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WV Wildlife: DNR's Fly-Fish Only Section on Spring Run

Spring Run is aptly named, it's source is a pure mountain spring in Grant County. (WCHS/WVAH)

Clear, chilly and flowing water.

Almost nothing says trout more than that.

This is especially true along Spring Run in Grant County, where even the hottest of summer days doesn’t push the water temperature past 60 degrees!

Our West Virginia Division of Natural Resources saw the value in this beautiful stream--and that's why they recently purchased it.

"We're about a mile and a half downstream from our Spring Run trout hatchery--and it's been under private ownership and private management since 1960. Negotiated a deal to purchase the property here, and we acquired about a mile of stream length", said David Thorne—cold-water fisheries biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

And that mile is loaded with some wild trout--fish that have naturalized here, and reproduce on their own.

“It's got a fantastic wild rainbow trout fishery and some native brook trout in it as well. Log structures and rock structures, so there's a lot of adequate pool habitat", said Thorne.

This stream was designated as a fly-fish only body of water when it was privately owned—and Thorne says, it's important for that to continue.

"Some streams are just a little bit special, and they may have a little more tenuous fishery--so we want to give them the utmost protection. And it's a small piece of resource here--it's one mile of stream. Special spring-fed resources that really can't stand a lot of pressure. One thing we have to keep in mind is a very small segment of our license buyers are fly fishermen, so we have to be careful--that's why we select special resources", said Thorne.

If you do decide to get your fly rod out and fish along Spring Run, there are a few things to remember.

"This is open to the public now, and anyone is welcome to come here and fish if you're a fly angler. We don't want anyone coming in here and harvesting, and it's no bait, no artificial lures--it's strictly fly-fishing with conventional fly-fishing tackle. It's a pretty fantastic resource as it is and it's just our hope to maintain and manage it”

The good thing about these spring-fed streams, with nearly constant flows and constant temperatures—you can enjoy them year-round!

“You can come here 12 months out of the year and fish this, and find pretty much the same conditions", said Thorne.

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