11/18/10
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 Lost Cove Creek North Carolina
Lost Cove Creek is one of the most beautiful streams in North Carolina. It's a
tributary to Wilson Creek. The stream is "catch and release - fly fishing" only. It flows
through the Lost Cove Wilderness Study Area in the Pisgah National Forest. It
seems that most of the trout are wild rainbows from our own experience but it's
known for its brown trout. It has a reputation for having some very large brown trout.
We have been told that it has brook trout in its headwaters but we have not verified
that. Each time we have asked anyone about this, we have received conflicting
answers. We're not certain if studies have been done in this regard either. We  
caught a few rainbow trout the one and only time we have fished the stream but not
any brown trout. Much of that was dry fly fishing which probably affect our results
species wise, but we didn't catch a brown on a nymph and we did fish one for about
two hours and still only caught rainbows..

Unlike most headwater streams in Western North Carolina, this stream's decline is
moderate in the high elevations.  Its steep declines comes below its uppermost
headwaters. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a freestone mountain stream any
clearer than this one. That's also a big factor in catching the browns. We have not
fished early, or very late, and that's almost a requirement on bright, blue-bird days
for catching brown trout from this type of water. The creek has a lot of short plunges
between pools and a few runs and short sections of riffles, but much of its water
consist of rather large pools for its small size.

Most anglers fish this stream from the "Hunt/Fish FallsTrail" or Forest Service Trail
#263. It's really the only trail you can use to fish the stream during a day trip. You
would think that probably means the same water get fished over and over but I don't
think that should really be much of a concern. I'll explain why shortly. I'm also
confident most fishers, fish the "Delayed Harvest" section of Wilson Creek, which
begins at the mouth of Lost Cove Creek and goes downstream. My guess is only
the avid fly anglers choose to fish this stream's remote sections. That's a good thing
as far as I'm concerned and I don't mean that selfishly. I will probably never be able
to fish most of its waters.

The Hunt/Fish Falls Trail can be accessed from Forest Service Road #464. It's only
a three/quarter mile trail to the stream - that seems more like a mile almost straight
up if you're headed back to your vehicle. I'm very positive this is another big reason
it isn't ever crowded with anglers even in its most accessible location. Most of the
people that use this trail, use it to see the waterfalls which start at the foot of the
trail. It isn't your normal waterfall. It's a series of several short cascades with pools
between them, which are also good spots to place a fly. Boulder Creek may have
been a better name for it but on second thought, I guess Lost Cove Creek is also a
good name. It's really a beautiful place.

There are several other trails that lead into and through the Lost Cove Valley, but
all of them would require an overnight trip and preferable more days than two to
reach much of the creek's waters. Sorry, but we discovered this a little too late in my
life to tell you much more about it. The trip down into the Hunt/Fish Falls area is well
worth the effort. You can fish as long and as far as you desire, it's just that your
always thinking about climbing back out and with a heavy commercial camera, that
isn't all that easy.

Gragg Prong is a small tributary of Lost Cove Creek that's also a wild trout stream. It
is very small with about a mile of water that isn't on private property. Forest Service
Road crosses this stream where it can be accessed.

Rockhouse Creek is a tributary of Lost Cove Creek that enters near Edgemont. This
is a wild trout stream not to be confused with another Rockhouse Creek in a
different county. Forest Service road #981 flows along the small stream. The road
crosses the creek in its headwater and you have to hike upstream within the
streambed to go upstream from that point. Also, be aware that there is private
property along this stream that should be avoided. Both Rockhouse Creek and
Gragg Prong have mostly small rainbows.



Copyright 2010 James Marsh