The Jackson is my favorite place to fish. There are no cars zooming by. There are wildflowers, rhododendron, and mountain laurel. I saw a bald eagle in June. It’s bigger water, with plenty of room to cast, but it’s very wadeable. I mostly fish the Special Regulations Area, where you can only keep 2 fish a day over 16″. It makes it less likely that the fish you catch will have his gills gummed up with Powerbait. There are 2 entrances to the Special Regs area. The South entrance is Hidden Valley. To get there, take Rt 39 west from Warm Springs. (You might want to stop for gas and a terrific NC barbeque sandwich at the store on 39 between Warm Springs and 621). Turn right onto 621 and bear left onto Hidden Valley Rd. after about 2 miles. There’s a parking area at the end of the road. From the parking area you need to hike about 2 miles to get to the suspension bridge that marks the start of the special regs area. If you get antsy to wet a line, you can try the put-and take section along the way. It’s a longer drive to the Northern entrance at Poor Farm, but a shorter walk to the special regs area. To ge there, head north along 220 from Warm Springs. Drive about 6 miles north to Poor Farm Rd/ Rt. 623. The road, twists and turns and gets rough. Just keep bearing right until you get to the parking area where you can’t go further. There is put and take water off Poor Farm Rd. as well.
About right in the middle of the special regs area is my favorite piece of dry fly water…and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. I catch most of my fish high sticking or short-line nymphing the fast water above pools. Try a small streamer with a big nymph dropper. A #12 pheasant tail always seems to work for me.