11/04/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
3.    Slate Drakes
4.    Needle Stoneflies
5.    Little Yellow Quills
6.    Ants
7.    Inchworms
8.    Beetles
9.    Grasshoppers
10.  Craneflies
11.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing Big Snowbird Creek in North Carolina
To get to the key feature quickly, lets just say that Big Snowbird Creek is one of the
best small stream brook trout streams in North Carolina. It rivals the Raven Fork in
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but many claim it's the state's best brook
trout stream. Like any other good brook trout stream, the thing that keeps its "good"
status is the remoteness of its waters. To get to the best brook trout fishing in Big
Snowbird Creek you are going to have to do plenty of hiking.

Big Snowbird Creek, located near Robinsville North Carolina, flows into Santeetlah
Lake. Its waters are managed by the state two different ways. It has a wild trout
section in its headwaters, and a hatchery supported section in its lower end. The
creeks reputation as a good trout stream comes from its wild brook trout territory
which is protected from upstream migrating brown and rainbow trout by three large
waterfalls. The creek starts out as a very small brook trout stream on the Snowbird
Mountains near the Cherohala Skyway and becomes a rather large brook trout
stream in its lower wild trout section that is twenty to thirty five feet wide in places.
The three water falls are Big Falls, the lowest one; Middle Falls and Upper Falls.

The best brook trout fishing is above these waterfalls. To get there you have two
options. You can travel to the end of the Big Snowbird Creek Road, which is Forest
Service Road #75, to a location known as the Junction and depart by foot up the
trail at least six miles to the better brook trout water. You can also hike down the
King Meadows Trail from Hooper Bald on the Cherohala Skyway. For those of you
that are unfamiliar, the Cherohala Skyway is a twenty-mile long highway that runs
along the top of the mountain ridges from Tellico Plains Tennessee to Robinsville
North Carolina. This trail is very steep and probably takes more effort to reach the
better brook trout waters than the lower trail. Once the trail gets to the main brook
trout waters, its decline drops drastically and it falls at a much slower pace. There
are several small tributary streams that also have populations of brook trout
between the lower falls and the middle falls, but you normally will find the largest
brook trout in the big pools of the main stream. Brook trout exist up to about 12
inches but most of them probably average about 5 inches.

The lower section is followed by Forest Service Road (Big Snowbird Road) with not
much access. It flows through a mixture of public and private property for its length
of eight miles from Santeetlah Lake.

The first three miles upstream from the Junction, the Big Snowbird Creek lies far
below the trail but can be accessed in places. It has excellent wild brown trout and
rainbow trout fishing. There are campground in the upper section and camping is
probably the best approach to use to fish the better brook trout waters. Above
Sassafras Creek the stream falls through a series of cascades that's a few hundred
feet high. These are known as the Mouse Knob Falls. Above the falls you will find
brook trout only.

The thing that defines Big Snowbird Creek from other streams in this area of the
state of North Carolina is its wide streambed. The stream has numerous deep pools,
long runs, some short riffles but it's mostly pocket water with boulders and large
rocks spread throughout its waters. There are plenty of Rhododendrons that makes
for tight situations in the extreme upper parts and all the small tributaries but you
want have any casting problems at most any other location on Big Snowbird Creek.


Copyright 2010 James Marsh