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JoshM3357

Minnow
Registered: 04/05/13
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone!  

I am looking for a little information on the the Tygart River from the dam down to Valley Falls.  I am thinking of heading down to this area next weekend for 2 or 3 days of fishing.  How fishable is this stretch from a kayak?  From what I read it a long deep pool.  I will be solo so I was going to put in where I plan on taking out and paddling up stream to start fishing.  

I will mainly be target musky and was going to camp out at Tygart Lake state park.  It looks like they opened Mid-March?

I am about 4 hours away so just want a little insight before I make the drive.

Thanks for any help!
DrewFlu33

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Brookie
Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 3,166
Reply with quote  #2 
It's a great smallmouth fishery, and I think musky as well.  I know below Valley Falls it's a great musky fishery.  I haven't explored closer to the falls, but from the dam through Grafton it's pretty tame.  A few riffles.  There some good structure in town (logs, bridge pilings).

There's a concrete boat ramp in the park right below the dam on the state park side that would make a great put-in. 

Call 304-265-5953 for Corps of Engineers conditions.  They update the recording every morning and after they make any gate operations.

Welcome to WVAngler!

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CanoeBum

Largemouth Bass
Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 755
Reply with quote  #3 
Floated here a couple weeks back from the dam to the city park. Great structure everywhere. We were looking for musky and didnt see a thing. The water was fridged though that day. I'd say when she warms up the smallies will be ever so ready to take a lure!
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muskiecrazy

Rainbow Trout
Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 645
Reply with quote  #4 
There are giant Muskie in there
Critter

Rainbow Trout
Registered: 02/10/07
Posts: 831
Reply with quote  #5 
Is this the one that runs thru Elkins?
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DrewFlu33

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Brookie
Registered: 03/14/09
Posts: 3,166
Reply with quote  #6 
Same river, but it's dammed up above Grafton to form Tygart Lake.  This section is below the dam.

You might want to try something in a rainbow trout pattern.  The DNR stocks it below the dam, and I'm sure the musky gorge themselves on the stockers who've lived their lives without ever knowing a predator.

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CanoeBum

Largemouth Bass
Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 755
Reply with quote  #7 
Great idea Drew you might be onto something with that!
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woolybugger

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Registered: 11/15/04
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Reply with quote  #8 
Different world below the falls for sure.  Spent a lot of time there just never fished the area much.  Some great pools and water below for smallies!
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cling

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Registered: 01/26/05
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Reply with quote  #9 
I've fished it several times from just below the dam to below Grafton a ways. If you are going to make it all the way to valley falls, it will take all day I'd guess. They close the park at dusk I believe so you'll have to make sure you get there before they close the gates in order to take out there.

There are some big muskies and some big smallies there. I've caught some nicer smallmouth there but never have hooked or landed a musky. Usually I focus on targeting smallmouth, but usually end up raising at least one musky each trip while targeting smallies. I've also hooked into a few brood trout as bonus catches on occasion.

I've fished it by kayak a few times, its definitely doable by kayak. Long pools interspersed with deep runs mostly. There is one fairly shallow riffle right in town that may be tough to float through in the lowest water levels, but I've ran it in an aluminum john boat in September, so likely that wouldn't be a problem either.

My observation on that river has been that it fishes very poorly when cold weather sets in, at least in early spring and late fall. I've had better days when its sunny and warm. That is a bottom release dam that keeps the river pretty cool, so when cold weather sets in it seems to give those warmwater fish lockjaw.

Good luck.

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JoshM3357

Minnow
Registered: 04/05/13
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks everyone!  I was going to bring some Huddleston swimbaits with me.  I throw them a lot in trout stock waters here and have done pretty well on them.

I actually am not going to make it down this weekend unfortunately.  I am still headed to west virginia tomorrow but I am going to Sleepy Creek Lake.  I have heard mixed reviews on this place but it will be something new for me and thats half the fun.

Beginning of May I will be fishing the Buckhannon River in Buckhannon for 2 days.

I will post up some reports after I fish these places.
cling

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sleepy Creek can be an awesome place for bass, then other times you'd think it was a wasteland. Standard stuff can work there if the fish are willing. The only other tip is that I've done well with baits in greens. Dark green, not lime or chartreuse.
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JoshM3357

Minnow
Registered: 04/05/13
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks Cling!  

