With more than 150,000 trout stocked in the waters of Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties in 2014, chances are a big fish waiting for you in the High Country. Photo by Ken Ketchie
The Watauga River near Foscoe is one of the many popular fishing spots in the Boone area. Photo by Ivan Ditcscheiner
A fishing guide instructs a fly fisherman. Guides know all of the local “secrets.” Photo by Ivan Ditcscheiner
Whenever the movie, “A River Runs Through It,” came out in 1992, everybody and his brother wanted to fly fish in the High Country. Photo by Ivan Ditcscheiner
Since the source of most rivers is found in high places, the mountains of Watauga, Avery and Ashe counties have a plethora of clean-water creeks to fish. Photo by Ivan Ditcscheiner
Lake fishing is more convenient than fishing in out-of-the-way creeks in a rugged terrain, and the region has several big bodies of water such as Wildcat Lake in Banner Elk, Chinquapin Lake in Ashe County and Watauga Lake at the Tennessee border. This is Bass Lake near Blowing. Photo by Ken Ketchie
A father and son reel in a big trout from Grandfather Trout Farm in Foscoe, where equipment, tackle and bait are free. You just pay for what you catch. Photo by Karen Lehmann
With a landscape as enchanting as what the High Country offers, heading home after a day on the river with a fish or two in hand is just a bonus. Photo by Ivan Ditcscheiner
An angler fly fishes from the banks of Bass Lake near Blowing Rock, which has three lakes within a 10-mile range – Bass, Trout and Price lakes. Photo by Ken Ketchie
You can fish from the banks of Price Lake or rent a boat to fish on the large body of water amidst the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Price Lake is just one of the highlights of the 4,300-acre Julian Price Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here people fish near the dam of Price Lake. Photo by Ken Ketchie
Little anglers fish during a kids fishing tournament at Buckeye Lake atop Beech Mountain Kids fish. Photo courtesy of Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce
A Father and daughter enjoy some quality time in nature fishing at Grandfather Trout Pond, which is located below the looming Grandfather Mountain in Foscoe. Photo by Karen Lehmann

▶ OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Fishing
in the High Country

Anglers seek out the High Country as a destination for their favorite pastime. The area’s rivers are home to rainbow, brown and brook trout, and outfitters are ready to take you on an excursion and provide all the gear and advice you need. With miles of streams and rivers running through spectacular scenery of the High Country, you’ll find anglers in the waterways looking to make their catch. There are three species of trout found here: the Rainbow, the Brown and the elusive Brook Trout. You can also find smallmouth bass. So how to catch them? Of course the best way to do that is to hire a guide.

Fishing Guides/Outfitters
Elk Creek Outfitters
Foscoe Fishing Company
RiverGirl Fishing Co.
Trophy Water Guide Service
Watauga River Anglers


Fishing Along
Blue Ridge Parkway

Website: www.NCWildlife.org

The Blue Ridge Parkway has several popular fishing spots and numerous streams and creeks. Remember that while no special permits are needed for fishing along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will need a standard fishing license issued by North Carolina. You can obtain a license here: http://www.ncwildlife.org/default.aspx. Note that each fishing spot may have its own regulations posted.

Fishing spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway:

MP 238 to 244 Doughton Park has the Basin Cove Creek complex with stocked streams full of rainbow and brook trout.

MP 292.7 Along with many miles of horse and carriage trails, Moses H. Cone Memorial Park estate has Trout Lake and Bass Lake, both of which hare popular fishing waters.

MP 295 Julian Price Memorial Park has 4,344 acres with a campground, picnic area and trails – not to mention a lake for boating and fishing! Note that fishing is not permitted from the dam at Price Lake or from the footbridge in the Price Lake picnic area.

MP 316.4 Fish in the Linville River. The Linville River parking area at Milepost 316.4 offers a picnic area and comfort station at an altitude of 3,250 feet. Take Spur Road to the Linville Falls, campground and visitor center.

Remember that while no special permits are needed for fishing along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will need a standard fishing license issued by North Carolina. You can obtain a license here. Note that each fishing spot may have its own regulations posted.


Wildcat Lake

Address: Banner Elk, NC

Wildcat Lake in Banner Elk is part of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Public Mountain Trout Waters program and is a hatchery-supported trout water. It has been stocked with three different types of trout, blue gills and bass. There is a children’s fishing dock on the far side of the lake and a handicap accessible dock near the spillway. Wildcat Lake is located on Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk.


Chinquapin Lake

Maintained by Ashe County Wildlife Club and stocked by the state, Chinquapin Lake is open for fishing from the first Saturday in June to Sept. 30. It is located in Jefferson, where you take Highway 88 ten miles and hang a left at Upper Mountain Agricultural Research Station on Big Peak Creek Road and go four miles on gravel road until pavement begins.


Watauga Lake

Address: Cherokee National Forest, TN
Website: www.TNFish.org

Watauga Lake is a 6,430-acre reservoir in East Tennessee and on the North Carolina border. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, “Smallmouth, walleye, and trout are the most popular game fish for Watauga anglers. Gizzard shad, alewife, bluegill, and assorted minnows make up the forage base. There are eight public boat ramps, seven marinas and two Forest Service recreation facilities. From Boone, take U.S. 321 about 45 minutes directly to Watauga Lake. For more information about fishing in the Watauga Lake, go to the website.


Mayview Lake

Phone: 828-295-5222
Address: 333 Wallingford Rd, Blowing Rock, NC

Mayview Lake in Blowing Rock has a dock and is perfect for fishing, feeding ducks or relaxing by the lake. Mayview Lake is located just behind downtown Blowing Rock near the American Legion Building at 333 Wallingford Road. For more info, call the Town of Blowing Rock at 828-295-5222.


