2021-07-30 Madison County
Updated: Nov 9
After a great week at the Hot Springs Teacher Institute, I took the scenic route home for a little blue line fishing. Big Pine Creek (new creek #321) is a hatchery-supported stream that does have a few wild rainbows in the upper section, and I was hoping to find some trout in the two headwater forks. The North Fork is the bigger, and better-looking of the two, but I had fished it before with no luck. I started with the South Fork, which has lots of undercut banks. The first time I drifted my bead head hare's ear beside one of these undercuts, I caught a skinny seven-inch stocked brookie. Just a little ways upstream, I repeated the feat, but this time the fish was a fat 11-incher! South Fork Big Pine Creek became New Creek #1004. I did fish the North Fork again, but did not see any trout. I'll be back!
My topo map showed Big Pine as a dead-end cove, with all roads ending before crossing the ridge. I found out through some locals that North Fork Big Pine Road turns to dirt, but does go over into Spring Creek, where it becomes Baltimore Branch Road. I went that way and then turned left to go home, but when I got to Lusk Chapel, Spring Creek looked too good to pass up! Most of Spring Creek upstream from the 209 bridge is posted, but this stretch is not. I kept the nymph on, and the wild rainbows tore it up. I caught 15 in about 45 minutes of fishing.