View Full Version : Labor Day Wild Trout?

Rainbow Warrior
08-25-2010, 09:54 PM
Well, my dad bought an airstream made in 1977 as our new "lodge" for fly fishing. We are keeping it at tumbling waters campground in Almond, NC. There is a creek that runs through the campground and i haveheard from other camper there that if you walk up it a little ways it fishes great. I have fished the barely stocked portion of this creek and caught a 23" lake trout that must have swam up from lake fontana. My question is though that would it be worth hiking up a ways and fishing the creek? It is fairly small like i see you regulars posting. Also what would be a good fly choice to use? I have never fished small streams like this. Thanks for any input. :biggrin:

tight lines


snowbird fly
08-25-2010, 10:51 PM
Rainbow Warrier The creek is Panther Creek. I think Shell Stand runs in below the campground. There are rainbow and some browns in Panther Creek. Shell Stand is very small but can be fished. I have been to Panther creek many times but have never fished it. It's on my to do list. I think it would be worth your while to walk up and fish. You can use the same flies mentioned in the Big Snowbird Flies thread.It's only about 30 minutes to Big Snowbird creek from there and even closer to The Nantahala River. Good luck !

Jim Casada
08-26-2010, 06:31 AM
Garrett--Panther Creek is stocked by the NCWRC, and I suspect it has a few wild trout (especially browns) as well. Incidentally, are you sure it is an Almond address? I'm a little doubtful since I'm almost certain Panther Creek is in Graham County, not Swain, and I would have thought Stecoah, which would be the closest community of any size, would have a post office. Maybe not, although it is much bigger than Almond (just the motel, the Freeman property, and the post office there, although it was a thriving community before Fontana was flooded and home to a fairly famous novelist, Olive Tilford Dargan. As you can see, I'm prone to wander off a bit, but back to the subject at hand.
There are so many vastly superior streams nearby the only reason I could think for your to fish Panther Creek would be out of curiosity. You aren't a twenty-minute drive from the Nantahala, a tailwater you can actually fish with the water "on" or "off" (be sure you have chest waders--it is exceptionally cold water). Twentymile Creek is less than twenty miles away (and it got its name for being twenty road miles distance from the juncture of the Little Tennessee and Tuckasegee Rivers, which was very close to where you will be before Fontana was flooded). If you've got a boat or have access to one, consider launching from Almond Boat Dock or the closer one at the mouth of Panther Creek and traveling over to Forney Creek. It's a pretty good boat ride but worth every minute of it.
I'm writing these words not far from where you are talking about (I'm presently in Bryson City and grew up here), and frankly, Panther Creek would be near the bottom of a list of perhaps thirty streams within an hour of my father's house.
Finally, in a shameless moment of self-promotion, you might want to consider buying a copy of my book on fishing the Park if you are going to spend much time in the area. You can get it through the good folks who sponsor this forum, a couple of bookstores in Bryson City (the owner of one of them, Lance Holland of Appalachian Mercantile, has written a book on the Fontana area and lives on Panther Creek), or me. Or just go to the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City and check it out. If you are a read you'll also find a large collection of outdoor books, maybe a thousand, which I donated. The collection even carries my name. Marianna Black, the library's founder, was our next-door neighbor when I was a kid, and my late mother was the librarian for a decade after I was grown and gone from home. It's a way of remembering them and hopefully exposing others to the outdoors I cherish so much.

Okay, I'll shut my typing equivalent of a pie hole. That's likely about ten times as much answer as you wanted.
Jim Casada

Rainbow Warrior
08-26-2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the info guys! The lower Nantahala was where i caught my first trout! I haven't fished it much, but I'd like to. As for snowbird. I have fished there 6 or 7 times. I have never had a great day there. Most was probably around ten. It seems like the locals "clean" it out once they stock it. The tuckaseegee is the place my dad and i are planning on spending most of our time. We have a drift boat and that seems to be the only driftable river nearby. Are there accesses to put a boat in? Also is it worth fishing at this time of year when the DH is not in affect? I fished the nantahala in early may and killed them! I love that river. I hooked a brown aroung 18-20" that day, but he broke me off on a log. I did manage to get a 16" brook trout. Back to panther creek. You guys were right. Im mainly just curious about it. I will probably wanderup it over labor day anyhow. Do you have any suggestions of where to fish?