Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On Boone Fork Creek In
Boone Fork Creek is located near Boone, North
Carolina, and begins at Price Lake Dam just off the
Blue Ridge Parkway. The entire stream is "catch and
release" only. It's a beautiful little trout stream that's a
tributary of the Watauga River. It enters the Watauga
River near Foscoe, North Carolina. It has brown, brook
and rainbow trout. Some of the browns reach a large
size. Fly fishing Boone Fork Creek is a pleasurable
experience. It's an excellent small, wild trout stream.
The Boone Fork actually begins above Price Lake from
springs and along with another small stream, Cold
Prong, flows into Price Lake. This area is within the
Julian Price Memorial Park. The park is managed by the
National Park Service. When it first flows out of the
lake's spillway, it goes through a picnic area. The park,
including the picnic area, is located at the intersection
of U. S. Highway #321 and the Blue Ridge Parkway at
Bowling Rock. Sims Creek, a small tributary, also enters
the Boone Fork inside the park.
The picnic area itself isn't worth fishing during the
Summer or peak tourist times because the people using
the area spook the trout. It can be fished during the off
season times and early in the day. The Julian Price
Memorial Park also has a large campground with
facilities that's located adjacent to the picnic area. Its
best to park at the end of the road inside the park to
begin fishing during the times the park is busy.
When the stream flows out of the picnic area, it falls
through a much steeper decline and becomes a series
of plunges and long pools. This section of the creek
flows for over two miles within the park's boundaries. Fly
fishing Boone Fork Creek in this area falls under the fly
fishing, catch and release only regulations inside the
The Boone Fork Loop Trail follows the creek inside the
park and provides good access to most of its waters. It
isn't a piece of cake to hike the trail. As just mentioned,
the streams falls at a steep decline in this area. The
Boone Fork Loop trail forms a circle that is 5.5 miles in
length. Of course not all the trial follows the creek. Fly
fishing Boone Fork Creek can be challenging in some
There's a small tributary, Bee Tree Creek, that enters
Boone Fork Creek at the point the trail departs the
stream. Parts of these streams are closed ( I think it
includes Bee Tree Creek) so you need to be check the
current signs and regulations to make sure your not
fishing a closed section. The Boone Fork Loop
Trail follows Bee Tree Creek for a ways after it departs
the Boone Fork. The stream flows through private
property outside of the park.
One good thing about the stream is that it stays cool
even in areas it is exposed to the sun in meadows and
other areas void of trees. This is because the elevation
of the creek in the picnic area is approximately 3900
feet. The weather is much cooler at the higher
elevation. Most of the stream runs through hardwood
and pines and is shaded.
Boone Fork Creek has a low pH compared to other high
elevation streams in the North Carolina mountains. It
begins with some spring water which increases the pH.
Because of that, it also has a good population of
aquatic insects, many which are not so common in the
nearby other streams. Green Sedges and Cinnamon
Sedge Caddis are plentiful and so are scuds. The
stream has a lot of other aquatic insects that are
plentiful in the other streams such as Quill Gordons,
Blue Quills, Blue-winged olives, Light Cahills, American
March Browns, Sulphurs, LIttle Yellow stoneflies,
Golden stonesflies, Giant Black stoneflies, Winter
stoneflies, Needle stoneflies and others.
The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught some days during the Winter
Spring is the best time for fly fishing Boone Fork Creek
due to the hatches.
Summertime is okay - the water stays cool.
Fall is a beautiful time to fish this stream
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 1-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
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