Fishing Ashe County’s Unseen Pass

Multiple fishing holes line the Unseen Pass of Ashe County

Ashe County, N.C. is chock full of fishing holes loaded with numerous species of fish. From well-stocked creeks in heavily manicured parks to wild areas off the beaten path, this section of the state has something for all anglers from the novice to the experienced adventurer.

And there is no better way to experience any of them than with a Mahindra Roxor, which you can rent from Unseen Pass in West Jefferson. This unique vehicle provides the best way to get off the beaten path and onto the county’s narrow roads and many one-lane wooden bridges. But it’s just as much fun pulling into Lansing Creeper Trail Park or the New River State Park to wet a line.

The Roxor is based on the Willys Jeep platform of WWII. With its automatic transmission, it’s easy to drive. And it’s just plain FUN! The lack of hard doors and windows gives the vehicle a wide-open feel, and allows the driver and passengers a full view of the incredible scenery you’ll pass when exploring the area, as well as along the Peak Route and the River Route, two easy-to-follow trails provided by Unseen Pass that you can download to your cell phone.


Along the way, you’ll encounter many pull-offs offering access to fishing holes like Big Horse Creek, Helton Creek, and both forks of the New River. Parking at these pull-offs, you’re steps away from casting for trout, smallmouth bass, redbreast sunfish, and redeye bass (a/k/a rock bass).

Small spinners are great choices for Ashe County fishing

Make a few casts, then hop back in the Roxor and head to the next spot. Or stick around and wade fish for long stretches. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles overhead. Explore the water for crawdads, and keep a sharp lookout for the elusive hellbender, a four-legged water creature that’s much less menacing than its name sounds.

Inline spinners like the Mepps Aglia and Black Fury in sizes 3 and 4 are deadly on the smallmouth here. Muted crawdad colors are good choices. Casting these into the turmoil of churning water and letting them settle before reeling them in is a good strategy. Soft plastic creature baits are also good, especially when cast around rocky areas.

Targeting rock bass and redbreast sunfish is easy with small spinners like those mentioned above, as well as Panther Martins and Beetle Spins. These fish love to hide in the shady areas and where deep holes are close to swiftly moving water.

For those targeting trout, these same spinners are good choices, but Berkley Power Bait, corn, and live worms are also top notch. Live crickets will also draw quick strikes, often when the fish ignore other offerings.

The Roxor can handle all your fishing gear

The Roxor can seat up to four, and it has plenty of room for fishing rods, tackle, and enough snacks to get you through the day. Multiple compartments (including two locking ones for your valuables) allow you to stash more provisions than you’d think at first glance. Strap a kayak (or two) to the Roxor’s rack and you’ll be ready for even more adventure.

Even the one-lane roads are well-maintained in Ashe County, so fishing out of your own car is definitely an option. But with the Roxor, your fishing trip will be much more fun. And you’ll squeeze past oncoming traffic much more easily on those skinny roads with this vehicle’s narrow body.

Summertime is a great time to visit Ashe County. The temperatures are much cooler than most other counties in the Carolinas, and the fishing is great. Click here for a great fishing map of the county. And click here to book your Roxor rental.

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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