Backcountry Fly Fish on the Cranberry River

Rate this Adventure

Added by Marc Fryt

Backcountry fly fish and camp in one of the largest wilderness areas east of the Mississippi.

The Cranberry Wilderness is one of the largest wilderness areas east of the Mississippi and offers a unique backcountry fly fishing opportunity within West Virginia.

One of the best ways to access the Cranberry River to hike, explore, and fish the river is from the Cranberry River Campground. Just beyond the campground, the road is gated so only foot or bicycle traffic is permitted. Beyond this gate, over 25 miles of road lead further and further into wilderness and backcountry experiences along the river.

Camping the along the river is a great way to spend a couple days to fish and explore the area. Dispersed camping is allowed and there are also first-come first-serve backcountry shelters. More information on camping, along with a trail map, can be found at the National Forest Service site here.

A West Virginia fishing license, along with a trout stamp, is required in order to fish the river. For the best and most remote fishing adventures it is best to hike further away from the campground and onto the catch and release section of river or the fly fishing only section of Dogway Fork.

Late spring to late fall are perhaps the best seasons to backpack and fly fish the river. The fall colors are especially vibrant from the middle of October to early November.

Read More

Go Pro.

We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more!

Learn More


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Sutton, West Virginia

Gerald Freeman Campground

Sutton, West Virginia

Sutton Lake Picnic Shelters

Summersville, West Virginia

Battle Run

Sutton, West Virginia

Flatwoods Koa

Nearby Adventures

Backpack the Cranberry Wilderness North South Loop Trail

17.1 mi / 1916 ft gain

Hike the Falls of Hills Creek, Monongahela NF

1.8 mi / 300 ft gain

Camp at Day Run Campground


Walk Around the Cranberry Glades, Monongahela NF

0.6 mi / 0 ft gain
More Nearby Adventures