100 Best: Seneca Creek
Location: Eastern West Virginia
Type of stream: Freestone
Angling methods: Fly, Spin, Bait
Species: Brook, Rainbows
Access: Long, but not difficult
Season: Year ‘round
Supporting Services: Seneca Rocks
Short take: Size of brookies is astounding, but head for the upper end
Handicapped Access: None
Closest TU Chapter: Contact West Virginia Council
Have to admit it. I’m a fan of Seneca Creek. When I fish it, I beat it to Seneca Rocks, that Mecca for climbers who insist on testing their handholds on near-vertical beds of light-colored sandstone. From Seneca Rocks, head north on U.S. Route 33 as if you were on your way to Elkins. After a mile or so, begin to watch for White’s Run Road which comes in from the left. Make the turn. No matter how fishy it looks, take heed of the bait cups and drive all the way up to the gate barring entrance to the lower end of Seneca Creek. Much of the waters of the lower end of Seneca Creek flow through sandy and pebbly substrate just beneath the surface. Pools seem scant. Runs are oh so shallow. Forget wetting a line until you reach the falls, about four miles upstream from the trail head. A series of good pools beneath the falls and downstream for about three quarters of a mile offer excellent fishing.
Most anglers enter Seneca’s downstream end, but that’s not the best route. A better bet is to take the orest service road from U. S. Rt. 33 up toward the picnic area on Spruce Knob. Rather than taking the road to the knob, round it instead, and descend into a high saddle. You’ll see a pull-off on the right with a sign pointing down the Seneca Creek Trail. An abandoned railroad grade, the trail is easy walking. After three miles or so, you’ll reach the Judy Springs camp site. This is a great place to pitch your tent.
Below the camp site, begins Seneca Creek’s gorge with its gorgeous plunge pools. There's six miles of it to fish. A mile or so below the camp, Seneca drops over a 14 foot fall and enters the gorge. Here you stand a reasonably good chance of catching a respectable rainbow in the 15-inch class. Makes the walk worth taking, no? As far as fly patterns are concerned, no signature hatch defines Seneca Creek. Fish a parachute Adams and take pot luck. You won’t be disappointed.