Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Seneca Creek West Virginia
Seneca Creek is named after the large bluff of white
sandstone at Seneca Rock nearby. It is managed as
a wild trout stream and has a good population of native
brook trout and wild rainbow trout.
The stream is a freestone stream about nine and
one-half miles long, that flows into the North Fork of
the South Branch of the Potomac River. In a state that
had been almost been completely stripped of trees for
coal mining operations, Seneca Creek stands out as
an example of what the beautiful state could be.
To fish the better parts of this stream requires hiking
into the backcountry.. The best way is to hike in and
camp. That provides much more time for one to
explore the creek. The native brook trout are what are
referred to as the Northern strain of brook trout. Most
of them are about five to seven inches long. The wild
rainbow trout don't average much larger but they can
get up to well over twelve inches.
Seneca Creek, its headwaters and side tributaries that
feed it, are in a wilderness type area. The gorge
section of the stream drops approximately 1,400 feet in
elevation. The Seneca Creek Trail provides access to
most of the stream.
Seneca Creek Fly Fishing Guide:
Fly fishing Seneca Creek is pure small stream fishing.
Seneca Creek and its tributaries have excellent water
quality mainly because of the lack of disturbance within
the watershed. The lower section of the stream has
several small water falls and deep pools with riffles.
The upper portion is much flatter with riffles and
shallow pools. It is strictly small stream fishing where
ever you choose to fish. The headwaters are fed by
numerous small tributary streams and springs. The
water quality is excellent.
Like most other trout streams, Seneca Creek is fished
much more where it is easy to access the stream than
it is in the remote areas. The problem is in this case
there is only a small amount of water that can be fished
without taking at least a short hike. The limited amount
of water that is closest to the roads is fished very
heavily. Even if you will hike upstream a mile you will
find the fishing much better than it is in the easiest to
access parts. Those willing to walk two or three miles
will usually find plenty of water that no one else has
The lower sections of the creek consist mostly of small
water falls and deep pools. The upper section contains
more shallow riffles and shallow pools. You want to
always fish the creek in an upstream direction. That
keeps the trout looking the opposite way you are
coming and helps you get a lot closer to the fish.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 &12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 71/2
ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
You can fish the creek year-round.
Spring provides the best fishing provided the
water levels are not to high.
Summer offers excellent fishing opportunities.
The stream rarely gets too warm.
Short, upstream cast that are accurate are
much more productive than long cast that
will allow much of your fly line to get caught
in currents of different velocities and
directions. Concentrate on the ends of the
runs and edges of any current seams. A
good tip is to place your dry fly where you
see the bubbles. They are usually drifting in
the same area the food is drifting coming
The brook trout tend to stay in the
moderately flowing currents rather than the
fast water. The rainbow most often prefer
the fast water. When you approach the tail
end of a pool, make sure you fish the tailout
where the water runs out of the pool into a
run or riffles. Then proceed up the edges of
If it is relatively shallow, you may want to
fish the entire pool. Most of the time this is
where you will pick up the brook trout.
They will also take your fly at the tail end
of the runs or riffles draining into the
pools, so be sure to fish that also.
The rainbows are usually found in the
faster water of the riffles and runs. Make
sure you fish all the likely holds along the
seams and edges of the runs and riffles.
Often the rainbows will lie just on the
outside of the fast current. They will also
lie behind larger rocks on the bottom so
don't ignore the inside areas of the runs or
Seneca Creek Hatches and Trout
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing.
Unlike the generic fly shop trout flies, we
have specific imitations of all the insects in
Seneca Creek and in all stages of life that
is applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
Many anglers make the mistake of thinking
the trout in the small freestone streams
only feed opportunistically. While this is
true most of the time, it is also true that the
trout will always concentrate on the most
abundant aquatic insects. Most of the time
you can catch trout on attractor and
generic flies, both nymphs and dry flies,
but you will find that you will get a higher
percentage of strikes if you use a specific
imitation of an insect that is readily
available and plentiful.
