8 of the Spookiest Waters to Fish

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill


Your home water could be on this list and you may not even know that it is haunted. This is a fly fisher’s Halloween brought to you by Gink and Gasoline! Enjoy reading about the top 8 spookiest places to fish … Look out behind you!

#1) The Red River, TN

You can fish for striped bass, largemouth, catfish, and more all throughout the year on Tennessee’s Red River. Not only is it a great warmwater river to fish, but it also comes with a dark past. The story of the Bell Witch is one of the most well known supernatural stories in American history. President Andrew Jackson even acknowledged the tales of the witch spirit who terrorized Betsy Bell while he was in office! You can reach the famous Bell Witch Cave by the Red River, which runs by the Bell family property. A witch has terrorized this cave for centuries, and there have been a few eerie sightings of the Bell Witch on the Red River as well.


#2) The Potomac River, MD

The Potomac River is home to largemouth bass, striped bass, witches, and smallmouth bass. In Mallow’s Bay, which is apart of the Potomac River, you will find the biggest ship graveyard in the entire western hemisphere. Mallow’s Bay contains over 230 ships that were sunk in its waters. Not only does the Potomac River hold ghostly ship graveyard, but it also runs through the Black Hills – the famous location of the Blair Witch Project!


#3) Rock Creek, PA

Rock Creek, also known as the Monocacy River, is a well-known trout fishing destination on the East coast. Rock Creek is in south-central Pennsylvania and runs across the state borer into Maryland. You know what it also runs through? Rock Creek runs through Gettysburg, the site of the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Over 45,000 soldiers lost their lives by Rock Creek, and locals still report sightings of Confederate soldiers firing muskets across the once bloody waters.


#4) Ocracoke Island, NC

Surprisingly, not too many people know that North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a prime area to fish for redfish. Ocracoke Island serves as a haven for big bull reds that pass through each fall into North Carolina’s inner banks to spawn. Ocracoke Island is the site where Lieutenant Robert Maynard killed the famous pirate, Blackbeard. Blackbeard died after being shot five times and stabbed over twenty times. His head was cut off and his body was thrown overboard where it is said that his headless body swam around the boat seven times before drowning. Blackbeard’s ghost still haunts these waters today.


#5) Chattooga River, GA

Paddle faster! I hear banjos! The Chattooga River is a beautiful place to try for trout and shoal bass. Located at the Georgia/South Carolina border, the Chattooga River has a long, rich history. It is a nice place, trust me, with nice people as well; however, once you have watched the movie: “Deliverance,” fishing that place will never be the same. Just remember – if you hear banjos… get the hell out of there!


#6) Pocantico River, NY

This nine-mile river is stocked with brown and brook trout year round to keep fly anglers busy. It is also the quaint little river that Ichabod Crane tried to cross over before the headless horseman killed him. The Tarry Town Settlement was established in the late 1700s by English settlers, but was previously inhabited by the Weckquaesgeek tribe, who were related to the Mochians. Anyway, Tarry Town backs right up to Sleepy Hollow, the spine-chilling area where the headless horseman is said to still be seen riding by the Pocantico River at night in search for his head.


#7) Elwha River, WA

Recently the US Government took down the dam that stopped salmon from traveling into the upper waters of the Elwha River to spawn. This river is great for steelhead as well; however, there is something creepy about it. One of the first white settlers ever to explore this river wrote in his journal that the canyon walls appeared to have “tortured expressions.”


#8) Green River, WA

The Green River is another great river for salmon and steelhead, but just like all the rest of these scary places, it has a bloody past. Gary Ridgway was convicted of 48 separate murders in the 1980s and later confessed to killing around ninety people. He was so evil that hell spit that man back out. Gary Ridgway was later given the nickname, The Green River Killer, for all of the bodies he had dumped into the river. Very disturbing and sinister.

Do you know of some scary places that you would never fish? Comment below so that we can keep away from those places too!

Carter Lyles
Gink & Gasoline
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25 thoughts on “8 of the Spookiest Waters to Fish

  1. Fun stuff! I work at a state park that has about 3 miles of beach on the Potomac just a little ways down river of mallows bay and we actually have one of the ships from mallows bay wrecked right on the edge of the property. Kind of eerie to look at and think of the history of it.

