Heading west on I64 into West Virginia? Second Creek is a worthwhile short diversion.
Second Creek sports a 1 mile long, Fly Fishing Only special regulations section. In West Virginia, special regulation means you cannot use sent in your lure needs to be made out of natural materials – no plastics allowed. It’s easy to find your way to Second Creek — follow the directions below and you will know you are there when you reach a low water bridge. The dead giveaway is that there is a huge sign to the left of the low water bridge in a small parking area that trumpets the fact that you have arrived in the fly fishing only special regulation section. The special regulation section stretches downstream from the parking lot for quarter-mile and goes for over a mile upstream. Since there was more water upstream, I pointed my Rod in that direction and started to walk.
The water was relatively shallow and runs across a rocky bottom. In most places, this late in the fall, the water was barely a foot deep ranging to 2 feet near the bends in the stream. There are a few spots that feature very deep 3 to 6 feet deep sections. I quickly walked down the road that paralleled the creek from the parking area continually casting an anxious eye at the water looking for trout and movement. I saw some little guys skittering around, but nothing big until I rounded the corner and discovered the first a large pool. There is a white house next to the pool and my hat is off to these people for respecting the catch and release ethic on such a nice spot near their property. As I slowly walked upon the pool, I could see several very large brown trout swimming aimlessly followed by some of their smaller siblings. I immediately started to try and coax them into action with various dry fly presentations.
I started with terrestrials — a cricket — since I’d seen some of them hopping around on the road as I walked in. I had a few halfhearted pecks from the little guys, but nothing big enough to actually consume the fly. I downsized to a size 16 Adams pattern and immediately started to get more action. After catching and releasing several 5 to 6 inch trout, I realized that the browns were probably spook at this point and I would be better off moving down stream. There’s a nice path paralleling the stream on the right-hand side and I decided to follow it to get an overview of the water before I did any additional fishing.
As it turns out, that was the correct decision to make. At the low fall flow, much of Second Creek is very shallow — but you can’t see that as you work your way downstream in the water. The path I was on was 5 feet above the water and gave me the correct angle to see just how shallow the tail of the large pool was. I was grateful that I did not spend any time looking my fly the 3 inches of water that covered the end of the pool. Given the fact that there are plenty of small fingerlings in the area, you get continual chittering/chattering attacks as they pounce on your fly, ramping up your excitement as you think you are into something good.
I continued to walk downstream until I encountered the cables stretched across the stream that denoted the end of the special regulation area. I looked at my GPS and realized I was a significant distance from any road. Given that, I assumed that there would be no difference between the quality of the water on either side of the cables. With that, I continued to push my way downstream. It’s easy walking on the left bank and I could get a good look at the water. There were some deep holes — ranging up to 3 feet deep — clustered around the twists and turns of the stream and the associated boulders that were scattered about.
Between those deeper pools, the river shallows out and runs rapidly across a uniformly rocky bottom. I continued downstream until I dead ended on fallen tree across the stream. I backtracked and walked up a small hill to notice that a farm lay in front of me. There were no posted signs so I continued to walk downstream assuming that it was okay. 100 yards farther downstream, the rough Rocky trail gave way into a broad field that merged seamlessly with the Creek at the corner where there was a deep pocket that had to hold fish. However, I was nervous about whether I was trespassing. So, even though there were no posted signs, I decided to turn back. I guess I could’ve walked up the steep hill and knocked on the door to ask for permission and confirm that I was on legal footing to continue, but it was late in the day and I wanted to move on to check out another body of water in West Virginia.
Since I walked rapidly downstream, I wanted to fish my way back up. I stopped at each of the deeper sections and worked them hard to that size 16 Adams pattern. I caught a number of smaller trout, but nothing big enough to take a picture of. Even though the fish were small, the consistency of the dry fly action made it a gratifying, enjoyable day.
Bottom Line: Second Creek is a nice stream. It’s narrow; only 20 to 30 feet wide but it gives a very pleasant woody feel winding its way through the valley with the fields and the cows on either side. I recommend coming here in the late spring once the water stabilizes and see if you can tie into some of the big Browns that I saw I know there have to be plenty of others like them in the deeper sections
Getting There: Follow I64 west from Covington and turn onto US 60 at exit 175 towards Coldwell. Turn right on CR 6-/14 (Harts Run Road). Turn left on US-60W and follow it to WV 63 West. Make a left turn and follow it until it hits US 219 where you take a slight left. Immediately after that turn, take the 1st right onto R 62 (Hoke’s Mill) and stay on it until you come to CR 62/4 (Rogers Mill). Turn left onto Rogers Mill and follow it to the low water bridge.
Google Local Coordinates: 37.694246,-80.483801
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the following places:
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Date Fished: 10/12/2009
Upstream from the parking area
Downstream from the parking area
Shallow run of the creek next to the road
The pool by the white house
Upstream beyond the special reg area
Broad pool approaching the bend with the farm
Pool below the farm house
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore