Angling For Fun

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Cambpell South Branch of the Potomac River anglers wade into high waters to find larger trout on a perfect fishing day.

Anglers are anxiously watching weather conditions as winter is winding down and temperatures are improving. With such an abundance of area streams and lakes, the dormant trout are beginning to think about venturing down common river routes to popular fishing places. Those who have been preparing bait boxes and securing salmon eggs are almost ready for packing trucks with their waders and favorite poles. The 2019 annual fishing frenzy is about to commence.

While popular lakes like Spruce Knob may take a while to thaw, with the recent 40 to 50-degree temperatures, streams are running normally on most days. March 1 actually marks the calendar date the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources workers regularly stock most waterways with trout for the spring fishing season. Checks are easy to do on computers by consulting scheduled stocking times and places each day at 4 p.m. Locate this information at

An obstacle that must be addressed before fishing commences is that of obtaining a license, and different kinds of licenses are issued for children, adults and seniors. DNR regulations are outlined in a publication that can be picked up or ordered at the local headquarters. In Elkins, it is located on the Ward Road.

Another essential piece of information to have before plunging a boat in the water and catching a mess of fish is to understand where designated areas are for “Catch and Release.” Even on some rivers, parts are restricted from keeping some fish that may be caught.

West Virginia is privileged to have many rental cabins and lodges throughout the state where outdoors men and women can spend weeks at a time enjoying their hobbies. While several of these furnish meals, the typical fishing party will pack an ice box loaded with sandwiches, chips, drinks, brownies and cookies as most streams will not pass a McDonald’s for miles. Of course, it is hoped that the evening meal will result in pan-fried trout with potatoes. But one never knows who the victor will be when they set out for a day of fishing.

West Virginia fishing vacations can be accommodated by the many rustic cabins that have been built for seasonal use.

From one who has spent hours trying to get fish on the line, I can tell you that at the end of the day time shared with family members and friends in discussions is just as valuable as a full stringer. In a world where it is hard to find time just to share stories, a day at the river will result in a memorable time, especially for children.

Early spring offers the amenity of venturing into the woods at a seasonal date when one gets to observe the changing habitat and actually see the first green growth and flowering of trees. There is something invigorating and sacred about watching spring be born. This is a special feature of our Mountain State of which we can all be pleased. Not only does it provide opportunities for fishing, but it reminds us of the natural beauty that surrounds us and keeps us close to miracles only God can perform.