Fishing in Pocahontas County
The pristine headwaters of eight rivers, all found in Pocahontas County, combine to create an angler's paradise.
The crystal clear, icy waters of the legendary Cranberry, Williams, and Elk Rivers provide unmatched fishing for rainbow, brook, and brown trout. To other ardent anglers plying the larger bodies of water, the feisty Smallmouth bass is their primary target either with fly rod or light spinning gear. River smallies are among the toughest fish, pound-for-pound that will ever arc your rod.
While our rivers are known for their exceptional catches, many small streams in the region hold secret places around rocks, ledges, bases of small natural dams, trees fallen into the water, or any other object that breaks the flow of the river.
Popular Elk River Touring Center (ERTC), noted for their exceptional fly-fishing knowledge, can provide an expert guide well schooled in the art of finding the best fishing spots. You can test your skill against spirited native trout or even elusive Red-Eye bass. Tours follow the streams along Cheat Mountain or even through the old logging town of Spruce. You can conveniently purchase or rent supplies at the ERTC store. Be sure to bring your wildest sense of adventure for a memorable experience.
Located in Marlinton along Knapps Creek, Knapps Creek Trout Lodge offers lessons and guided trips for beginner fishermen to seasoned veterans. Knapps Creek Trout Lodge offers lessons and guiding tailored for those who are just starting out and fishermen who are looking for a challenge. You don't have to stay in the lodge to get your feet wet, guides and lessons are offered as day-trip options as well. Bring your own gear, or rent some fly-fishing equipment from the pros at Knapps Creek Trout Lodge.
The 21-acre Buffalo Lake is the largest trout stocked compound in Pocahontas County. July through September, Smallmouth bass, Bluegills, and Channel catfish provide anglers with additional sporting opportunities. The unspoiled lake is located off US 250, on USFS Rt. 54 in northern Pocahontas County. Only boats with electric motors are allowed.
Some of the best catch-and-release fishing in the area can be found along the Shaver’s Fork of the Cheat. Experience the thrill of catching a trophy trout and the satisfaction of preserving the environment by releasing it!
A fun trip for the children is the Edray Trout Hatchery to see thousands of hybrid butter-colored golden trout as well as rainbow, brook, and brown trout. The Hatchery is located three miles north of Marlinton on Rt. 219, then west one mile on Woodrow Road. Open seven days a week from 7:30 a. m. to 3:30 p. m.
An inexpensive short-term fishing license is available at all county clerk’s offices, the West Virginia fishing site listed in the link section or directly from the Hunting and Fishing License Unit (304.558.2758) or retail places throughout the county displaying a sign indicating fishing and hunting licenses.
Boating in Pocahontas County
Whether as a solitude excursion or a family day trip, a journey on a Pocahontas County river or lake can be exhilarating. Water experiences include canoes, kayaks, row boats, paddleboats and tubing.
The beautiful Greenbrier River flows the entire length of the county and provides a spectacular glimpse of the area’s scenic wonders.
Enjoy leisurely boat rides at Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest, Buffalo Lake and Shavers Lake. Private outfitters provide rentals, equipment and shuttles and can be accessed through the link on this page.