  2. Not suprised to see my home waters of the Chattooga on there. Its one of the most beautiful places I have been, but as the sunsets and you are miles from the car it gets creepy quick. I have also been told by an area emergency rescue team member that there are several unrecovered bodies the river has never let go of.

  3. Can’t forget that theres a nasty population of northern snakehead in the Mallow’s Bay area of the Potomac and the local tribs. Those things will crush a popper!

  4. I fish the Codorus Creek in southern PA. Up in its headwaters in Rehmeyer’s Hollow the creek runs through the site of the famous hex murder in 1928.

  5. The Fryingpan River, Basalt CO

    The name Fryingpan came from a true story back in early 1800s when either trappers/miners were attacked near the headwaters of the Fryingpan river by Ute Indians. There were two men and one was seriously injured, so his companion left him in a cave and hung a fryingpan in a nearby tree to mark the spot, then went for help. The man didn’t survive but the story and name of one of Colorado’s famous tailwater rivers did.

  6. I mean Blackbeard, banjos, and “tortured expressions” are cool and all, but what about the Truckee River and its tributary Donner Creek. On those banks, the Donner Party consumed the dead to survive the winter! Anyway, fun post.

  7. Though it is closed to fishing for a 5 year moratorium after the dam removal, the upper Elwha (and the rest of Olympic National Park and it’s steelhead rivers) is most certainly the home range of Sasquatch, who does not take kindly to indicators, or those using them!

  8. Gay Head on the end of Martha’s Vineyard on a moonless October night. The cliffs and the ocean begin to sound like more than the cliffs and the ocean. And then there is the half submerged WW II cement bunker — cool but creepy. You begin to worry that if you do hook a big one it will drag you in instead of the other way around.

  9. I’m going to take an exception to your Potomac River blurb…. Here’s from Wikipedia:

    Contrary to popular belief, however, the majority of the film was not filmed in Burkittsville, but rather in Maryland’s Seneca Creek State Park, about 25 miles (40 km) away,[8][9] and the events depicted in the film and the legend of the Blair Witch itself were entirely made up by the producers themselves.[10] Furthermore, other potentially identifiable landmarks from the Blair Witch story – Coffin Rock, the Black Hills, Black Rock Road, and the local convenience store – are not found in the real Burkittsville or the immediately surrounding area. A Black Rock Road, Black Hills, and the “Blair High School” the interviewed girl mentioned can, however, all be found in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is very possibly not a coincidence as Blair Witch filmmaker Eduardo Sanchez grew up there[11] and is an alumnus of Montgomery College.[12]

    Plus Burkittsville is 6.5 miles north of the Potomac… So the river doesn’t really run through the Black Hills of the Blair Witch Project, only near it..

    Still…. who want’s to let a few facts get in the way of a great story!!!!

  10. Fishing the canyons between the meadows on Slough Creek ranks really high on my list. Always looking over your shoulder for a Grizzly Bear keeps your heart racing and makes you feel alive.

  11. Antietem Creek – home of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The trees arch over your head creating a cathedral effect. Light streams through the leaves, creating the stained glass of nature in greens and golds. If you look closely, not all the gravel at your feet is gravel. Spent bullets make up a good part of it. Mangled, whole, symbols of those who fought there. Some walked away… most did not. There are bronzebacks and rainbows to be had, they spook easily in the gin clear water. However, the place drains you of your need to fish. After a time, you find yourself looking around, knowing that the solitude you’ve found is illusory, for, from the banks, the eyes of the past watch your progress. You salute both sides, boys and men who went off to war, whilst only wishing they could join you fishing that stream in a time of peace.

  12. The Dugdemona River bordering the Kisatchie National Forest near Winnfield, LA has more confirmed sightings of BigFoot than any other region of the U.S.

  13. southbay, on the south end of the brazos-santiago pass in south Texas. Its the end of the road, literally, all you see driving in is a guard shack with bp agents, and its just you, and the coyotes, and the actual coyotes.

  14. This fun piece reminded me that my home Tailwater, the Toccoa, can be spooky as hell fishing alone after the sun goes down and a cold, clammy mist creeps up to you from behind chilling your neck first and then your entire body. After dark I have been startled by beavers suddenly slapping the water in alarm when they come upon me and by “something” splashing through the water just upstream of my position but invisible in the mist. Deer? Bear? Human? Fortunately I never found out.

  15. For the record, the Green River Killer did not place dead bodies in river. He buried them along side. My home waters are not spooky

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