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Backcountry Fly Fish on the Cranberry River

Richwood, West Virginia


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.

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