Queens Creek Lake
Queens Creek Lake is in many of stories about Bryson City photographer Greg Passmore's family.
Grandpa Mason used a cane pole without a reel to fish Queens Creek Lake in the early days.
One day he landed a 6-pound rainbow trout.
The word got around about that whopper of a fish. One of his neighbors came by wanting to see it, but it was too late — Grandpa already fried it and ate “Big Boy.”
The neighbor just could not believe he ate that trophy trout so fast.
I can remember Grandpa Mason telling this story and laughing about the neighbor’s reaction.
Queens Creek Lake is part of a lot of stories in my family.
My great grandmother, Cora McMahan, sold land to the old Nantahala Power Company to build the dam for the lake. My father grew up there camping and fishing when he was a boy.
My first memory of Queens Creek Lake is from when I was 4 years old visiting family.
I have been visiting the lake all my life with many memories of fishing, swimming, and canoeing.
When I turned 18, I moved back to the mountains where my family is originally from.
I visit Queens Creek Lake to fish and see family every two weeks now.
The lake is a beautiful part of Western North Carolina.
Duke Energy owns the lake and it is open to the public year round. It’s above the well-known Nantahala River, which is a Mecca for kayakers, canoers, and rafters.
It has served the local churches through the years for baptisms. I can just hear some of those songs in my memory, one of them being “Shall We Gather at the River. ”
The younger generation of my family is making its own memories with the little lake.
Usually in the evenings of the month of May you can hear the whip-poor-wills sing a tune and the bullfrogs sing the base notes.
At night above the lake you might hear an owl saying “whoo, whoo.”
It is a special place, indeed, and I always like to visit.
So if you are in the Nantahala area, it will be worth your time to stop by.
Greg Passmore lives in Bryson City close to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. When he is not working for the Town of Bryson City, he and his wife are out photographing the area around the Smoky Mountains.