Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Snowbird Brookies

Last Sunday I finally went to a special creek that I have been wanting to fish for a long time, the Big Snowbird Creek near the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina. I knew fishing this creek would be a challenge physically because it is very remote.
I woke up at 3:00 am Sunday morning and drove to the trail head (called the Junction) arriving at 6:45 am. It is called the Junction because of a narrow gage railroad used for logging in the area during the 1920's and 30's. The native brook trout were completely extirpated from Snowbird Creek because of heavy silting from the logging operation. Fortunately, the creek has recovered and is a revitalization success story. It now contains the largest known Brook Trout in the Southern Appalachians!
Artifacts from the logging operation can still be seen along the trail.

From the Junction it is about a 5 mile hike upstream to above Big Falls where the Brookies live. It took about 2 1/2 hours to make this hike. By 9:45 am I was fishing.
At first the fishing was very slow. I caught this pretty little 4 inch brookie first, but I was after his big brother.

Next I caught a nicer 7 inch brookie. I was happy but still hoping for something a little bigger.
Finally a landed an 8 1/2 inch brook trout. My biggest for the day. I talked to another fisherman who said he caught a 12 inch brookie! So I know there are bigger ones in Snowbird.
I caught a total of 5 fish for the day. I only fished for 4 hours before it was time to start the long hike back to the car.
I think next time, I should plan to spend the night if I want to get into the bigger fish further upstream.
But, this was a good scouting trip.


  1. Hi David:
    You have made another interesting fishing trip with a long hike which I can not do anymore.
    They are nice and pretty brookies, alternatively called "SPECKLES" by the locals! Did you know yamame is called "MADARA" in Kyusyu area, which means speckled or mottled.
    It may be a good idea to stay one night by the river. You are falling deep into fishing, naturally and inevitably, as many anglers did. And when you have a chance to do that in future, will you eat a fish or two of brookies for dinner, and tell me how it tastes? They say it's very good to eat but I have never had a chance to eat it so far.

  2. You are correct, the locals do call them speckles or sometimes "specks" for short. I did not know the yamame are called speckled in Kyusyu. That is interesting.
    Yes, I prpobably will try a brookie at some point when I camp over night. They tell me it is very tastey.
    You know, if you come here next summer, we can rent a cabin in the mountains for a week. I could guide you to a different stream every day and we could fish for brookies, browns and bows! I know many places that do not require long hikes. I wish Sakai-san could come too!

  3. Hi David,
    Thank you for sending a comment to my blog. Believeit or not, I still have a little bit jet lag ^^)
    Although It was a long trip, everything is gonna be my good memory(I try to think that ^^)

    I've been in Kyoto to see my family last week.
    Since mountains are gradually turned to red, it's my most favorite season in Kyoto.

    Most of rivers are closed in here , however some good rivers in "Tohoku"area can fish untill end of this month. I'm going to be there next weekend. I wish I could get some good fish to post some pictures in my blog^^)

    Tight Lines,