Wild Trout Creeks Streams in NC

Wild Trout Creeks Streams in NC

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Wild Trout is a designated trout stream as per the regulation of the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission (NCWRC) on certain trout streams. The designation allows for Wild Trout to have a Catch & Keep policy limited to a certain number trout. The trout must only be caught using Single Hook Artificial Flies or Lures only. This a great trout stream designation for fly fishing. Most people release wild trout because they are so small, they aren't worth eating.



Wild Trout stream designations are open all year around in North Carolina.

  • Season is open year-round
  • You can only use a single hook artificial lure
  • You can only keep four (4) fish
  • The four fish must be at least seven (7) inches long
  • It is unlawful to possess natural bait on your person while fishing
Wild Trout Sign



  1. Choose here License Types & Fees. *All State Inland Fishing licenses in North Carolina include fresh water trout fishing everywhere in the state
  2. Order online NCWRC Online License Center


  • Use barbless hooks. If you use a net, use one made of rubber. It is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it.
  • Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease. Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.
  • Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish. Needle nose pliers, hemostats, de-hookers etc., will speed up the removal of a deep set hook.
  • To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater, do not move the fish back and forth (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo). If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.

Alleghany County

Ramey Creek
Big Sandy Creek- Portion on stone mountain state park
Stone Mountain Creek- Portion on stone mountain state park

Avery County

Anthony Creek-
Birchfield Creek
Bucks Timber Creek
Cow Camp Creek
Cranberry Creek
Gary Flat Branck
Horse Creek
Jones Creek
Kentucky Creek
North Harper Creek
Plumtree Creek
Roaring Creek
Rockhouse Creek
South Harper Creek
Webb Prong
Wilson Creek-upper section

Burke County

All waters located on South Mountains State Park except for main stream of Jacob Fork between the mouth of Shinny Creek and the lower park boundary and Henry Fork and it's tributaries.
Nettle Branch (game land portion)
Upper Creek

Caldwell County

Buffalo Creek (Watauga Co. line to Long Ridge Branch)
Joe Creek (Watauga County line to first falls upstream of the end of S.R. 1574)
Rockhouse Creek (entire creek)
Thunder Hole Creek

Clay County

Fires Creek (section on Nantahala game lands)
Little Fires Creek
Long Branch
Buck Creek (section upstream of U.S. 64)

Graham County

Big Snowbird Creek (game lands portion above old junction)
John's Branch
Santeetlah Creek (headwaters to John's Branch)
Indian Creek
Sassafras Creek
South Fork Squally Creek
Squally Creek
Wright Creek

Haywood County

Little East Fork Pigeon River (headwater section on game lands)
Middle Prong West Fork Pigeon River
Cataloochee Creek (below Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Waterville Lake)
Pigeon River -also known as Yellowstone prong

Henderson County

Bradely Creek
Big Creek
Fletcher Creek
French Broad River
Green River (I-26 bridge to Henderson/Polk County line)

Jackson County

Chattooga River
Gage Creek
Needle Creek
North Fork Scott Creek
Sols Creek
Tanasee Creek
Whitewater River-Down from Silver Run creek to S.C. line
Wolf Creek-Except balsam lake

Macon County

Nantahala River-upstream from rainbow springs
Buck Creek

McDowell County

Licklog Creek
Mackey Creek (game lands section)
Buck Creek (game land section)
Curtis Creek (including tributaries) (game lands section)
Armstrong Creek (including tributaries) (game lands section above hatchery property)
Catawba River (head waters on game lands)

Mitchell County

Green Creek (headwaters to Green Creek Bridge)
Little Rock Creek (above Green Creek including all tributaries)
Wiles Creek (game lands boundary to mouth)

Polk County

Fulloms Creek- SR 1154 to green river

Swain County

Every creek on the north side of lake Fontana inside Smoky mountains national park
Deep Creek-Inside Smoky Mnts park area
Noland Creek-Located off the road to nowhere
Hazel Creek-Requires a shuttle call Fontana Marina at (828) 498-2211, extension #277 or 1-800-849-2258 ask for the Marina
Oconaluftee River

Transylvania County

Whitewater River (downstream from Silver Run Creek to South Carolina state line)
Looking Glass Creek
Avery Creek
South Mills River
North Fork Frenck Broad
Davidson River

Watauga County

Dutch Creek (headwaters to second bridge on S.R. 1134)
Howards Creek (headwaters to lower falls)
Watauga River (Avery County line to S.R. 1580 bridge at Foscoe)
Elk River-Below falls & 1/2 mile above falls

Wilkes County

Big Sandy Creek (portion of Stone Mountain State Park)
Garden Creek (portion of Stone Mountain State Park)
Widow Creek (portion of Stone Mountain State Park)

Yancey County

Lickskillet Creek (game lands portion)
Lower Creek
Middle Creek (game lands boundary to mouth)
Rock Creek (game lands boundary to mouth)
South Toe River (game lands boundary downstream to Clear Creek)
Upper Creek