View Full Version : Big South Fork?

12-23-2008, 12:29 PM
Has anyone ever had any luck finding trout in Big South Fork? The NPS.gov website says there are trout in some of the tributaries, but I have never ventured out to find them. I am considering a trip there before Spring.

Ky Tim
12-23-2008, 01:39 PM
Rock Creek has trout in it that are stocked by the KDFWR.

12-23-2008, 01:50 PM
Any ideas on access points off the top of your head?

12-23-2008, 03:07 PM
Take I-75 North to Williamsburg, KY (about 10-15 minutes north of the Tennessee border). There are two Williamsburg exits so get off on the exit to Hwy 92 West. Continue on Hwy 92 W until you get to the town of Stearns. After passing through Stearns, you will eventually cross a bridge that goes over the South Fork of the Cumberland River. Immediately after crossing this bridge, turn left onto KY 1363. Follow 1363 till the White Oak Junction, where you will turn left onto Forest Service Road (FS)566 a small sign marks it so be careful to look for it. This road runs next to Rock Creek for 7 or 8 miles. At the Bell Farm intersection, turn left onto FS 564 for a mile or so, then another left onto FS 137, which follows the rest of Rock Creek up to its headwaters.

The US Forest service has detailed maps of the FS roads in and around Rock Creek. One piece of advice, don't attempt to travel or fish the area alone. Also, visit the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife website to get a schedule of the stockings and be prepared for encounters with the locals who don't always respect the legal aspects of outdoor activities.

12-24-2008, 08:56 AM
I've also never ventured to Big South Fork. I was looking on the website and noticed that the Park service allows hunting there. How are the whitetail? Monster Bucks running around everywhere? Just curious, I have heard it is beautiful from several of my friends who ride horses.

12-24-2008, 09:48 AM
Michael, the deer population is pretty much like everywhere else right now, an abundance of doe and a few antlered bucks.

12-24-2008, 10:27 AM
Used to fish Rock Creek a lot!!! I had a fawn run up the stream bed to me one foggy morning between the picnic area and Bell Farm to where I could have reached out and touched it. There used to be a LOT of deer hunting above Bell Farm, BEWARE some (most of it if you encounter locals) of that area is private and posted. I raised the ire of several Bowhunters by fishing one morning near their stands. There is excellent squirrel hunting in the area around Great Meadows. Campground fills during Squirrel Season.
There has been a lot of fish in the past stocked as Delayed Harvest (catch and release) in Oct. if they haven't been poached (a lot of it goes on). I'm not sure how many fish have been stocked the past few years due to very low water. If you fish there keep your eyes open for Copperheads, the area is lousy with them. The water levels vary a lot due to local conditions- very few good springs I think.

As I said, I used to fish it a lot, for me, I rather drive the extra hour plus and know I'm fishing over fish in Smokies. Rock Creek and the Big South Fork are extremely beautiful. There are a lot of folks who fish Smallies on the main river.
Randall SAle
the "original Kytroutbum

12-26-2008, 01:50 AM
If you have to fish trout, stick to Rock Creek. There are a few other very tiny streams with a few wild trout in there, but they are not worth fishing for, and I won't divulge the names anyway! :smile:

There exists a lot of fantastic smallmouth fishing there, though. If you can convince yourself to tie on some big olive or black buggers you can do quite well in the main river itself, or several other tribs, like the Clear Fork. John Switow has an amazing picture of a smallmouth he caught if you can dig through the forums to find it....

You may find wading to be extremely rugged (impossible) in some parts. Another good reason to stick to Rock Creek. A lot of BSF fishing really needs to be done from watercraft.

12-26-2008, 03:23 PM
I was raised in the BSFNRRA, and spent many years hunting and fishing there. It is a very rugged place. The dear are there as are the boars. The trout, if any are left,will be hard to find on the TN side. They were stocked over 25 years ago before the park service took over. There is great small mouth fishing in the rivers and creeks
If you really need trout, they used to be in Williams creek,Laural creek and near the old hog farm(Charit Creek).

12-26-2008, 05:14 PM
Found John's pictures. Note the Musky too.