2019-07-09 New Creeks #944 and 945!
I fished Bearwallow Creek in Transylvania County way back on April 14, 2006 (new creek #124), back in the early days of Gorges State Park. I walked down Auger Hole Road, walked down the Toxaway River to the mouth of Bearwallow and fished up to where it runs under Auger Hole Road. I caught several 8-11" wild browns, and I was lucky enough to catch a ride back up with some turkey hunters who had driven through to game lands on the Horsepasture River (saved me a 4-mile uphill walk!). I had not been back since then, and I have always wanted to fish it up high to confirm rumors of wild brook trout. I met Bobby Kilby in Brevard yesterday morning, and when he asked where I wanted to go, that was my suggestion. We considered hiking the official park trail to Upper Bearwallow Falls, but that looked pretty steep on the topo map, and Bobby is 78, so we decided to get in the creek where it runs close to the park road. The rumors are true - there are specs in Bearwallow Creek! I caught two on nymphs, neither of which wanted to be photographed. Bobby had a couple of splashy misses on his dry fly, but failed to hook up. By the way, all waters on Gorges State Park are designated Wild Trout Water, but we saw evidence that some bait fishing is taking place.
From there, we went to Cashiers and went south on 107 to Bull Pen Road. There are two Fowler Creeks that run into the Chattooga River in North Carolina. The upper one runs right through the golf course at High Hampton. The lower one parallels Bull Pen Road for a little ways, then turns and runs into the Chattooga near the state line. I had caught trout in the lower Fowler Creek back in my college days, but I was spinner fishing. I had tried twice in the last few years with flies, with no luck. Fowler Creek is currently regulated as a Wild Trout/Natural Bait stream. The creek contains wild browns, but the stretch near the road is a bear to fish because of fallen trees and thick stream-side rhododendron and dog hobble. This time around, two wild browns decided to take my bead head hare's ear, and Fowler Creek became new creek #944.
While I was fishing Fowler Creek, Bobby went to a tributary named Nicholson Licklog Creek and caught some specs, giving him a total of 1,280 NC creeks! We have a tentative goal to reach 1300 creeks for him and 1000 creeks for me on the same trip - shouldn't be too much longer. After I used my jungle survival skills to fight my way back to the road, I fished Nicholson Licklog Creek just upstream from where Bobby had fished. He said he had seen a fawn lying on the creek bank, and it was still there when I got there!
I caught two browns and two specs, and Nicholson Licklog Creek became new creek #945.