Speckled Trout in November

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, I guess I've been too busy getting out and enjoying the outdoors.

Anyway, back on a beautiful unseasonably warm Saturday in November my friend Billy and I decided to fish a new creek. He owns a copy of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Guide and we just picked a close stream. That stream was the Middle Prong of the Western Fork of the Pigeon River.

To reach the stream, take Highway 276 south out of Waynesville, NC until it intersects NC 215 S/Lake Logan Road. You will cross a bridge at Lake Logan and soon come on Forest Service Road 97 to the right. There is a parking lot here, but during hunting season the gate is open for backcountry access for 4-wheel drive trucks.

If you are lucky enough to be there when the gate is open, you can drive about 3 miles to the third switch-back in the road. Park here and walk about a mile on an old logging road down to the river. If you can't drive, hike the graveled road to this point.

This river is designated native trout waters, meaning only artificial lures with a single hook. We were fly-fishing using a dry fly floater (usually a Royal Wulff) and a nymph dropper (Hare's Ear or Prince Nymph). Once I got my flies sorted out, I caught 9 fish for the day while Billy ended with somewhere near 20. That's a lot of trout for November!

Specks and other trout species do not hibernate, so they need to feed year round. Nymph patterns can be very effective as the weather cools. However, in the cold winter months, the fish do slow down a lot so expect to have to cast over and over to get the presentation just right.

Some more info on the Middle Prong can be found here, from the folks at Fly Fishing Community or here, with a little more emphasis on hiking from HikeWNC.

A few pictures are below:

Nice deep pools and clear water.

Fishing the falls where the creek and trail meet.


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