I found myself on the East Fork by mistake. It was my intent to fish the wild trout area of Crooked Creek. After fishing for a few hours in the fee section at the middle of the creek, I assumed all I had to do was follow the creek until the road ran out. At that point, I would hike in and continue to fish. It turns out that the main flow of Crooked Creek actually comes from the East Fork which is the body of water that parallels the road after you turn east at the Rt 620 bridge. The wild part of Crooked Creek is a tributary that joins the flow behind the brush that hides the creek from view as you drive up the side road past the trout holding area. To get to the actual wild trout area, I should’ve followed the well marked path across the street from the fee area which goes over the hill and then down into the next valley. But, I didn’t do that and I’ll tell you about where not to go in this post.
I followed the road past the fenced trout holding area to where it dead ends at a closed gate protecting a small concrete bridge. It actually looks pretty good here with space for about four trucks in the parking area. There is nothing here to indicate that you are about to enter dead water. I began to fish my way up the creek and immediately started to catch small chubs — no trout. The stream bed was a mixture of small and medium-size rocks embedded in the surrounding sand. It was easy walking with the only obstacles being the overhanging trees.
After donating a fly or two to those trees, I broke out into a cleared area where you could see a farm to the left and an improved bank to the right. There’s a dirt road that runs up the right side of the creek that provides quick movement up and downstream. I continued to fish in the main bed of the creek and had continued good luck catching chubs on a Mr. Rapidan pattern. About 200 yards up from the bridge, the stream narrows to the point of being uninteresting so I jumped out and hopped on the road to walk quickly upstream to see if the situation improved. It actually does. At the upper bend, there is a deep pool where the creek widens to about 20 feet across. I caught chubs but nothing else in this section. Given the poor results and the deepening shadows after a full day that included time on the Dan River above the powerhouse as well as the middle section of Crooked Creek, I decided to call it a day and used the road to get back to the truck.
Bottom line: I’ve said this in post after post — take a map with you to verify exactly where you are. Granted many of those complaining posts all stem from the same extended trip where I wished I had had printed maps with me rather than just relying on the Virginia Gazetteer or the small map I could see on my Garmin GPS. While Crooked Creek is a good fishing destination, you need to be aware of where you are if you’re going to maximize your experience.
Getting There: This is near Galax, VA. Take Exit 14 off of I77 onto US 221 West. Turn left onto 620 and follow it about 3.5 miles to Crooked Creek. Turn left onto VA 915 and follow it to the end. If you cross the bridge and end up in the main fee fishing area, you went too far – although that is where you want to be if you want to visit the wild area.
Google Local Coordinates: 36.674684,-80.806417
Secrets Revealed? Maybe – if a bad place can be a secret. Crooked Creek and the surrounding area are documented on the Virginia VDGIF and the Flyfisher’s Guide to Virginia with the Flyfisher’s Guide trying to get me to the right place…
Downstream from entry point
Upstream from entry point
Farm on left bank of creek
Improved banks, nice pools at the bends
Deeper water and brush farther upstream
Plenty of chubs here
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore