Clear Your Mind…Go Fishing
I started out writing this with lots of facts about fishing here in Pocahontas County. But then I got in a state of fishing and it all changed. Some of the sweetest times I can remember with my dad were times that he would take me out fishing with him when I was a kid and we lived in Butte Montana. He was most peaceful when he was standing in the middle of the Big Hole River, or the Wise or the Jefferson.
I’m not sure where he learned to fish, couldn’t have been from his father as they lost contact when dad was young but somewhere along the line he learned to work the river, he always came back with fish. He just knew where they were and how to catch them. And he knew early on, he didn’t stay for hours in an area that didn’t result in anything. We’d move up or down the river often just so he could see him hitting or watch the flies on top of the water.
It was not until years after my dad died that I understood that catching fish and fishing were not even close to the same thing. Fishing is about going to a secret place, in your mind, where nobody else can go. It’s about not hearing or seeing anything. It’s about NOT being focused. No thoughts, no ideas, no sentences. Fishing is the peace. Fishing is appreciation of the outdoors and all that it offers each of us, differently.
Well now back to Pocahontas County. Pocahontas County is a fisherman’s paradise! With eight rivers that have their headwaters here, and dozens of streams, and runs that flow into those eight magnificent rivers, we have lots of fishing to be had. The rivers include: the Greenbrier, Gauley, Elk, Cherry, Cranberry, Tygart Valley, Williams, and Shavers Fork of the Cheat. The most interesting fact is the only water that comes into the county is from rainwater; all other water runs out.
Many beautiful trout streams are easily accessible from the numerous scenic byways that traverse the county. The newest byway, the Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway (Rt. 39) travels along Knapps Creek, which starts near Frost, WV and flows into the Greenbrier River in Marlinton. The fishing is great and the water sparkles this time of year with the melting snow. The stream is narrow enough for the youngest anglers and swift enough to challenge the most advanced sports person.
One of my favorite spots along the Greenbrier River is between Buckeye and Watoga. There are several places to access it and then travel north along the river’s edge. Of course we all know the best time to fish the Greenbrier is now, early spring. Later in the year the East Fork and the West Fork run shy on water and everybody south suffers. The area just south of Clover Lick has some good holes for trout and I’ve seen some nice largemouth come out of the river on spinner baits and worms. If bass are hanging out in deeper water or are just simply difficult to locate, you may want to start throwing crankbaits. These lures cover a lot of water quickly and work through a wide range of depths. There’s nothing prettier than seeing a largemouth jumping out of river to latch onto top water bait.
For those who prefer the slower pace of lake fishing, Pocahontas County touts 3 stocked locations; Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest and Buffalo Lake. Buffalo Lake is the largest in Pocahontas County and is stocked with trout bi-weekly during the spring.
It’s spring in the mountains, the snow is melting, the trillium are about to bloom. Don your waders, pack a thermos, and go fishing. Leave everything else behind.
Enjoy the spring! Its one of the 4 best seasons of the year. For more information or to request a Travel Guide, contact the Pocahontas County CVB at 1-800-336-7009.