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Fly Fishing Watauga Headwaters and Dutch Creek

Tue, 05/31/2011 - 09:35 -- jmaslar

“I love catching brook trout, but I haven't seen any in a long time.”   I guess I sounded like a little boy again with my wishful thinking.  For Memorial Day Weekend, we headed to the NC mountains.  I thought we’d end up at Linville, but we were sidetracked by the alluring Watauga in the Foscoe/Valle Crucis area.  

Early Saturday morning we stopped by a local outfitter –Foscoe Fishing Company ( – to find out what parts of the stream are hot right now.  The guys there recommended we fish the Watauga headwaters and Dutch Creek, which feeds into the Watauga.  They also mentioned that the Watauga requires single hook, artificial lures only, but anything goes on the Dutch.  They recommended micro mayfly, rainbow midge, black caddis & use a dry fly stimulator and they added, “There’s a lot of pressure right now so go deep.”  They were right about that.

We started at the Watauga headwaters right there at Grandfather Mountain Campground.  We fished up the stream for maybe five hours non-stop.  I (Tommy, a graduate of Trout University) was flyfishing with a mayfly and got two fair sized rainbows, sadly, no brookies.  Grayson used an in-line spinner all day and between the two of us, the day’s haul was around 12.

On Sunday, we packed the gear in the truck and drove up 221 toward Valle Crucis.  We started at the traffic light, at the intersection of Broadstone Road at the Wren’s Nest Garden Center just before the bridge on 221, still the Watauga River. We fished under the bridge and on up a mile or two until we hit the dam. We did not spend much time in this area as we were not sure what was private land not available for fishing.  

I used an orange and yellow stimulator with a trailer nymph – hare’s ear.  He had a few nibbles but caugh tnothing.  Grayson used an in-line spinner --  yellow rooster tail – and caught two browns.  

When we hit the dam, we removed our waders and swam a little, even jumping off the dam a few times, how refreshing! We continued up Broadstone  Rd, stopping at Mast General Store and Dutch Creek Ice Cream Company. Then we parked at a local school and fished under the bridge and on up Dutch Creek spending about four hours fishing the creek.  In all, on the Dutch we caught 6 trout – rainbows and browns. 

The total trip fish count was me 11 and Grayson 9 which made for a fine weekend...

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