In summer, when the Elk River runs low and clear, the trophy brown trout start sipping midges. Veteran anglers tie on 9X or even 10X tippets and size 28 flies-but strikes from the 20-inch-plus fish are hard and the light tippets can break easily. An alternative is to fish at dawn and dusk with jigs or crankbaits (treble hooks must be barbless). The river's clarity demands 2- to 6-pound-test line. Jigs should mimic crayfish. Small, minnow-imitating crankbaits are often most effective after summer rains when the river rises. The Elk's upper catch-and-release segment (a good section for lure fishermen) begins at the village of Slatyfork and extends 3.6 miles downstream into a roadless canyon. The second segment, where summer flows are better and stonefly nymphs can draw strikes, begins at Elk Springs and extends two miles downstream. Contact: West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (304-637-0245).