Wilson Creek is a trout angler’s wonderland

Wilson Creek in western NC offers fairly easy access to waters holding rainbow and brown trout.

November is time for trout in the Carolina mountains

With fall colors painting the treetops of western NC, it’s tough to think of a better place for anglers to chase after trout than Wilson Creek, which sits at the base of the Grandfather Mountain Escarpment.

Chris Wood, NCWRC District 8 Fisheries Biologist, uses a variety of methods to catch trout here this time of year.

“I usually start out throwing some streamers and some nymphs, and doing that, I feel like I should be able to get into some fish,” said Wood.

He especially likes fishing these Delayed Harvest Waters this time of year when the sky offers some cloud cover and the air temperature is around 55 degrees.

Wilson Creek features a mixture of narrow, rocky funnels and shallow, slackwater pools. Numerous areas allow anglers to easily wade a good distance from the bank. This is great for casting fly rods without fear of hanging in the trees behind you.

Presentation is the key here, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a top-notch caster with a fly rod to be successful. It’s the flow of the water that will present your fly for you, as long as you land your fly in the current, upstream of the deeper pools where many of the trout are gathered.

Wood likes fishing with an 8 1/2-foot, 4-weight fly rod. And in the bigger, open pools, he uses a double fly rig, consisting of a hand-tied wooly bugger with conehead bead. Tied to the wooly bugger, about 12 to 18 inches below it, is a weightless prince nymph.

Spin it

While fishing with Chris Douglas, host of Carolina ALL OUT TV, Wood said Wilson Creek is a good spot for fly-fishing enthusiasts of all levels, as well as those who prefer to fish with spinning gear.

A small lure call the Trout Magnet, fished below a small, styrofoam bobber with a spinning rod, he said, is as close to fly fishing as you can get with spinning tackle.

Fishing this way is as simple as making a cast, then letting the current ease your cork along. The trout magnet is under the surface, however deep you set it, and it slowly swims through the water column as the current pushes your bobber.

It’s a very effective method, and is easy to master for anglers not interested in using a fly rod.

About Brian Cope 2745 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 brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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