6/14/22 Slickrock Creek!
Since I was a teenager, I have been hearing about Slickrock Creek - "clearest water you have ever seen" - "prettiest brown trout you have ever seen" - "hardest fish to catch". Well, I finally got a chance to mark this one off the bucket list at our annual Snowbird camping trip. Bryan Craig and I skipped a great breakfast, drove up to Calderwood Lake and made the hike in to Slickrock Creek on Ike's Branch Trail in a little over an hour-and-a-half. It was one of the hottest days of the year so far, and we were there in the middle of a gorgeous day with bright blue sky and plenty of sun - not the ideal situation for catching wild brown trout. Sure enough, in the first two hours Bryan caught one trout and I missed one.
When we got to the spot in the picture above, Bryan took the left fork and I took the right fork, and we started catching fish! I caught a small trout right away, and as soon as I released it, I heard Bryan yell, so I clambered over the island to video him fighting this trout.
A little farther upstream, my fork of the creek forked again, I caught the best fish of the day from the smaller fork.
Right after I caught the trout in the picture above, I heard Bryan yell "Run Ray, run!" and turned to see him running towards me followed by a bunch of angry hornets. They only got him three times, but we were two hours from his truck, and we wanted to make it back to camp in time for the fish fry, so we agreed to head back. I'll be honest - my fitness level was not what it usually is, and the hike back wore me out! I plan on going back, but not as a day-trip! I would also like to go in at Big Fat Gap and explore the headwaters. For all of you Slickrock Creek lovers, don't get mad at me, but I think the water in Big Creek in the GSMNP is clearer, the browns in Whitewater River are prettier, and the browns in the wild trout section of the Watauga River on the side of Grandfather Mountain are harder to catch. Just my humble opinion!