The fall stocking waters are limited but nicely dispersed. They could add a little finned fare to your other outdoor ventures. Per this year’s decent rainfall, the hatcheries have fared well as opposed to during drought years when fish growth can be hindered. Thus, the average size of the trout should be above par.
Over and above that, there’s nothing like a little Indian summer to wet a line and leaf watch all at the same time. So let’s go fishing.
On the local scene, Pond Fork in Boone County, the R. D. Bailey Tailwaters in Mingo County and Pinnacle Creek in Wyoming County are the closest bets. For the mountain camp country, Spruce Knob, Seneca and Summit Lakes are all regulars on the fall trout beat. Other fall favorites include Knapps and Anthony Creeks and the Blackwater River.
Famous camp country rivers and streams to be stocked include the Cranberry, Williams, and Elk Rivers as well as the South Branch and its North Fork near Seneca Rocks. In addition to R.D. Bailey’s, other tailwater opportunities are found below Tygart, Sutton and Summersville dams.
Even with all the rain we’ve got, autumn stream levels are generally much lower than the spring’s. Lighter two and four pound test lines along with smaller hooks and baits might add a littler fall finesse to increase the odds in the angler’s favor.
Standard trout fare from small worms, salmon eggs, mealworms and power-baits are perennial favorites.
The lower and clearer the water, the more the edge goes to the fish.
Fly fishermen may gain an edge during the lower water times and should scale down likewise.
Joe-flies and other small spinning fare should be included in the arsenal of fishing baits.
For a little bit of exploratory trouting away from the standard stocked waters, you could give West Fork of Pond Fork, Pond Fork above the state stock stretch, Buffalo Creek, Spruce River above the town of Sharples, Elk Creek between Man and Gilbert or Dingess Run at Logan a try. These waters have been planted with fingerling brown trout in the past few years.