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South Branch Potomac River in West Virginia - Weekend Trip Report

Trip Overview

"The Trough"

The weekend we saw all the big fish !! We began on a cool sep. morning near moorefield. The river was clear and very low (1.7 on the Springfield gauge), we were anticipating a catch of bass, catfish and carp. The first 5 miles are rolling farmland until you come to a railroad bridge. Here begins the trough for the next 6 miles the canyon is over 1000 feet deep and very beautiful. When you see a huge rock cliff on the left side start looking for a campsite up on the right bank for the next mile or so. All of the real rapids seem to be within a mile or so of the rail bridge. We only had to walk twice even at this low water level. The water gets incredibly deep in the canyon. You can see huge bus sized boulders way down deep and then it gets even deeper. HOW DEEP?

The fishing--

  • We saw bass exceeding 20 inches..
  • We saw schools of channel cats, big ones
  • We saw schools of carp,great big jumbo ones
  • We caught one 12 inch bass--bummer-- and some sunnies
  • We blame it on the north wind.!?

Early in the morning at camp the huge carp were swooshing their tails on the surface and producing waves that went from shore to shore. Oh well it was still a beautiful river trip and I highly suggest it. See Ya on The River!!
- Dennis and josh crews, Big and little john Duke


Motels in Moorefield and Romney.


There are 5 West Virginia public put-ins in the area. We put in 3 miles north of Moorefield at the route 220 bridge. Then follow the trough road to the trough store and take out at public access there

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip