Santeetlah Creek North Carolina
Angie Marsh fishing Santeetiah Creek
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Santeetlah Creek North
Santeetlah Creek is another stream in western North
Carolina that's known for its wild brown trout fishing.
The stream also has a good population of wild rainbow
trout. It's also called Big Santeetlah Creek by some
anglers because there's also a Little Santeetlah Creek.

The lower section of this stream is stocked. Santeetlah
Creek a small stream with several headwater streams
that flows through Nanthala Game Lands in the
Nanthala National Forest. It's located not far from
Robinsiville, North Carolina, and flows into nearby
Santeetlah Lake.

The uppermost tributary is Sand Creek. It has a
population of mostly small rainbow trout. Downstream
from Sand Creek is Whiggs Branch, another small
tributary with mostly rainbow trout. Indian Creek is
farther downstream in the wild trout section and below it
another small stream tributary, Wright Creek. These
small tributaries also have mostly rainbows.

There's also a Little Santeetlah Creek. It flows out of the
Joyce Kilmer - Slickrook Wilderness Area known more
for Big Snowbird Creek than anything. It has a good
population of wild, small rainbow trout and the state
manages the stream as a wild trout stream. The lower
half mile of LIttle Santeetlah Creek can be accessed off
Kilmer Road on Forest Service Road #416. It has a trial
that follows it from that point upstream. Fly fishing Little
Santeetlah Creek is a lot of fun. You shouldn't have
much trouble catching plenty of small wild, rainbows.

From John's Branch downstream, the state stocks
Santeetlah Creek. It has a population of stocked,
holdover and wild trout. There's about four miles of
stocked water that's above the bridge on Forest Service
Road #81. Below the bridge, you have to hike to reach
its water. This section has approximately a mile of
stocked water.

Upstream, from the confluence of Wright Creek, the
stream is followed by Forest Service Road #81-C. This
is all managed under wild trout regulations. You can
reach the section just above Santeetlah Lake from the
Horse Cove and Rattlers Cove Forest Service
Campgrounds. These campgrounds are accessible
from Kilmer Road but that section is hardly worth fishing.

Several primitive campsites are along the river is you
want to choose that option to fish the stream; however,
since most all the water can be reached from a road, it
isn't necessary in order to fish its wild trout waters.

Most of the fishing that takes place on Santeetlah
Creek is done along the stocked section of the lower
stream. The wild trout waters are not pressured very
much at all and they provide some very good fishing for
brown trout. You will still catch more rainbows as a
general rule but there are plenty of beautiful wild brown
trout to go along with them. They are just more difficult
to catch and especially if you fish dry flies. Of course,
you will find the larger browns much more difficult to

Fly fishing the upper part of Santeetlah Creek well
justifies a trip to this stream if you are in Western North

The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on some warm winter days.
Fly fishing Santeetlah Creek during the Springtime is
good due to the hatches of aquatic insects..
Summertime is okay and when most fishing takes place
on Santeetlah Creek  - the water stays cool.
Fall is a beautiful time to fish this stream

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
Santeetlah Creek
North Carolina
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Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout (wild and stocked with
Brown Trout (wild and stocked with


Northwestern North Carolina

Nearest Towns

Year-round except closed in
hatchery supported water during


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:
1. Email us (
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.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
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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