11/07/10
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 Pigeon River North Carolina
The Pigeon River itself is basically too warm to hold trout but it has several
tributaries that do provide good trout fishing. Some areas are stocked and others
are designated as wild trout streams. Most of the fishable waters lie within the
Shining Rock Wilderness Area near the Blue Ridge Parkway above Bethel North
Carolina.

The most productive of these streams is probably the East Fork of the Pigeon River.
The section of the river that flows along Highway #276 doesn't contain trout, or at
least isn't designated as trout waters by the state. The six mile section of its
headwaters above Highway #276 does. It contains a population of wild brown and
rainbow trout. It lies within the Shining Rock Wilderness Area and requires hiking to
get to its waters. The stream is accessible from the Big East Fork Trail that follows
along the stream. Its trailhead is located near the highway #276 bridge over the
East Fork. The stream is small to medium size in this area. The East Fork has two
small tributary streams - North Prong Shining Creek and Dark Prong Creek both of
which are rather small but have wild trout.

Another stream that is a main tributary of the Pigeon River is the Little East Fork of
the Pigeon River. There are about two miles of wild trout waters above the Boy
Scout Camp Daniel Boone located on the Little East Fork Road. It can be accessed
from highway #215 above Bethel. This is a small stream but worth fishing.

The Middle Prong starts just below the Blue Ridge Parkway and flows through the
Middle Prong Wilderness Area. It is a tributary of the West Fork of the Pigeon River.
It's also called the Middle Prong of the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River. It's
strictly a small, wild trout stream that provides about five miles of trout water.

The West Fork also has trout but it's stocked. It also begins just below the Blue
Ridge Parkway. Highway #215 follows right along the stream. The section below the
confluence of the Middle Prong flows through private property. The section
upstream of the Middle Prong confluence flows through the Pisgah Game Lands
and is open to the public.

There's also a Right Hand Prong of the West Fork. It's a small wild trout stream
that's a tributary of the Middle Prong. It's accessible by hiking upstream from its
confluence with the Middle Prong near highway #215.

Richland Creek is another tributary of the Pigeon River. It flows right through
Waynesville North Carolina and is a Delayed Harvest stream. About two miles of the
stream is stocked. There's a special handicapped access area to this stream.

Downstream several miles from the main headwaters of the Pigeon River, below
Waterville Lake just off Interstate 40 near the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, are two more tributaries that hold trout. Hurricane Creek and Cold Springs
Creek. Hurricane Creek is located on Pisgah Game Lands but offers only about a
mile of fishing. It's accessible from Forest Service Road 233.

Cold Springs Creek is located farther down the Pigeon River near the
Tennessee-North Carolina state line. It's accessible from Forest Service Road #148
just off I-40. It provides about a mile of stocked water.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh