Big Creek

Categories: Play, Fishing, Fishing for Wild Trout


  •  Wild trout fishing (single-hook, artificial fishing only, 7 inch min., 4 fish limit, N.C. License required)

The Local Scoop

Fish in Big Creek for Wild Mountain Trout. If you're crafty enough to catch something, it will probably either be a Rainbow or Brown trout in these waters. To catch Wild Brook Trout you normally need to be above 3,000 Ft. You're at approx. 2,500 Ft. here. Be mindful of surrounding private land and postings. We would recommend either a small stone fly of some variety or try spinner fishing in these waters. Please keep in mind that you'll need a valid N.C. Wildlife Fishing License and a single-hook/artificial lure.  
This stream is very isolated and steep in places.  Be careful if you decide to fish this creek.  We might suggest heading to "Secret Falls" for an interesting spot to fish and either head upstream from the waterfall or downstream.  Either direction is a serious challenge.  Below the falls are a series of cascades and smaller falls making navigation very difficult.  Above the falls, you'll have to do some wading and climbing up some smaller cascades, as well as deal with some thick vegetation that grows out over the water. 

The Local Directions

From Highlands, NC
From main intersection of U.S. Hwy-64/ N.C. Hwy-28 in Highlands, NC drive through main street until the road turns into "Horse Cove Road" (just past Mountain Fresh Grocery on your right). Drive for 3.6 miles through approx. 40 curves and finally to Horse Cove and "Walkingstick Road", take a right onto this gravel road. The road can be a bit rough in spots. Drive 2.6 miles to first bridge that crosses Big Creek.  Here, notice "Rock House Road" (photo gallery) just before you cross the bridge to confirm your location is correct. Get in here or continue to the trailhead for recommended "Secret Falls."  

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Difficulty Levels

  • Fishing8/6What's this?
35.00897, -83.15990
Moderate via Horse Cove Rd/
Walkingstick Road 
Nearest City
Macon County
Distance From
Highlands, 6.3 miles