to those with limited mobility. Watoga also has park facilities available to make your trout fishing trip into a family outing a great experience.

Get Your West Virginia Fishing License and Plan Your Next Adventure!

Ready to experience the joy of fishing in Almost Heaven, West Virginia? The first step is to purchase your fishing license and trout stamp. It’s quick and easy and you’ll be supporting the conservation of our natural resources. Get your license online at, at a license retailer around the state or at a WVDNR District Office near you.

Buy your license and stamps today!