Ashe County North Carolina Fishing
I had been promising for almost a month to take my oldest out fishing. We had been to a local lake during that time, but he really wanted to get up to the mountains. Having grown up fishing around Ashe County North Carolina, figured I would take him to the places we used to frequent as a kid. Up until this point, he had never caught trout, and it had been on his mind for a while now. We took the almost 3 hour drive up past Lansing NC to hit the clear cold creeks. The weather was beautiful! A little chilly in the shade, but perfect in the sun when a breeze came by.
Our first stop was Big Horse Creek. There’s a lot of creek there to fish, but we opted to pull over at the small church that fronted the stream. There were good places to park and easy access into the stream. There were a few people out fishing the stream, but with spinning rods. We opted for getting out the 4 weight flyrod. I tried a few light colored dry flies and a few dark. I kept getting hits from the smaller trout, but nothing decent. After about 15 minutes in the water, I switched us over to my favorite fly. The generic black floating ant dry fly. The one with the white head. In this clear water, it was the easiest for me to see. We immediately started catching trout from that time forward.
We spent almost an hour on big horse creek and Buddy was getting anxious to start splashing around. We loaded up and headed over to Helton Creek, on the other side of Lansing. I was definitely disappointed once we got there. I loved this stream as a kid, but most access areas were pretty heavily overgrown. We used to catch Rainbow Trout all up and down this creek. I caught a few small Brown Trout, but that was it. A local stopped by and talked to us for about 15 minutes. He owns a cabin right off the creek. He said that unless you fish the stocking schedule, it’s extremely hard to get a decent catch. He went on to say that the last rainbow he had hooked in months was that day, farther down the creek.
This area really isn’t the best for young kids to stomp through. Next time we will head up to the single hook, catch and release, fly fishing only part of Helton closer to the Virginia line. Funny thing is, John (704outdoors) was camping that morning about 3 miles away from us at the Helton Camp Ground. I didn’t even know it till later that night. Buddy started to loose interest at this point and wanted to head to the New River in West Jefferson for some swimming, so we headed that way.
This is where the real fish catching started. We had stopped at the general store on our way into Lansing for some snacks. I picked up a random
yellow bodied spinner for Buddy’s push-button bait caster. I don’t like fishing the Methodist Campground part of the New River. There’s a ton of foot traffic through there and is normally fished out. While Buddy was splashing around, I put the spinner on and threw it out. This little $2.50 spinner was worth it’s weight in gold that day! The first 3 fish were smaller Rock Bass (call ’em red-eyes up there). The next was a big smallmouth bass (for that area of the river)! I let Buddy real this one in. I thought it was going to snap that lightweight line. It was hooked in a deep pocket behind a 3 ft waterfall formed by a few large rocks in the path of the rapids. This got Buddy’s attention!
We handed off catching them back and forth. We caught 2 more medium sized Smallmouths, about 20 good sized Rock Bass, and 5 medium Orange Bellied Sunfish. This was within an hour. Buddy was loving it and so was I. The water was extremely clear and we could have caught a lot more. It was dinner time and we packed up heading to visit family. My flyrod and that bait-caster is almost always in the truck. I will be leaving that spinner in there as well! This trip definitely helped my encouragement for him to get more involved in the outdoors.