Helton Creek and Big Horse Creek Fishing Update.

Ashe County

Delayed Harvest Weekly Update #1

November 27th – December 3rd


Helton Creek:

Helton right now is fishing good compared to how much fishing traffic it is receiving. During the holiday times this creek gets overfished. The water level is extremely low for the time of year. The best way to combat this problem is using a 5x tippet and smaller flies. The flies that have been working for most fishers are size 18 to size 22 nymphs. The trout are not that particular so matching the hatch is not as important as in some places. The average size fish if roughly 10-14 inches. However, once it rains for a few days, or a storm comes along the larger trout should come out to play. The biggest fish that has been caught this past week was a 20 inch rainbow. The big brown trout come out to play early December until early March. This doesn’t stop people from catching some monster trout throughout the year though. You should expect to catch between 2-30 trout depending on how long. When fishing this creek it demands patience. If you get bored fishing real quick this is not the time to fish Helton. You would want to either fish after they just stocked the creek, or fish the creek during the spring to summer months. If you like streamer fishing I would recommend doing that early in the morning or late in the afternoon in the very deep holes.


Big Horse Creek:

The same scenario as Helton Creek applies to Big Horse Creek. The fishing is excellent for this time of year. This creek receives most of its traffic during the summer months. Out of county people tend to fish Helton Creek because of its scenery and popularity. If you want to switch things up Big Horse Creek is definitely where you should plan your next trip to. However, I wouldn’t recommend spending your whole day fishing this creek, as the delayed harvest section is fairly small. This would be an excellent way to start off the day though testing what flies are working. This creek is a good indication of what will work on Helton Creek. The average size of fish in this creek are 10-14 inches. However, some big fish should be left over from the last stocking. Personally, I have seem many 20inch fish be pulled out of this creek. This creek also demands patience, but not as much as Helton Creek would. The smaller flies will work best with smaller 5x tippet. The water levels are very low right now, and big streamers are not working except early in the morning or late in the afternoon.


South Fork New River (Todd Island Park):

The river levels are fairly decent right now, so any kind of tippet will work for this stretch of delayed harvest. However, I must warn you that this is very tough fishing. Poaching on this stream wreaks havoc on the trout population. They stock some fairly large trout in this stream, but most of them either get poached, die because of summer temperature, or people keep the fish when delayed harvest switches to hatchery supported. This doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish here though. Streamers work really well here, as well as the regular nymphs you prefer. The fish here are not as picky as in other areas. I wouldn’t recommend fishing here except after the river gets stocked. It is a beautiful place to visit and walk the dog. There is also a restaurant located near the park. It is also located near Boone, North Carolina. Also, if you find yourself needing some fishing gear while you are out there you can stop by River Girls Fishing shop located right in Todd.


If you have any questions about these fishing locations please email me at troutstreamsnc@gmail.com

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