Hatches are important because it brings
many of the otherwise hidden aquatic
insects out to where they are exposed to
the trout. An aquatic insect cannot hatch
until it risk rising to the surface or crawling
out on the bank. When something is
hatching, or about to hatch, try using an
imitation of it. You will find the results much
better than just using any attractor fly that
may represent a wide variety of insects.
This stream doesn't seem to have a large
population of any one species of aquatic
insect. However, It does have a wide
variety of them. Among the most important
ones are the stoneflies. There are several
families of stoneflies present.
One of the most plentiful ones are the Little
Yellow Stoneflies, called Yellow Sallies by
most anglers. They hatch from about the
middle of May through June and again in
September and October.
During February to April, you will find some
Little Brown and Black Stoneflies hatching.
They are actually in the same family.
There are also a decent population of
Golden Stoneflies that hatch about the first
of June for a couple of weeks. There are
even some Giant Black stoneflies that
hatch near the middle of May.
There are several species of Caddisflies
that hatch but none of them in large
quantities. The most plentiful are the
Cinnamon Sedges that hatch from May and
into July. These are more plentiful near any
of the small springs that provide some of
There are a few Green Sedges that hatch
in late May and early June. The Great
Autumn Brown Sedge hatches in late
September and October.
Don't forget the terrestrial insects. We
think the most important ones are the
beetles and the ants. There is plenty of
moth larvae, called inch worms by most
anglers. There are some grasshopper
along the stream. Imitations of these may
come in handy during the summer months.
Some anglers carry a selection of small
streamers. Sculpin are present in the
stream. Just make sure the streamers are
not too large for the size of the trout. They
work best during the early mornings and
late afternoon or after a rain that adds
some color to the water.
We hope you give our "Perfect Flies" a try
if you haven't done so already. They have
proven to be effective in these small
Eastern mountain freestone stream on the
wild rainbows and brook trout. Both the
nymph and adult stonefly imitations of the
varies species are very realistic and very
effective. If you insist on using them, we
also sell all the generic flies and attractor
flies and at a price of less than half what
most fly shops sell them for.
Hatches of Blue-winged Olives of several
different species hatch from about the first
of March until June. You will find some
more hatching during the month of
October and even the first of November.
There is a Quill Gordon Hatch that usually
starts about the middle of March to the
first of April. It lakes about three weeks.
About the same time you will find hatches
of Blue Quills. They hatch for about six
There is also a Hendrickson hatch that
takes place in certain areas around the
middle of April . There will be a decent
hatch of March Browns that occurs near
the first of May. It will last about a month or
longer. You may also find a few Sulphurs
and Eastern Pale Evening Duns during
late May and early June. These will be
Light Cahills are fairly plentiful. They start
hatching about the first of May. Slate
Drakes are also present. These mayflies
hatch very sparsely from about the second
week of June through
September. In August and September, you
will probably find a few Mahogany Duns
hatching but they will be rather sparse.
Fall is the time the brook trout spawn and
the beautiful colors of the trout and the
surrounding forest are at their peak.
Fly fishing Seneca Creek during the winter
is possible but not very productive.
Seneca Creek Fly Fishing Report:
11/21/14 We had a report from one
customer ordering size 20 BWO nymphs this
past week. He managed to catch a few
brookies. The stream levels are back near
normal but cold weather in the forecast.
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Fishing Report Updated 11/28/16
(Bottom Of Page)
01/28/14 No reports of fish caught lately
but much better weather is on the way
near the end of this coming week.
02/18/14 This is the first decent week of
weather coming up in a long time. We hope
to receive some reports of catches.
02/25/14 No reports from anyone fishing
last week. The stream levels were high but
falling. Colder weather is in the forecast
for this week. Conditions will be marginal.
03/04/14 Our local contact reported the
water was very cold this past week. He
fished about two hours without a strike.
