Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Lost Cove Creek North
Lost Cove Creek is one of the most beautiful streams in
North Carolina. It's a tributary to Wilson Creek. The
stream is "catch and release - fly fishing" only. It flows
through the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area in the
Pisgah National Forest. It seems that most of the trout
are wild rainbows from our own experience but it's
known for its brown trout. It has a reputation for having
some very large brown trout. We have been told that it
has brook trout in its headwaters but we have not
verified that. Each time we have asked anyone about
this, we have received conflicting answers. We're not
certain if studies have been done in this regard either.
We  caught a few rainbow trout the one and only time
we have fished the stream but not any brown trout.
Much of that was dry fly fishing which probably affect
our results species wise, but we didn't catch a brown on
a nymph and we did fish one for about two hours and
still only caught rainbows..

Unlike most headwater streams in Western North
Carolina, this stream's decline is moderate in the high
elevations.  Its steep declines comes below its
uppermost headwaters. Also, I don't think I've ever seen
a freestone mountain stream any clearer than this one.
That's also a big factor in catching the browns. We
have not fished early, or very late, and that's almost a
requirement on bright, blue-bird days for catching
brown trout from this type of water. The creek has a lot
of short plunges between pools and a few runs and
short sections of riffles, but much of its water consist of
rather large pools for its small size.

Most anglers fish this stream from the "Hunt/Fish
FallsTrail" or Forest Service Trail #263. It's really the
only trail you can use to fish the stream during a day
trip. You would think that probably means the same
water get fished over and over but I don't think that
should really be much of a concern. I'll explain why
shortly. I'm also confident most fishers, fish the
"Delayed Harvest" section of Wilson Creek, which
begins at the mouth of Lost Cove Creek and goes
downstream. My guess is only the avid fly anglers
choose to fish this stream's remote sections. That's a
good thing as far as I'm concerned and I don't mean
that selfishly. I will probably never be able to fish most
of its waters. Fly fishing Lost Cove Creek can be tough.

The Hunt/Fish Falls Trail can be accessed from Forest
Service Road #464. It's only a three/quarter mile trail to
the stream - that seems more like a mile almost straight
up if you're headed back to your vehicle. I'm very
positive this is another big reason it isn't ever crowded
with anglers even in its most accessible location. Most
of the people that use this trail, use it to see the
waterfalls which start at the foot of the trail. It isn't your
normal waterfall. It's a series of several short cascades
with pools between them, which are also good spots to
place a fly. Boulder Creek may have been a better
name for it but on second thought, I guess Lost Cove
Creek is also a good name. It's really a beautiful place.

There are several other trails that lead into and through
the Lost Cove Valley, but all of them would require an
overnight trip and preferable more days than two to
reach much of the creek's waters. Sorry, but we
discovered this a little too late in my life to tell you much
more about it. The trip down into the Hunt/Fish Falls
area is well worth the effort. You can fish as long and as
far as you desire, it's just that your always thinking
about climbing back out and with a heavy commercial
camera, that isn't all that easy.

Gragg Prong is a small tributary of Lost Cove Creek
that's also a wild trout stream. It is very small with about
a mile of water that isn't on private property. Forest
Service Road crosses this stream where it can be

Rockhouse Creek is a tributary of Lost Cove Creek that
enters near Edgemont. This is a wild trout stream not to
be confused with another Rockhouse Creek in a
different county. Forest Service road #981 flows along
the small stream. The road crosses the creek in its
headwater and you have to hike upstream within the
streambed to go upstream from that point. Also, be
aware that there is private property along this stream
that should be avoided. Both Rockhouse Creek and
Gragg Prong have mostly small rainbows.

The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on most warm winter days.
Fly fishing Lost Cove Creek during the Springtime is the
best time.
Summertime may get a little slow due to warm water
Fall is certainly the most beautiful time to fish Lost Cove

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Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout (wild)
Brown Trout (wild)
Brook Trout (native)


Northwest North Carolina

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Non-Resident License
State of North Carolina

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