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  • Writer's pictureRay Sugg

May 2023 - Dry Creek, Big Creek and the cow pasture


Dry Creek at the FS 111 crossing

I had driven over Dry Creek at least 50 times on my way to fish the Shelton Laurel headwaters. I finally got around to fishing it on May 11, 2023. I learned that the gated road that turns right just before the crossing is FS 3509, which connects to Green Ridge Trail and follows Dry Creek up into national forest land. I walked in to the public land and caught a couple of tiny rainbows - mark Dry Creek off the bucket list!

Dry Creek inside Pisgah National Forest

On the way back to the car, I couldn't resist just a few casts into the private but not posted section just above the road crossing - rainbows there, too.


I then drove a little ways up FS 111 to fish one of my favorite wild trout streams - Big Creek. In my opinion, it is the best brown trout stream in Madison County, although it also contains plenty of rainbows. The NCWRC manages it as "wild trout/natural bait" with a limit of four fish and a minimum size of 7". I have never seen another person fishing it, although if you go during bear season there will be more pickup trucks than there are pull-offs. If it is your secret spot I apologize for "burning" it, but relax - it's too small and the fish are too skittish for euro-nymphing, and to get there, you have to drive by all of the DH water on Laurel River. I had a blast catching lots of browns and rainbows on dry flies - sometimes it's more relaxing if you don't count the fish.

Big Creek, Shelton Laurel Creek headwaters

Beautiful, buttery browns!




A couple of days later, I took my son-in-law Tristan Caldwell to my cow pasture creek - I'll let the pictures and videos speak for themselves.






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