The stream and weather conditions
should improve some this week.
03/11/14 We received our first report of
fish being caught on Seneca this past
week. Small BWO nymphs was the ticket.
03/18/14 Our best reports from Seneca
this year came last week. Two
customers fishing different areas
caught a few brookies each.
03/25/14 Two more customers giving good
reports this past week. There are little Brown
Stoneflies and Blue Quills showing up.
04/01/14 Higher water levels hurt for a
few of the days this past week but
conditions are good now and much
warmer weather in the forecast. Look for
some hatches to start soon.
04/08/14 Some spring break customers
reported catching brook trout this past
week. Hatches have started but are
running about two weeks behind schedule
due to colder weather this year. See the
hatch chart on your upper left.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/15/14 Two good reports came in this
past week. Several brook trout were caught
in the later part of the week. Rain is forecast
for today and levels will be up temporarily.
4/22/14 One great report of several brookies
being caught this past week. Hatches are still
slim to none but should improve soon.
04/29/14 Seneca Creek has been fishing
very good now for the last few weeks but
what out for high flows early this week.
05/06/14 Two good reports came in
from customers. Hendricksons/Red
Quill and American March Browns are
hatching and trout are looking up.
05/13/14 Eastern Green Drakes, Light
Cahills and Eastern Pale Evening Duns
(called sulphurs by some) have begin
to hatch but watch the stream levels.
Rain is forecast every day this week.
05/20/14 Eastern Pale Evening Duns
(sulphurs), Light Cahills and Little Yellow
Stoneflies should start hatching. American
March Browns are also hatching.
05/27/14 Stream levels are in good shape.
There are plenty of insects hatching and
anglers are catching trout.
06/02/14 Customers ordering flies
reporting they are catching lots of trout.
Several hatches are underway. The
stream levels will vary with the isolated
thunderstorms in the forecast.
06/10/14 Two customers reported
excellent fishing conditions. They fished
three days and caught lots of trout.
Isolated thunderstorms could vary the
levels but otherwise, excellent conditions.
07/08/14 Two good fishing reports came
in the past couple of days. The water
levels are low but plenty of brook trout
are being caught.
07/22/14 Fishing has been excellent the
past two week except for a few times the
levels have been high. Terrestrial insects
are becoming important to imitate.
08/12/14 Those anglers hiking a ways
upstream are catching plenty of brook
trout. Hatches have slowed down some
but terrestrials are producing.
08/19/14 More good reports but the high
water levels hurt part of the time.
Terrestrials are working well - ants,
beetles and hopper.
09/02/14 Anglers hiking away from the
road are doing better than those taking
the easy shots. Heat and low water
slowed the fishing but rain in forecast.
09/16/14 Three good reports from the
last 2 weeks. Plenty of book trout being
caught. Good water levels and cool
weather has picked up the action.
09/23/14 Low water is creating some
problems but one customer reported
catching lots of brook trout this pas week.
10/07/14 Water levels have risen and
more rain is in the forecast. Fishing
conditions will improve. We had two
backcountry guys that reported catching
some nice brook trout this past week
even with the low water levels.
10/14/14 It is raining and that will help
the low levels although it may blow them
out a day or two.
10/21/14 Stream levels have been
high and may stay high for three more
days or so. No reports from last week.
10/28/14 One report from a customer
catching some brookies this past week.
Stream is in good shape.
11/11/14 No reports from the past week
but conditions have been pretty good.
Cold weather is on the way this week.
12/04/14 One good report yesterday.
Several trout taken on our Blue-winged
olive nymphs. Watch the stream levels
and fish the warmer days and you
should catch plenty of trout.
12/16/14 One local regular customer
catching some good numbers in the
lower section of the creek. He is using
Cream Midges and BWO nymphs.
12/23/14 No reports from last week but
conditions remain good.
12/29/14 Still no reports from anyone.
Conditions are about as good as the get
during the winter months.
