Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, the picturesque town of Davis along with its neighboring town, Thomas in Tucker County, offers some of the best fly fishing experiences in the state. Located just five miles apart and boasting access to pristine trout streams, beautiful landscapes, and proximity to stunning natural wonders like Blackwater Falls and Dolly Sods Wilderness, this area a haven for both novice and experienced anglers. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of fly fishing near Thomas and Davis, West Virginia, highlighting some of the best fishing spots, species of trout, and the stunning outdoor destinations that make this area a fly fishing paradise.
Fly Fishing in Davis, WV: A Trout Enthusiast's Dream
West Virginia, known for its abundant trout fisheries, is a fly fisher's paradise. When it comes to fishing Davis and Thomas, located in Tucker County, is at the heart of this angler's haven. The region offers a wide range of fishing opportunities, from stocked streams to pristine wild trout waters. One of the most prominent fishing destinations in the area is the Blackwater River. Flowing through Blackwater Falls State Park, this river is stocked regularly with rainbow trout, making it an excellent spot for anglers of all skill levels. The serene setting of the state park adds to the charm of the fishing experience, with the iconic Blackwater Falls as a breathtaking backdrop. Blackwater Canyon is rumored to hold wild fish, but accessing it can be very dangerous. Plenty of hiking is available in the park and surrounding area, as well as wading and floating options on the Blackwater River around town.
Dolly Sods Wilderness: An Angler's Oasis
Just a short drive from Davis lies the renowned Dolly Sods Wilderness. This expansive wilderness area is home to some of the most picturesque and challenging fishing locations in West Virginia. Dolly Sods features an intricate network of streams, creeks, and rivers, making it a prime destination for anglers in search of brook trout. The native brook trout, West Virginia's state fish, can be found in abundance in these remote waters. To access some of the more secluded fishing spots within Dolly Sods, a hike or backpacking adventure might be necessary. However, the effort is well worth it as you cast your line into crystal-clear mountain streams surrounded by pristine wilderness. Be aware that there is no cell signal and very primitive camping so come prepared.
Variety of Trout Species and Fishing Locations
Throughout Tucker County, fly fishers can pursue various species of trout, including rainbows, browns, brookies, and even the elusive golden trout. The diverse landscape offers a multitude of fishing locations, from mountain streams and secluded creeks to larger rivers like the North Fork of the Blackwater River and the Red Creek.
For those looking to venture further, the Cheat River, Elk River, and South Branch of the Potomac are within driving distance. Through West Virginia's extensive stocking program these rivers are known for their sizeable rainbow and brown trout populations, offering a change of scenery and the opportunity for some exciting put and take fishing. The South Branch around Harman offers the best opportunity to get your trout slam as it is one of the top producing streams for West Virginia's "Gold Rush". A particular strain of golden trout are grown in WV hatcheries and released in the local waters.
Stocking Schedule and Local Tips
Statewide West Virginia is committed to providing excellent trout fishing experiences for both residents and visitors. Many of the streams in the area are regularly stocked with trout, ensuring a steady supply of catchable fish. Trout are typically stocked every two weeks from March through May, making spring an ideal time to plan your fly fishing trip. Local fly fishers recommend exploring fishing spots like Clover Run, Horseshoe Run, and Valley Fork for a chance to catch stocked trout. Additionally, Red Run and Seneca Creek in Dolly Sods Wilderness offer the opportunity to catch native brook trout in a rugged and breathtaking setting.
Fishing Accommodations and Amenities
The Thomas and Davis areas cater to the needs of fly fishers, however there is no local fly shop I am aware of so bring your own supplies. There are several cabins, bed-and-breakfast accommodations, and campgrounds in the region, providing a comfortable base for your fishing adventures. Many of these accommodations are conveniently located near prime fishing locations. After a long day on the water, you can unwind at local restaurants and pubs in Davis, where you'll often find a good selection of craft beers, live music, and hearty meals to refuel your energy. Stay at Blackwater Falls State Park or my favorite the Bright Morning Inn with wonderful dining and a bar. Let Trailhead Coffee start your day and Hellbender Burritos will fill you up before another day on the water. Check out Mountain State Brewery as they usually have something going on during the weekends and a great beer selection on tap.
Exploring Davis, WV, and Beyond
While fishing near Davis, WV, will likely be the highlight of your trip, there's much more to explore in the area. Take the time to visit Blackwater Falls State Park, where you can enjoy scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and even a natural swimming pool. The park is particularly stunning in the fall when the foliage transforms into a vibrant tapestry of colors. Additionally, aforementioned Dolly Sods Wilderness and Canaan Valley offers miles of hiking trails, from short loops to longer backcountry routes. The rugged landscape and unique flora of Dolly Sods make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Off the beaten path and home to rock climbing is Seneca Rocks, an interesting geological formation that stands out from the surrounding Mountains. Cass, WV offers a scenic railroad and museum and Smokehole Caverns can be toured. If you are a skier nearby Canaan Valley and Snowshoe offer some of the best skiing in the Appalachians. Several waterfalls are within an hours drive throughout the Monongohela National Forest if you are looking to take in some winding highland roads.
Whether you're an experienced fly angler or just learning to fly fish, Thomas and Davis offer some of the best fishing opportunities in the region. With its diverse trout species, regularly stocked streams, and proximity to stunning natural wonders like Blackwater Falls and Dolly Sods Wilderness, this area is a true fly fishing paradise. So, grab your fly rod, explore the tranquil waters, and immerse yourself in the beauty of fly fishing in the Mountain State.