West Virginia is home to hundreds of wide-open lakes, babbling brooks and rushing streams where you can cast a line and catch a glimpse of the most beautiful and peaceful mountain scenery. And with brilliant foliage on full display and West Virginia’s fall trout stocking season happening in October, now is the time to take the kind of fishing adventure you keep dreaming about.
Whether you prefer solo fly fishing trips or spending the day with your family casting lines at a state park lake or reservoir, here’s just a few of the places where you can go fishing and enjoy the best of West Virginia’s fall beauty.
Fly Fishing on the Elk River
The Elk River is one of the most popular fly fishing waterways in West Virginia, while the upper section is home to some of the best trout waters in the state. This winding portion of the Elk has brown, brook, rainbow and golden trout, some of which grow to 20 inches or more. During the fall, the WVDNR will stock trout in the Randolph and Webster county sections of the river, where fly fishing is best due to higher elevations and the presence of limestone in the creek bed.
During your fishing adventures on the Elk, don’t miss your chance to see fall foliage, serene waterfalls and mountain views at nearby Holly River State Park and Kumbrabow State Forest. Bringing the family? Stop by the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in nearby French Creek, where you can see elk, black bears, mountain lions and other popular state animals. Fall foliage in this area peaks in early to mid-October, so buy your license and plan your trip today.
Cast a Line on the Buckhannon River
This fall, the WVDNR will stock trout in a three-mile section of the Buckhannon River, which is a tributary of the Tygart River (the headwaters of which will also receive a stocking). While you’re in the area, make sure you visit nearby Audra State Park for a hike on the Alum Creek and Cave Trail, which features a boardwalk that winds below the Alum Cave overhang and spectacular views of the crystal-clear waters of the Middle Fork River. And make sure your bring your camera and stop by the Philippi Covered Bridge, which was built in 1852. Fall foliage in this area peaks in early to mid-October, so buy your license and plan your trip today.
Bond with Family at Summersville Lake
With 2,700 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline, Summersville Lake is the biggest lake in West Virginia and one of the most popular places for outdoor recreation in the Mountain State. With credentials like that, you know it has some incredible opportunities for family fun and fishing adventures. And just on the other side of the dam, the WVDNR will stock trout in the lake’s tailwaters this fall.
When you’re not fishing, there’s plenty of beautiful scenery for you and your family to enjoy fall colors. But for even more impressive views, visit nearby Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, where you can take in all of autumn’s splendor and some truly spectacular Gauley River canyon views. Fall foliage in this area peaks in mid to late-October, so buy your license and plan your trip today.
Skip Town for the Weekend at Pipestem Lake
Taking a trip into the mountains for a morning of casting lines is all fine and good, but sometimes you just need a place where you can get away from it all. If you want to skip town for the weekend, let the country roads lead you to Pipestem Resort State Park, where you can enjoy a cozy cabin stay and relaxing fishing adventure in one of West Virginia’s most popular state parks.
The WVDNR will stock trout in the park’s lake this October, just in time for fall color to turn Pipestem into a leaf peeper’s paradise. The park’s scenic Bluestone River Gorge, aerial tramway and Bolar Lookout offer several unique ways for you to see foliage. Fall color in this area peaks in late-October, so buy your license and plan your trip today.
To fish in West Virginia, anglers 15 and older are required to have a valid fishing license and trout stamp. Buy your license and stamps today.
Safe Travel in West Virginia
It’s been an eventful year and we could all use a relaxing getaway. With wide open spaces, incredible fishing opportunities and beautiful fall foliage, West Virginia is one of the best places for escaping busy cities and all the worries of everyday life.
While state parks, public lakes and other outdoor areas in West Virginia are some of the safest places to travel, statewide health guidelines are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes a statewide requirement to wear a mask inside when physical distancing of six feet is not possible. For the most recent updates on COVID-19 in West Virginia, visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov.
For more information about fall in West Virginia, visit www.wvtourism.com/fall.