01/05/15 Still no reports. Stream levels
have been high
01/19/15 Stream levels are back in good
shape and warmer weather is forecast. No
reports from the past two weeks.
01/26/15 Still no reports. Lots of snow and
cold weather in the forecast.
02/02/15 No reports from anyone fishing
this past week. Stream levels and the
weather forecast looks pretty good.
02/16/15 One good report about a week ago
but the outlook for the next week
isn't good, with very cold conditions.
03/02/15 No reports from anyone fishing
but conditions are going to improve a lot
this coming week with warmer weather.
03/09/15 We just received one good fishing
report but your going to have to watch the
stream levels. There is a lot of rain in the
03/16/15 The stream levels have been high
this past week but falling. Better weather is in
the forecast so conditions should be much
better this coming week.
03/23/15 One good report from a loyal
customer. Levels are down, Some snow is
03/30/15 The cold weather the past few
days showed things down but will return to
normal spring weather this coming week.
04/06/15 Higher water levels slowed things
down and more rain is forecast but much
warmer weather. Hatches should get into full
04/13/15 Much better conditions. Hatches
of Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Little Black
Caddis are taking place.
04/20/15 Lots of trout were being caught but
high water may slow things down for a coupe
of days or more.
04/27/15 HIgh water levels have fell. It will
be a little cooler than normal. No reports
from anyone fishing last week.
05/04/15 Lots of hatches taking place. Two
good reports from customers fishing last
week. Good stream levels.
05/11/15 Amer. March Browns, Little Yellow
stoneflies, Light Cahills, starting to hatch.
5/18/15 Stream levels were up but back down.
Some rain forecast but conditions should be
mostly good this coming week.
05/25/14 Stream levels are a little low but rain
is forecast for the next few days. Make effoert
to stay hidden from the trout while the levels
06/08/15 Low water levels have made it tought
at times, but lots of brook trout are being
caught. Several hatches including Light Cahills.
06/15/15 More good reports of brookies being
caught. Watch the thunderstorms. Little Yellow
stoneflies hatching big time.
06/29/15 Lots of rain and high water levels
will take some time to settle down. Terrestrial
are becoming important food.
07/06/15 More rain and high water but back
into okay shape. Excellent reports of fish
07/13/15 Stream levels are back up some, so
be sure to check them, otherwise, things are
07/20/15 One good report from a recent trip.
Conditions are much better.
08/03/15 Stream levels are in good shape and
two good reports from the weekend.
08/10/15 Slightly cooler weather and good
stream levels. Excellent conditions.
08/17/15 One customer reporting catching
lots of brookies on Beetles and hoppers.
08/24/15 High water and rain hampered the
fishing the past week but the stream is back in
good condition. Mahogany duns hatching.
08/31/15 We got a good report from the lower
section of the stream for a change. Stream
levels are good, weather warming back up.
09/07/15 Fish the higher elevations in the
backcounty for the best results. It is still hot
weather but will be changing soon.
09/21/15 The stream is very low but it is
raining as I write this and should continue
through Tuesday. The much cooler weather
should really help.
09/28/15 The stream levels are fine now but
watch them. It will be raining for the next two
days. Great Autumn Brown Sedges are
10/12/15 Stream levels have been high the
past few days but getting back into good
shape fast with little to no rain forecast.
10/26/15 Great conditions with good stream
levels, hatching BWOs, brown trout preparing
to spawn and aggressive. Some rain is
expected but it should be light.
11/02/15 A good report from the past
weekend. Great Stream levels and weather.
Excellent conditions. They don't get any better.
11/16/15 The stream has been a little high but
is back down near normal. There is some rain
in the forecast but shouldn't affect it much and
only a short time. Otherwise, conditions are
good. Midges and BWOs and Brown Sculpin
are the flies to use.
11/30/15 There is rain in the forecast through
Wednesday. Look for high flows until later this
week. Midges and BWO nymphs are working.
