Outdoors: Heavenly trout fishing in West Virginia - The Daily Progress: Sports

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Outdoors: Heavenly trout fishing in West Virginia

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Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:00 pm

Tucked away in a place called Cabins, W.Va., is a cluster of beautiful log cottages owned by the Harman family. It happens to be one of my favorite spots of all for solitude, natural beauty and unbelievable trout fishing. Last weekend, my wife Nancy and I celebrated our 45th anniversary in Cabin No. 8 at Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins. We had a delightful time.

My first two visits to this Grant County fishing paradise were trout fishing article assignments. I thoroughly enjoyed fishing with veteran guide Sam Knotts and put my flies over some impressive trout. But I wasn’t sure if Nancy would enjoy being so far back in the mountains. I invited her on my next visit and she quickly told me that I was never to come again without her. It’s now one of our favorite destination sites.

Harman’s Luxury Cabins is located on the banks of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, one of West Virginia’s premier trout streams. The family has more than a mile of private trout water available to guests. This catch-and-release section is stocked regularly with brown, rainbow and brook trout up to 5 pounds and more. Anglers at Harman’s can use either fly rods or spinning rods, but all fish caught in the private section must be released. In addition, there is a three-mile stretch above the private water called Hopeville Canyon, with extremely limited access. A hike up into the canyon puts anglers over trout that rarely see a hook and line. There are some huge holdover trout in the primitive area.

For those who want to keep a trout or two for dinner, the North Fork is stocked just below Harman’s every week beginning in March. The 8-mile stretch extends east to Petersburg. Here is the best part: Within an easy hour of Cabins are at least 20 blue ribbon trout streams — some 52 miles near Harman’s are stocked on a regular basis while others are wild brook trout waters. The fishing here is fabulous with almost unlimited opportunities.

Harman’s has 18 cottages available with one to four bedrooms. Each cabin has a hot tub and all are beautifully appointed and within a rock’s throw of the tumbling river. The water temperature was a little cold during our trip and never reached 40 degrees. It spit snow every day. The sluggish trout had brief periods of feeding usually at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

While there is really no need to leave the property, other streams of note include the Blackwater River, Red Run of Dry Fork, Seneca Creek, Shavers Fork, the Elk River, Gandy Creek, Laurel Fork and Glady Fork. A premier catch-and-release section is available on the North Fork above Smoke Hole. I consider it to be the best public water I have ever fished.

Harman’s is about a 3-hour drive from Charlottesville via Rt. 33 from Harrisonburg to Franklin W.Va., then Rt. 33/28 to Cabins. The scenery on this drive spanning four major mountain ridges is nothing short of spectacular.

The fishing will get better each week as the streams reach 40 degrees and above and the bug and insect life progresses. Under normal conditions, trout fishing in this area extends well into summer with excellent insect hatches, including the famed green drakes.

To find out more, go to wvlogcabins.com or call 800-436-6254 or 304-257-2221. If there is just one place I could recommend that you visit, it’s Harman’s Luxury Cabins.

Contact Brewer at j44brewer@gmail.com

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