There are trout fishermen, bass fishermen, cat-fishermen, and even musky fishermen. There are countless other specialized fishermen who hone their craft and seek out their target species with laser like precision as well. Even to the point of being disappointed when they catch anything other than their highly sought-after fish of choice.

I will admit to having considered myself a trout fisherman, a bass fisherman and even a cat-fisherman at times. As I have gotten older, and since kids came along, I have evolved into just a plain old fisherman. This isn't a bad thing or even a step backwards, it just means that it is more fun to fish and enjoy the sport no matter what species you catch.

The rivers that crisscross the Mountain State are perfect spots for those who like to fish and identify themselves as plain old fishermen. If you don't care as much about the species of fish you catch and are happy just being on the river bank with rod and reel in hand, the river is the place to be.

Any river will do, as they are chocked full of a variety of fish and you can almost always find something willing to take the bait or the lure. There is no reason to be choosey when you are just out to have a good time or take family and friends fishing.

River fishing is like Christmas every time you go. You never know what you will catch. All you have to do is find a good-looking spot that you like, pick out a bait you want to use and cast away.

You get to decide if you want to fish swift water or still water, live bait or lures, top water or bottom fishing. The possibilities are endless and so are the variety of fish you might catch. Heck, you can even have the best of both worlds in the same trip simply by moving up or down river just a little ways.

You can use a boat, a kayak, a good pair of wading shoes or just a forked stick stuck down in the bank. There are no rules or guidelines that says what you have to do or how you have to fish. You can even use your bare hands to noodle a big fish here and there if that is what you are into. The only real constraints you must abide by are those in the fishing regulations. Other than that, the choice is all yours.

Just be sure to always make sure you are safe while you are out there on any of the larger bodies of water. Even though the water may look shallow or the current isn't that swift, it only takes a split second to turn into a life-threatening situation.

If you are wade fishing or on any kind of boat, it is always a good idea to have a personal floatation device on. That PFD doesn't do much good if you capsize in the rapids and it floats away out of reach because it was tucked away with your gear! It wouldn't hurt to take a nice comfy cushion that will double as a floatation device even if you are just planning on doing a little bank fishing. You just never know what might happen.

No matter how you do it, there is just something special about summer time river fishing. A trusty rod and bucket of worms is more than enough gear to spend some relaxing time fishing. You may catch a few sunfish, or the next state record. Either way it doesn't matter, just enjoy your time fishing.

Roger Wolfe is an avid outdoorsman and has spent most of his life hunting and fishing and writes a weekly outdoors column for HD Media. He is a resident of Chapmanville and can be reached via email at wolfeii@hotmail.com.

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