Yeah that is what i have gathered from internet searching... Everyone seems to agree its a beautiful place though.  
TexAginWV

Musky
Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1,119
Reply with quote  #13 
I would avoid the area above the lake near Arden.  LOL
ejunk

Brookie
Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 6,837
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexAginWV
I would avoid the area above the lake near Arden.  LOL


hey! some of us spent our childhood there! 

also, my dad and I walked from the moatsville/arden bridge to the tygart backwater put-in several years back. I used only one rapala and caught nearly 30 smallmouth over the course of ~3 hours. I haven't had a day like that down there since, but I know it can be done. Cling knocked em dead through there last summer, I believe. The Tygart above the lake is a very good smallmouth fishery. 

yrs-
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cling

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Reply with quote  #15 
Three of us floated/dragged kayaks from that bridge to tygart backwaters. We killed the smallmouth. Easily well over 50 fish between us all. There were some interesting characters around though...but we didn't have any issues.
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TexAginWV

Musky
Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1,119
Reply with quote  #16 
I was simply referring to the difficulty of navigating that particular stretch via watercraft.  I'm sure it fishes well, if you can keep from urinating all over yourself.  I suspect I wouldn't be able to stop screaming.  LOL
TroutSlayer

Brookie
Registered: 02/10/07
Posts: 2,050
Reply with quote  #17 
theres property on river left across from Valley Falls State Park that you can drive a truck down to the river and use as a take out. You can access it from Grafton(Lynn Chapel Road) or on rt.250 past Fairmont Walmart. I would put in at the dam or ramp below Grafton High School and float til you get to Valley Falls, should get into several diff. types of fish, GOOD LUCK!!!!!
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ejunk

Brookie
Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 6,837
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexAginWV
I was simply referring to the difficulty of navigating that particular stretch via watercraft.  I'm sure it fishes well, if you can keep from urinating all over yourself.  I suspect I wouldn't be able to stop screaming.  LOL


oooohhhh! ok. yeah, that's some stout water up there. back in the day before Gauley season existed and whitewater companies had to deal with things like precipitation events and natural flow, the Tygart was (lightly, I'm sure) commercially guided by at least one rafting company (Appalachian wildwaters, if memory serves). not sure if they ran the arden section or just down from moatsville. I think the area is still highly regarded by kayakers - some of the creeks that run in there, especially. there are some pretty hairy drops from moatsville to the backwaters, too. I've never floated it, just waded.

while we're talking about it, I've heard tell of good walleye spawn fishing in the river around the backwater boat launch area. I've never hit it right myself.

yrs-
Evan! 

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TroutSlayer

Brookie
Registered: 02/10/07
Posts: 2,050
Reply with quote  #19 
I know a lot or yakers love the section around Ardon/PartyRock and on through
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cling

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Reply with quote  #20 
To be clear, we hit this section in extremely low water (it was too low). We are not whitewater kayakers. Just utilizing kayaks to navigate the skinny water. There is no way I would try to float this section anywhere close to what American Whitewater calls "runnable". We started the day knowing we were going to be portaging around some of the worst rapids, but ended up having to drag through too many mundane riffles in the process because the water was really really really low the day we went.
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ccarey

Sunfish
Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #21 
oooohhhh! ok. yeah, that's some stout water up there. back in the day before Gauley season existed and whitewater companies had to deal with things like precipitation events and natural flow, the Tygart was (lightly, I'm sure) commercially guided by at least one rafting company (Appalachian wildwaters, if memory serves). not sure if they ran the arden section or just down from moatsville. I think the area is still highly regarded by kayakers - some of the creeks that run in there, especially. there are some pretty hairy drops from moatsville to the backwaters, too. I've never floated it, just waded.

while we're talking about it, I've heard tell of good walleye spawn fishing in the river around the backwater boat launch area. I've never hit it right myself.

yrs-
Evan! 



Where is this boat ramp you speak of ?   At the head of the lake or on the top end of the Arden grade ?  Thanks Chip
ejunk

Brookie
Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 6,837
Reply with quote  #22 
at the end of coal run road on this map:  http://binged.it/12MmRTx  the map shows coal run road ending, but it goes all the way to the water. it isn't so much a "ramp" as it is a rough-a** launch. I would not recommend using it unless the lake is at summer pool, especially for a water craft that is trailered. the banks are very steep here and even with a canoe or kayak, it can be pretty rough getting down to the water at winter pool. it is probably listed on a DNR site somewhere. I'll see if I can find a link for you. 

yrs-
Evan!

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ccarey

Sunfish
Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks Evan....we ride 4 wheelers from Arden down the river to top of the lake and call it the headwaters, cove/cave run.  Guess we are just using different names for the same place. I thought you might be talking about someplace I didn't know about and sure wanted to learn about. That area can also be really good fishing for Mr. Wally in the early spring.  One thing for sure, it is a beautiful area to spend some time in.
ejunk

Brookie
Registered: 04/19/05
Posts: 6,837
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarey
Thanks Evan....we ride 4 wheelers from Arden down the river to top of the lake and call it the headwaters, cove/cave run.  Guess we are just using different names for the same place. I thought you might be talking about someplace I didn't know about and sure wanted to learn about. That area can also be really good fishing for Mr. Wally in the early spring.  One thing for sure, it is a beautiful area to spend some time in.


yeah, I've heard it referred to as the cove run launch too. not sure why I didn't call it that. 

also JoshM - the gauge station below tygart dam has water temperature on it (in addition to the other parameters):  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wv/nwis/uv/?site_no=03056000&agency_cd=USGS&

yrs-
Evan!

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