Rocky Fork Creek

 

Rocky Fork Creek is the perfect place to go if you want to leave your waders at home, get some exercise, and step away from a mainstream river.

When you first turn to get to the parking lot, there will probably be a few people fishing along the paved road beside of the creek. This is the largest pool you’ll see throughout the park. This hole is fun to fish for a few minutes, but you can tell that the fish you’re catching here are stocked rainbow trout, which are fun to catch, but don’t quite compare to the beautiful wild rainbows further up the stream!

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This was caught road-side, an easily distinguishable stocked rainbow trout. 

So on this road you will come to a new and improved gravel parking lot that can now house dozens of cars. When I first started coming here a few years ago, you were lucky if you could squeeze 3-4 cars outside of the gate leading to the trail. Usually when I go I’ll hike a little and stop to fish whenever it looks like there’s easy access to fishing holes. If you’re hiking up the trail and not directly up the stream bed, some of the fishing spots can be hard to get into because of either huge amounts of foliage or because of a steep drop off that’s too hard to get down and back out of. But if you just keep hiking further it gets easier to reach good fishing spots.

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Here’s a little bit of view where you can see the road and the part of the stream that’s roadside. Right in the upper-mid left hand side of the picture is where the gravel parking lot and the beginning of the trail is.

While you’re fishing here it is best to just use a dry fly. I typically use a small (size 14 or 16) parachute sulfur with a lighter color CDC (so it’s easier for you to see) or some type of lighter colored elk hair caddis. In some of the deeper pools it is good practice to use a dropper as well, I usually use a small prince nymph or a zebra midge. It’s shaded here and the stream moves on the fast side in some places, so if you’re using a darker colored fly it’s super hard to follow and set the hook when a fish hits. While fishing here it’s important to enter fishing pools quietly. If they know you’re there they’ll spook very easily and hide. If you’ve cast your line more than 10 times with no luck it’s probably safe to say there aren’t any fish in the pool or you’ve spooked them. Either take a break for a few minutes or keep going.

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This pool is a little tricky to get into because of a steep embankment. 

This trail goes on for miles! The further up you go on this trail, the more beautiful the fish start to look. Roughly three miles up the trail, you will start finding native brook trout. The bugs can get thick here in the warmer months, so take your bug spray.

As a side note, you can take waders here but it’s way too hot for me to have that extra layer, so if you have some wading boots and neoprene or wool socks that’ll work just perfectly. I usually just wear my Chacos with some wool socks. A 4 weight 6-8ft rod will work just fine, but I usually just use my 9 ft 5 weight rod because I like the extra length for high-sticking.

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You can get to this spot from the Old Asheville Highway or plug in 501 Rocky Fork Road, Flag Pond, TN 37657 into a GPS. The street name is also called Rocky Fork Rd, so that may make it easier for you to find.

There’s all sorts of hiking and fishing trails in there, so you can go check out Rocky Fork’s official website here for more information.

 

 

 

Published by

Taylor Joyce

East Tennessee lady angler specializing in fly fishing on the South Holston and Watauga rivers.

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