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  • Writer's pictureRay Sugg

4/28/2020 Four New Creeks in Buncombe!

Updated: May 18, 2020

After a fun day of grading work from my Covid-19 online Civics classes, I headed over to Fairview to meet Larry Brow and Brian Craig, a couple of fishing buddies who coach at AC Reynolds. Brian grew up in the southeastern corner of Buncombe County, in the headwaters of the Broad River. When I first got my drivers license way back in 1977, the Rocky Broad was one of the first places I fished on my own. Being the explorer that I am, it did not take me many trips to discover the headwater area, which became my one of my favorite places to go. Although it is the same river, it is known as Broad River from the headwaters until it crosses highway 74. From there to Lake lure, it is called Rocky Broad, and downstream from the lake it is once again called Broad River. Although it does have a population of wild trout, the Rocky Broad is considered marginal trout water because of warmer water temperatures in the summer. NCWRC stocks it every other week in the Bat Cave area. However, the headwater area near Highway 9 is legitimate trout water, thanks to higher elevation and much colder water temps. There are wild rainbows in the Broad and virtually every one of it's headwater tributaries, but none of them are on public land. I have caught fish in most of them, but Brian and Larry had promised me access to some I had not fished - that's making me an offer I can't refuse!

Unnamed tributary of Flat Creek that goes through the Craig property - we will call new creek #958 Craig Branch.

Ty Craig with his first trout on a fly!

New Creek #958 does not have a name on USGS maps, but it is plenty big enough to have one. My own personal view is any stream with wild trout living in it deserves to have a name. Because it runs right through Brian's parents' yard, we'll call it "Craig Branch". Will someone please notify USGS? The next creek we went to was on the property of one of Brian's relatives. It is also unnamed, but it begins at 3900 feet elevation on the side of High Windy, so we will designate new creek #959 "High Windy Branch".

New Creek #959, High Windy Branch.
These two trout look like the same fish - but they were

caught on different nymphs - identical twins?

From there, we headed over to Garren Creek Road, which actually runs beside two different Garren Creeks in Buncombe County, just like Frozen Creek Road in Transylvania County. The eastern end of Garren Creek Road runs beside a Garren Creek that flows east into Flat Creek, which runs into Broad river, which runs into the Atlantic Ocean. As you travel west, you cross the Continental Divide and end up beside a Garren Creek that flows west into Cane Creek, which runs into the French Broad River, whose water eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. I though it would be cool to fish both in the same day. Brian called in a favor with a landowner and got us on the eastern Garren Creek, where I caught wild rainbows on the first three casts to make new it creek #960.

New Creek #960 - Garren Creek east.

Brian Craig at Garren Creek.

Larry's father-in-law owns land bordering the western Garren Creek, so that was the last stop of the day. I caught two wild rainbows, including a nice one that did not want to be photographed, to finish the day with 961 creeks.

New Creek #961 - Garren Creek west.

Most fly fishermen would not bother fishing these tiny creeks even if they were on public land, but to get to 1,000 creeks, it's necessary to drop a fly anywhere there are trout - Thank you Brian Craig and Larry Brow!

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