Experience the essence of spring fishing at these Almost Heaven streams

Spring brings a spirit of revival and fresh starts — not just for nature but for our hobbies and passions. If your fishing routine has become a little stale or you’re eager to discover new waters to cast your line, consider casting your line in a stocked stream. There’s no better time to explore all that fishing in West Virginia has to offer.

In this blog, you’ll find details about five rivers that capture the essence of spring fishing. With its unique characteristics and bountiful fish populations, each river promises an adventure that will renew your love for angling in the great outdoors. Who knows — one of these rivers might just become your new favorite fishing spot. Let’s dive in!

Elk River

Stretching over 21 miles, the Elk River, particularly near Webster Springs, is a premier destination for fly fishing enthusiasts in West Virginia. And thanks to a regular stocking schedule, easy access for wading and shore fishing and scenic beauty, it’s no wonder the Elk is so popular with anglers of all skill levels.

  • Location: Randolph and Webster counties
  • Length: 21.70 miles
  • Special Regulations: General
  • Season: All Year
  • Stocked: Once in January, twice in February, once each week from March through May, from Rose Run downstream 18 miles to Webster Springs.

South Branch Potomac River

Spanning 11.5 miles, the South Branch Potomac River near Petersburg provides anglers with multiple access points, including the South Branch Wildlife Management Area. The consistent stocking schedule ensures plentiful trout fishing opportunities, making the South Branch Potomac a favored spot for seasoned anglers and those new to the sport. Its scenic vistas and varied fishing experiences contribute to its reputation as a prime fishing destination in West Virginia.

  • Location: Grant and Hardy counties
  • Length: 11.50 miles
  • Special Regulations: General
  • Season: All Year
  • Stocked: Once each month from January through April, from the U.S. 220 bridge in Petersburg downstream to Brighton Park near Moorefield.

Shavers Fork (Lower Section)

The lower section of Shavers Fork stands out for its high elevation, cool temperatures and regular trout stocking. With a generous stocking schedule, the lower section extends 7.28 miles near Faulkner, from Bowden to Stuarts Park, and provides accessible fishing experiences in the Cheat Mountain area’s breathtaking landscape.

  • Location: Randolph County
  • Length: 7.28 miles
  • Special Regulations: General
  • Season: All Year
  • Stocked: Once in January, twice in February, once each week from March through May, from Bowden to Stuarts Park.

Paint Creek

Paint Creek, stretching 14.66 miles through Fayette and Kanawha counties, is a cherished trout fishing stream in West Virginia. This creek is stocked in the spring, ensuring a vibrant trout population. Paint Creek is not only known for its trout but also for its scenic beauty, winding through lush landscapes that provide a serene fishing backdrop. Accessibility along its length allows anglers to find numerous prime fishing spots, making it a top choice for those seeking both abundance and variety in their trout fishing endeavors.

  • Location: Fayette and Kanawha counties
  • Length: 14.66 miles
  • Special Regulations: General
  • Season: All Year
  • Stocked: Twice each month February through April and once in May, from Pax downstream to above the Catch and Release Area and in a 4-mile section from Tenmile Creek to Ash Branch.

Blackwater River

The Blackwater River in Tucker County is a gem for trout anglers, featuring a 7.33-mile section known for its rich trout stocks and stunning natural beauty. The river’s strategic stocking schedule ensures a thriving trout habitat. This section, from the U.S. Rt. 32 bridge through the Davis Settling Pond to Camp 70, is particularly popular for its accessibility and the variety of trout species it hosts.

  • Location: Tucker County
  • Length: 7.33 miles
  • Special Regulations: General
  • Season: All Year
  • Stocked: Once in January, twice in February, once each week March through May in a 3-mile section at the U. S. Rt. 32 bridge and in a 5-mile section from the Davis Settling Pond upstream to Camp 70.

Upgrade your fishing experience. Buy a physical license card today.

So, whether you’re revisiting familiar rivers or casting your line in new waters, let the promise of well-stocked waters, the thrill of the catch and the unparalleled beauty of West Virginia landscapes in the spring breath new life into your year.

But before you cast a line, there’s one more step to take — buying your fishing license and trout stamp. All anglers 15 years and older are required to have a West Virginia fishing license and trout stamp, which can be purchased online at WVfish.com.

This year, elevate your angling experience by opting for a new physical license card with your 2024 fishing license and trout stamp purchase. This collectible card not only looks good but serves as a memento of your commitment to the sport and the conservation efforts that keep it thriving. It’s a small upgrade that can make a big difference, ensuring you’re always ready to seize the moment when the waters call.