Creeks in Avery County

Roaring Creek: For wild trout, go the same direction as you would to Big Plumtree Creek Road above, but turn on nearby Roaring Creek Road instead The stream will be a mile down the road on your left. GPS 36.0732, -82.0253

Boyd Coffey Lake: From N.C. 105 in Boone take a left on U.S. 221 until you come to Autumn Lane and make a right. Follow Autumn Lane until you come to Pilot Ridge Road and then make a left on Edgemont Road. GPS: 36.0774, -81.7760

Cow Camp Creek: From Old Toe River Road near downtown Newland go about one mile and turn left on Cole Hollow Road. On your left will be the stream. GPS 36.1076, -81.9957

Archie Coffey Lake: From NC 105 in Boone take a left on US 221 to Edgemont Road. Past Pilot Ridge Road and on your right will be the creek. GPS: 36.0774, -81.7760

Lost Cove Creek: Deep pools await in the rugged terrain of the Lost Cove Wilderness Area in the Pisgah National Forest. From the Blue Ridge Parkway exit near Blowing Rock, drive south until you hit the Roseboro Road. After which take a right and drive to the end of Timber Ridge Trail to meet the stream on the right. GPS 36.0157, -81.7985

Plumtree Creek: For wild trout, take Highway 19 East south from Elk Park about 10 miles to Big Plumtree Creek Road, where you will take a left. The stream will be on your right approximately 1,000 feet on Lick Log Road. GPS 36.0324, -82.0002

Horse Creek: From Elk Park, take Highway 19 about four miles south and make a right on Big Horse Creek Road. The stream will be on the left side of the road. GPS 36.1076, -81.9957
Toe River: In downtown Newland is the River Walk Park, of which the Toe River runs underneath, that the locals love to fish. GPS 36.06618, -81.8705


Creeks in Watauga County

Beech Creek: Located near the backside of Beech Mountain, Beech Creek is supported via hatchery and wild trout. Beech Creek can be accessed by US 321. GPS: 36.2530, -81.9029

Laurel Creek: From Boone take US 321 to Sugar Grove and make the second left once you pass the US 321 Bridge over the Watauga River. GPS: 36.2497, -81.8591

Dutch Creek: Accessed via the second bridge on SR 1134, Dutch Creek continues into Valle Crucis. GPS: 36.1988, -81.7824

Middle Fork of New River: While the New River runs for miles and miles, a popular spot is nearby Aho Road, which is near the intersection of US 321 and the Blue Ridge Parkway around Blowing Rock.

North Fork of the New River: In the Meat Camp community off of NC 194, several miles from Boone, near Sutherland Road is where two creeks come together and make for some great fishin’.

Watauga River: Along the Watauga River in between Foscoe and Sugar Grove is a great stretch of trout waters. You can park at the Valle Crucis Community Park off of Broadstone Road or you can park on the pull-off near the intersection of NC 105 Bridge and Broadstone Road. Or drive all the way to Sugar Grove and park at the kayak access at the US 321 Bridge over the Watauga River and fish.


Creeks in Ashe County

Big Laurel Creek: Catch some fish – both wild and hatchery-supported – where the North Fork meets Highway 88. Big Laurel Creek runs nine miles to the Virginia/North Carolina line. GPS: 36.4678, -81.6438

Big Horse Creek: Big Horse Creek in Lansing is among the more popular streams in Ashe County. Access the stream at the Big Horse Creek Road bridge. GPS: 36.5612, -81.5390

Beaver Creek: From Jefferson on U.S. 221, take a left on Highway 163, where Beaver Creek runs nearly eight miles. GPS: 36.3748, -81.4777

Cranberry Creek: One of the popular fishing waters is Cranberry Creek, which runs from Alleghany line near Laurel Springs across Highway 88, traveling 12 miles to South Fork of New River at U.S. 221 Bridge. GPS: 36.420559, -81.473938

South Fork of the New River: Near Todd, the South Fork of the New River is a popular place to fish for trout. GPS: 36.3092, -81.595741

Helton Creek: Perhaps the best stretch of fly-fishing waters along Helton Creek is from its confluence with the New River all the way to the Virginia line. Helton Creek, located near Jefferson, is now a delayed-harvest water with an excellent 11-mile stretch. GPS: 36.4365, -81.2932

North Fork of New River: Flowing along N.C. 88 and N.C. 194, the North Fork of the New River is teeming with trout from Watauga County line to the sharp dam. GPS: 36.4329, -81.6368

Three Top Creek: With more than 10 miles of hatchery-supported waters, Three Top Creek is among the favorite trout waters to fish on opening day of the fishing season in Ashe County, located off N.C. 88 in Creston. (Not along game land portion.) GPS: 36.3612, -81.5916

Hoskins Fork: From the Watauga County line to the North Fork of New River, Hoskins Fork is 12 miles of hatchery supported waters. From Lansing, take the Highway 88. One-half mile past Sutherland Road, the stream flows. GPS: 36.3889, -81.6990

Peak Creek: Take Highway 88 to Big Peak Creek Road. After about 14 miles, the stream is roughly 2,000 feet on left and is hatchery supported. GPS: 36.4023, -81.3106

Pine Swamp Creek: Head south along N.C. 221 out of Jefferson and turn right on Highway 163. Continue for five miles until making a right on Phillips Gap Road. Continue for 1,000 feet until a fork in the road. Take the left fork onto Dick Phillips Road. The hatchery-supported stream will be 7/10 of a mile on the left. GPS: 36.2983, -81.4560