Pigeon River Brown Trout
Pigeon River North Carolina
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Pigeon River Tributaries
North Carolina
The Pigeon River itself is basically too warm to hold
trout but it has several tributaries that do provide good
trout fishing. Some areas are stocked and others are
designated as wild trout streams. Most of the fishable
waters lie within the Shining Rock Wilderness Area near
the Blue Ridge Parkway above Bethel North Carolina.

The most productive of these streams is probably the
East Fork of the Pigeon River. The section of the river
that flows along Highway #276 doesn't contain trout, or
at least isn't designated as trout waters by the state.
The six mile section of its headwaters above Highway
#276 does. It contains a population of wild brown and
rainbow trout. It lies within the Shining Rock Wilderness
Area and requires hiking to get to its waters. The
stream is accessible from the Big East Fork Trail that
follows along the stream. Its trailhead is located near
the highway #276 bridge over the East Fork. The
stream is small to medium size in this area. The East
Fork has two small tributary streams - North Prong
Shining Creek and Dark Prong Creek both of which are
rather small but have wild trout.

Another stream that is a main tributary of the Pigeon
River is the Little East Fork of the Pigeon River. There
are about two miles of wild trout waters above the Boy
Scout Camp Daniel Boone located on the Little East
Fork Road. It can be accessed from highway #215
above Bethel. This is a small stream but worth fishing.

The Middle Prong starts just below the Blue Ridge
Parkway and flows through the Middle Prong
Wilderness Area. It is a tributary of the West Fork of the
Pigeon River. It's also called the Middle Prong of the
West Fork of the Little Pigeon River. It's strictly a small,
wild trout stream that provides about five miles of trout

The West Fork also has trout but it's stocked. It also
begins just below the Blue Ridge Parkway. Highway
#215 follows right along the stream. The section below
the confluence of the Middle Prong flows through
private property. The section upstream of the Middle
Prong confluence flows through the Pisgah Game
Lands and is open to the public.

There's also a Right Hand Prong of the West Fork. It's a
small wild trout stream that's a tributary of the Middle
Prong. It's accessible by hiking upstream from its
confluence with the Middle Prong near highway #215.

Richland Creek is another tributary of the Pigeon River.
It flows right through Waynesville North Carolina and is
a Delayed Harvest stream. About two miles of the  
stream is stocked. There's a special handicapped
access area to this stream.

Downstream several miles from the main headwaters of
the Pigeon River, below Waterville Lake just off
Interstate 40 near the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, are two more tributaries that hold trout. Hurricane
Creek and Cold Springs Creek. Hurricane Creek is
located on Pisgah Game Lands but offers only about a
mile of fishing. It's accessible from Forest Service Road

Cold Springs Creek is located farther down the Pigeon
River near the Tennessee-North Carolina state line. It's
accessible from Forest Service Road #148 just off I-40.
It provides about a mile of stocked water.

The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught some days during the Winter
Spring is the best time for fly fishing the Pigeon River's
tributary streams because of the hatches.
Summertime is marginal, the water can become too
Fall is a beautiful time to fish these streams and a good
time to catch one of the large brown trout.

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Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked with
Brown Trout (wild and stocked with
Brook Trout (stocked with holdovers)


Northwestern North Carolina

Nearest Towns

Year-round except hatchery
supported trout water is closed
during the month of March


Non-Resident License
State of North Carolina

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and
Trout Flies
Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Options For Selecting Flies:
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with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

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you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (sales@perfectflystore.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

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