Fish Shelton Laurel Creek (Delayed Harvest) Madison County, NC

As a Delayed Harvest Stream, the Shelton Laurel Creek section of the Laurel River is heavily stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout from the first of October until the first Saturday in June when it takes on the Hatchery Supported designation and carries that designation until the next October 1st. The entire 3.6 mile stretch of water runs along NC Highway 208 and is accessible from this road. At the junction of US Highway 25-70 and Highway 208, its width is about 50-55 feet and runs to 110 feet wide in broad flat pools. The Shelton Laurel Creek section begins after about 1.2 miles (at the Big Laurel Creek bridge), where it narrows to approximately 25-30 feet and runs to 40-45 feet wide in flat pools until the junction of 208 and Highway 212 where the Delayed Harvest Trout Water ends at that bridge. This section is the confluence of Little Laurel Creek and Shelton Laurel Creeks.

Tip: Delayed Harvest single hook artificial bait rule eliminates live baits and other organic baits such as corn, salmon eggs, etc. from October 1 until the first Saturday in June of each year. Also all trout caught during this time must be released. Single hook spinner, flies, and plugs are legal on this catch-and-release section of water from October 1 through the first Friday in June. Best choices of artificial flies are: Muddler Minnow flies, Black and Olive Wooly Bugger Streamers, Beadhead Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear Nymph, Elk Hair Caddis with tan body, Royal Wulff, Adam’s Fly, and a generic wet fly with brown tail, olive body, brown hackle, and white wings, muddler minnow fly, Telico Nymph, black and olive Wooly Buggers, small midge dry flies, ant imitation flies, Pheasant Tail flies.

Directions: Take Highway 25N/70W from Marshall. The Delayed Harvest water begins where the 25/70 joins highway 208. It continues along the 208. The Shelton Laurel Creek section begins at the Big Laurel Creek bridge and stops at the junction of Highway 208 and Highway 212.

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Video footage by Tony Torn, Marshall, NC

Disclaimer: Refer to the North Carolina Regulations Digest for the most up-to-date information.