The word “classic” generally conjures up images of cars, movies, and literature. At Pipestem Resort State Park “classic” is tied to fly fishing in the Bluestone River and the packaged experience is tagged “Trout Wrangler.”
In spring and late fall, Pipestem State Park offers a fly-fishing package that includes two days of fishing, overnight at Mountain Creek Lodge, access by horseback, snacks, and four full-meals. Guide services and equipment use also are part of the offer. The package is available April through May 17 and dates in November.
“It is as good as any western state fly-fishing package – maybe better since it is closer to home,” said Ed Wooton, outdoor specialist at Pipestem Resort. “It’s remote fishing in good habitat and conditions, weather permitting. The rainbow trout are stocked by the park. The overnight is not roughing it, but a nicely appointed lodge at the base of the mountain. Mountain Creek Lodge opens for the summer season Memorial weekend and coincides with the summer operation of the aerial tram that transports overnight guests and is the only access to the lodge.”
The access is by horseback for the fishing package. Participation is a maximum of 10 anglers or a minimum of six. “Ten or fewer people fishing erase distractions of a nearby angler,” Wooton explained. The group can be individual anglers looking for a superior fishing experience, couples or twosomes combined with other anglers, or a corporate group. “We encourage parent-child twosomes, people who have always wanted to try fly-fishing, and seasoned anglers looking for a great venue,” Wooton said. “The park receives high compliments from classic participants.”
The Trout Wrangler package also includes good eats. Steak and rib dinner, two lunches and a full breakfast are part of the adventure. Joe Rhodes, stable operator, provides the well-mannered horses for the 1-1/2 to two-hour ride into the Bluestone Gorge. Rhodes is also “Cookie,” preparing meals while people fish.
The spring wrangler fishing dates conclude May 17. Package rates are $319 per person inclusive of four meals, overnight accommodation, horseback transport, guide service (if needed), equipment use (as needed), all taxes, and classic fly fishing for rainbow trout.
For more information contact Pipestem State Park at 304-466-1800 ext. 393 or email Edward.E.Wooton@wv.gov. Pipestem State Park is located in Summers county minutes from Athens and Hinton West Virginia. The park is open year round with lodge, cabins, camping, hiking, golf, restaurants and family favorites. The website is www.pipestemresort.com.