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All About Fishing at Harman's Cabins in West Virginia
I first learned about Harman's Log Cabins in West Virginia through the review and video by Rob Rice from Appalachian Trophy TV. I immediately reached out to the folks at Harman's. Their General Manager Ed (pictured to the right with a good looking rainbow as part of a filming session) graciously agreed to the interview. He provides details on the fishing at and around Harman's as well as speaks about his love of fly fishing. Enjoy the interview.
GFN: I want to get into the details of the fishing but would be remiss in not discussing the Cabins. Over 80% of guests on TripAdvisor rate you as 5 stars and nearly 95% of guests rate you at least 4 stars, why do people love staying with you so much?
Luxury Log Cabins with private trophy water at your doorstep in a beautiful setting!
GFN: What should people expect from customer service at your cabins?
Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you in any way to make your experience more enjoyable!
GFN: Now for the fishing, you have a very extensive stocking program on your private stream. How would you describe the fishing in the different seasons of the year, summer, fall, spring and winter?
Anytime during the fall, winter or spring is a great time to fish at Harman's! Fishing is especially good during November and early December!
GFN: If you were a guest and could only fish one season, which would you pick and why?
Late fall/early winter (November thru mid to late December, or all winter depending on weather and water conditions). We begin fall stocking around Labor Day and add fish thru the winter and spring. By November the water temperature has cooled and flow rates are usually fairly consistent, which means great fishing!
GFN: You allow guests to use spinning tackle but you love when guests come down and give fly fishing a try, even if it is their first time. Why is that?
We welcome all fishing types here at Harman's and will work hard to put you on fish whether you are a spin or flyfisherman or fisherwoman. We do love it when we have the opportunity to show people the art of fly fishing as many of the spin fish techniques used at Harman's are actually imitating fly fishing techniques. A fly rod offers much more versatility in terms of fly selection and presentation!
GFN: Why do you love fly fishing so much?
Just my personal opinion only, I find fish more fun to hook, play and land on a fly rod compared to a spinning rod! To be clear, I am not criticizing spin fishing in general or folks that prefer to spin fish. As I said, it's simply a matter of personal preference and my preference for trout, steelhead and salmon is fly fishing! Even an ultra light spinning rod pales, for me,compared to a very sensitive 9 foot fly rod when it comes to the feel of the tug, so to speak.
Plus, I believe, and most would agree, that fly fishing is much more of an art form compared to spin fishing. There's no doubt that fly fishing gives the angler an opportunity to learn more about the fish they're pursuing, the insects they eat and their environment in general. Fly fishing teaches the angler about fish, entomology, water quality and even physics.
GFN: So how do you get an ol' stubborn guy like me who has been fishing 40+ years with a spinning rod to be an accomplished flyfisher?
In order to become an accomplished fly fisherman, you need to learn and practice proper techniques to improve your skills. That is not a bad thing and can result in a greater sense of accomplishment! Just like many hunters get greater satisfaction from harvesting a deer or elk with a bow compared to a gun, most fly fishermen get more satisfaction fooling a fish with a fly rod in their hand.
GFN: Are there fly fishing only sections of the water?
Currently, spin fishing is allowed everywhere on Harman's Log Cabins property, but beginning in March 2017 the upper section of our property will be designated "fly fishing only".
GFN: In order to preserve the quality of fishing at Harman’s, you have a rigorous catch and release program. What are the keys to that program?
Fishing at Harman's Log Cabins is strictly catch-and release with artificial flies and lures, a single barbless hook, and no scented bait is allowed. Running a successful program is not just about “releasing” the fish but also about the handling of that fish. One problem that I see, especially with spin fishing, is with properly releasing a trout when fishermen are standing on the bank while fishing instead of in the water. When a fish is landed it's often removed from the water, held above the ground or rocks, and sometimes dropped or laid on the ground, either of which can kill a fish.
GFN: Other than your waters, what do you consider the next best trout streams in your area for guests to fish?
Seneca Creek, Smoke Hole Catch and Release Area
GFN: For guests that also want to target bass on their trip, where do you recommend in the area for bass fishing?
The section of the South Branch near Moorefield know as "the Trough" is well know for excellent fishing for smallmouth bass.
GFN: What are the top 3 things people should keep in mind when considering or planning a fishing trip with you?
In my opinion, the most important consideration is one thing: time of year or season. As you know, trout are cold water fish! It's fine to bring your fly rod along when you visit Harman's in the middle of summer for a family vacation or quick getaway, but if you're coming specifically to fish plan your trip when the water is cold, fall, winter or spring!
Again, a big thank you to Ed from Harman's Cabins. From the many reviews I have read, his fishing knowledge and guidance are one of the big reasons people love Harman's so much. So check out their website and give them a call to find out what this amazing trout fishing and fine accommodations are all about.