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Great Trout Fishing Locations In West Virginia

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout in local lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Creek in West Virginia

West Virginia offers excellent trout fishing opportunities, with its pristine lakes and rivers teeming with trout species. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state. Anglers can target three main trout species in the state: rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout.

Rainbow trout are the most commonly stocked trout species in West Virginia and can be found in various lakes and rivers. These acrobatic fish are known for their vibrant colors and energetic fights. Stocked rainbow trout are often caught using a variety of fishing methods, including bait fishing with worms or artificial baits, fly fishing with nymphs or dry flies, and spinning with small lures or spinners. West Virginia's stocked trout lakes, such as Blackwater Falls State Park Lake and Pipestem Resort State Park Lake, provide great opportunities for rainbow trout fishing.

Brown trout, known for their elusive behavior and challenging nature, can be found in select rivers and streams throughout West Virginia. These wary fish often inhabit clear, cold-water environments and are renowned for their large size. Anglers targeting brown trout typically employ fly fishing techniques, using streamers, nymphs, or dry flies to entice these wary fish. Rivers such as the Elk River and the North Branch of the Potomac River are known for their brown trout populations.

Brook trout, also known as speckled trout or native trout, are found in cold-water streams and headwater tributaries throughout West Virginia. These beautiful fish are known for their vibrant colors and are highly prized by trout anglers. Anglers can enjoy fly fishing or light spinning tackle techniques to target brook trout in remote mountain streams and pristine wilderness areas. The Cranberry River and the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River are popular destinations for brook trout fishing.

West Virginia boasts several state records for trout, highlighting the trophy potential of its trout fisheries. The state record rainbow trout stands at over 19 pounds. The record brown trout weighs over 16 pounds. These records demonstrate the potential for anglers to land truly remarkable trout in West Virginia's waters.

When trout fishing in West Virginia, it's important to be aware of fishing regulations, including catch-and-release guidelines, size limits, and special regulations specific to each waterbody. Anglers should also obtain the necessary fishing license and follow the state's fishing rules and regulations.

West Virginia's lakes and rivers provide a haven for trout anglers, offering a chance to pursue rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout in picturesque settings. Whether it's the challenge of fooling a wary brown trout or the thrill of hooking into a vibrant rainbow trout, West Virginia's trout fisheries provide unforgettable fishing experiences for anglers of all skill levels.

Trout Waters

Lakes with trout populations (typically stocked trout) include Cheat Lake, East Lynn Lake, Jennings Randolph Lake, Summersville Lake, and occasionally Bluestone Lake. Another area in WV with a significant population of trout is the tailwaters of Summersville Lake. Other lakes, ponds, parks and rivers may also have trout - typically a result of trout stocking.

Fishing Boats For Rent In West Virginia

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 19.4 lbs

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7.64 lbs

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 16.0 lbs

Golden Trout

Golden trout

World record: 11 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 9.31 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

West Virginia State Record Trout

The state record rainbow trout was caught from a pond.

The state record brook trout was taken out of Shavers Fork.

The state record brown trout came from South Branch.

The state record golden trout was taken out of Brushy Fork Lake.

The state record tiger trout, 10.65 lbs, was caught in the Krodel Lake.

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Visit the West Virginia West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website for information regarding trout stocking programs in West Virginia.

Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Additional trout information

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

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