12/21/15 It doesn't get any better. Good
levels and weather. Get off the couch.
12/28/15 Stream levels are high and there's
lots of rain to come. Conditions are not good.
01/11/16 Stream levels are still high and the
water stained but it should be okay by the
weekend. There is more rain in the forecast
this weekend, so the time slot will be short.
01/25/16 Melting snow has the levels up some
and the water dingy. It is very cold, around 35.
I recommend waiting. It will warm up in about a
week. There is some warm weather on the way.
02/01/16 A chance of rain through Wednesday
and the stream is already a little high. It will be a
few days getting right with cold weather ahead.
02/08/16 Lots of slush ice in the water and
snow forecast from Monday through Thursday.
These are very tough conditions.
02/22/16 The stream is very high and stained
right now, and more rain coming. It will be a few
days settling down.
02/29/16 The stream is down but still too high
to wade and there's more rain and snow in the
forecast through Friday of this week.
03/07/16 Good stream levels for wading,
warmer water and great weather. Midges and
Blue-winged olives are hatching.
03/14/16 Hatches of Quill Gordons, Blue Quills,
Blue-winged olives, Little Brown stoneflies, and
little Black Caddis will start earlier than normal
and anytime soon.
03/21/16 The cold front slowed things down
but the hatches should start within the next
week or two at the most.
03/28/16 Some of the hatches listed in the 3/14
report have started in the lower elevations of the
creek. Stream levels are good and safe to wade.
04/11/16 The cold weather is over and the water
should warm back up. Levels are fine now but
there is another day of rain. Hatches as listed
above should resume soon.
04/25/16 Good stream levels and weather and
customers catching lots of trout. Both the lower
and headwaters are in good shape with lots of
insects hatching. Blue Quills, BWOs, Little
Black Caddis, Quill Gordons, Hendricksons
and little Brown stoneflies.
05/02/16 Stream levels are high now, with dingy
water. Due to the forecast for rain everyday this
week, is likely this will continue.
05/09/16 There is a lot of rain in the forecast
and the stream levels are just a little above
normal now. Lots of hatches - send us an email.
05/16/16 The stream is still just a little high.
Lots of insects. You can catch trout from the
bank on this little stream even when it is high.
05/30/16 Stream levels are now to normal and
the water clear. Lots of insect are hatching and
lots of rainbow and brook trout are being caught.
06/06/16 The creek is high again but should fall
out fast. Customers were catching a lot of brook
trout prior to the heavy rainfall.
06/20/16 The stream is back down to a good
level and customers are reporting catching lots
of brook and small rainbow trout. Sulphurs,
Light Cahills, Little Yellow stones and others.
07/04/16 The creek down but won't be for long.
There is a flash flood water for today and rain
everyday for the next week. Expect high levels.
07/18/16 The creek is in good shape with good
levels. Terrestrials are becoming important to
imitate. There are still a few hatches taking place.
08/01/16 Lots of Tricos hatching. The stream
levels are a little low, but there is rain in the
forecast. Conditions should be good this week.
08/15/16 The stream levels are back down in
good shape. Hike in and fish the upper section
of the creek for the best opportunity.
08/22/16 Good conditions, high stream levels
but falling, cooler water and good weather.
08/29/16 The stream levels are back up but
falling again. You can fish from the banks until it
falls out again.
09/12/16 Very low water levels exist. There are
chances of rain this weekend. If you fish now,
stay very low and well hidden from the trout.
10/10/16 The stream levels are high but falling
and should be in good shape very soon.
Blue-winged olives are hatching good.
11/07/16 The stream levels are still a little low
but the water much cooler and the trout active.
This coming week should be good.
11/14/16 We didn't receive any catch reports
but conditions are very good and you should
be able to catch plenty of trout.
11/28/16 The stream levels are very low but
there is rain forecast most of the week. Midges
and Blue-winged olives are hatching.