Copyright 2018 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Wilson Creek North Carolina
Wilson Creek, a tributary of the Johns River, flows from
its headwaters on Grandfather Mountain near the
Blue Ridge Parkway above Edgemont, North Carolina. It
is a National Wild and Scenic River. The creek flows
through several different sections of private and public
lands. For purposes of fly fishing, there are two basic
sections. Fly fishing Wilson Creek in the Wilson Creek
Gorge area, and fly fishing the upper Wilson Creek
The lower section in the gorge is just over two miles
long. Just above the gorge is more public water mixed in
with private sections of the stream. The lower end of the
gorge section ends at the Brown Mountain Beach
Campground. The creek in this section is rather large,
with deep pools and short sections of riffles. It's heavily
stocked by the state. Ralph Winchester Road follows
the creek through the gorge up to state highway #90
but access is not exactly easy. The road runs high
above the water and you have to follow steep trails
down to the stream. Above the gorge, there's another
mile plus of public access mixed in with private property.
Fly fishing Wilson Creek in its headwaters where the
stream is managed as wild trout water is well worth the
effort. It's fly fishing only, single hook artificial - catch
and release regulations. It has a good population of
both wild rainbows and brown trout. There are some
brook trout in its uppermost headwaters.
The upper part of Wilson Creek is more typical of the
small to medium size freestone mountain trout stream
with runs, riffles, plunges and short pools. The only
problem with this section of Wilson Creek, if you want to
consider it a problem, is access. You have to hike to
reach any of its water although it can be reached in one
area with about a half-mile hike. Downstream of Forest
Service Road #192, Forest Service Trail 258 follows the
creek through the public lands but reaching its fishable
waters can require a long hike depending on where it's
accessed. You should have a map for sure because the
trails that reach the creek are rather complicated.
There are other small tributary streams in the area such
as Buck Timber Creek and Cary Flat Branch. The trails
range in length from a half mile to three miles from the
trailhead to the stream depending on which one or
combination of trails you select. Although Wilson Creek
is a little difficult to access in its upper parts, it's well
worth fishing. It's lightly pressured and it seems to have
a good population of trout.
Wilson Creek also has a "Delayed Harvest Section" that
runs for three and a half miles from the game land
boundary downstream of the Lost Cove Creek bridge
on state highway #90 and follows state road #1328 to
the Phillips Branch bridge. This has become a very
popular area to fish. It's heavily stocked with rainbows,
brook trout and brown trout.
There are two other main tributaries of Wilson Creek -
North and South Harper Creeks and Lost Cove Creek.
Both of these streams and their tributaries are large
enough to warrant their own article. Lost Cove Creek is
an excellent small wild trout stream. These streams will
be covered separately from Wilson Creek in the near
The season runs year-round
Trout can be caught on most warm winter days.
Fly fishing Wilson Creek during the Springtime is good
due to the hatches of aquatic insects..
Summertime is okay in the headwaters.
Fall is a beautiful time to fish this stream
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
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.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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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