View Full Version : Forney Creek???

03-26-2008, 04:32 AM
Hello, was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with forney creek? As backpacking season gears up (first trips is in about a month to deep creek!), i am looking forward to a may trip to forney at campsite 70. Unfortunately, i have never been there and don't really know what to expect other than what i have read out of books. Information on this creek is hard to come by, especially the part of the river we are staying at, due to the long hike required. Also, i remember reading somewhere that the upper part of this wathershed was one of the few in the park that was spared from the logging, has anyone been up there? This makes me believe that it would make for a prime brook trout trip in the summer and one that my camping partner and i have talked about going on. Thanks for the help and hopefully someone has been up there. I will definitely post a report on this trip and all others when i return.


03-26-2008, 08:23 AM
Craig, according to Don Kirk's Book, Forney and Hazel creeks were the most heavily devastated by logging operations on the Fontana side of the park, with Forney being the worst. Noland, Eagle and Deep Creek were mostly spared with only selective cutting. He also said that most of Noland's headwaters were virgin stands of timber. Deep creek may have had the least amount of logging activity of the 5 streams over there.

Of course, Hazel and Forney have rebounded quite well, so I wouldn't use logging in the early 1900's as a deterrent...just don't expect to see 400 year old trees...

I would like to know what others with experience on Forney have to say, it is an intriguing stream...

03-26-2008, 09:23 AM
I thought that i read somewhere that the upper reaches weren't cut, but of course i could be wrong as i tend to be alot of the time (just ask my gf!). I would definitely not use it as a deterrent as i'm pretty sure that we are going to make a trip down from the dome for the upper parts, but just curious. I guess i could have been thinking about noland, oh well.

Yeah it seems to be hard to run across people that have much experience fishing forney, especially in the mid to upper stretches of river. It doesn't have a great reputation compared to other streams in that area so i guess that spares it alot of pressure.


03-26-2008, 09:34 AM
I fished the upper parts of Forney creek maybe 10 years ago. We hiked down from the dome to I beleive camp site #69 and then down to #70 and back out. Around #69 was beautiful and we caught a ton of brookies. This was actually my first fishing trip in the park and first time for wild fish having only caught some stockers in a local creek in Alabama. It was quite a trip. Further down at #70, I think we caught rainbows and a couple brookies. Later, about three years, I went back to the same spots and caught 0 brook trout and rainbows. I was very upset to see that the brookies were gone and the rainbows had moved up. I'm not sure what it is like now but the scenerey was great and the fishing still good, just no brook trout.

03-26-2008, 11:15 AM
Craig, are you really coming down to CS#70 from CD? Why?

Its 8.5 miles down (and then up), when you can come in from the bottom with much less elevation and its only 6.2 miles...

Now if you were fishing at #68 or even #69, then I could see it, but geeeeesh that seems like more work, to just go to #70...

Also, I updated the fish camps file with a few extra alternate routes, base on your tendency to hike things the hard way....:biggrin:

gmreeves, If you came in from above, I hope you meant #68 and #69 (see my note above to Craig). The lower of those two (#69) is at 2800' elevation so it wouldn't be a pure brookie stretch, but #68 is at 3960' and should be full of brookies. Hopefully it was at #69 that you didn't find as many brookies...thanks for the info, very few folks ever seem to comment about Forney...especially the upper parts...

03-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Sorry i guess i misstated what i was doing. During our first trip in may, we are coming in from the road to nowhere to campsite 70. Later on, when we presumably do our brookie trip to campsite 68, we are coming down from the dome and i believe it is a considerably shorter hike.

I hope that there is not much fishing pressure and i am quite surprised that you ran into that many people up there, gmreeves. It is also weird that you didn't catch any brook trout your second time through. I am still looking forward to this trip as well as the one to campsite 70.


Gerry Romer
03-26-2008, 01:39 PM
Excellent article in the latest issue of Eastern Fly Fishing on the southern Appalachian Brook Trout and the higher elevation streams of Western North Carolina. Apparently, some of those streams are loaded with specks.


03-26-2008, 06:02 PM
Yeah i bought that magazine last weekend and read that article. I have fished some of the areas mentioned so i was thrilled as you can imagine. Oh well, that's how it is. It was a good article and i enjoyed reading it.


Byron Begley
03-26-2008, 08:30 PM
Paula, Jerry Herbert and I hiked down from the Dome to the backcountry site at Jonas Creek and Forney. I can't remember the campsite number. It about killed me going in and coming out. I was 15 years younger then. I won't do it again. It was a beautiful place and fishing was unbelievable. It probably still is. The campsite had some people there on horses. I tried to rent a horse to get out. No takers. Craig, you should do it while you can. I'll never forget that backpacking trip. From what I remember it was a 4,000 foot decent in and the same out. Do it!


03-26-2008, 08:40 PM
Haha yeah it's awful discouraging when horseback riders arrive. Last year on deep creek we shared the bryson's place campsite one night with some and while we were warming up oatmeal in the mornings, they pulled out the kitchen and cooked eggs, ham, bacon, the whole nine yards. We had been eating dehydrated meals and backpacking food for a couple days, so needless to say i was a hair close to holding them up at "rod point" for their food. I don't think my 4 weight would have scared them, though.

Anyways, thanks for the advice so far everyone, it helps me get an idea of what to expect. So far it sounds like the fishing should be great. I know it doesn't have the reputation that other streams in the area have, but i'm hoping that does not represent the fishing. Does anyone know if the trail down from the dome compares to the enloe creek trail from straight fork to raven's fork? I can't imagine it being worse than that but you never know. That trail was definitely an ego check.........


03-26-2008, 10:40 PM
Straight down....

03-27-2008, 08:54 AM
Hey Craig,

There is a discussion on Forney on the Backcountry Forum. I tried to post a link there to a report from last spring. I missed the link, but Paula came through with it. If you haven't yet, you can check that discussion, I think that is it still on the 1st page of the Backcountry Forum. Just be sure to follow Paula's link and not mine.


03-29-2008, 01:30 AM
Hey MtnMan,

I have fished Forney Creek a couple times (weekends) in the Spring. If you hike down from Clingmans Dome it is a long climb but your car will be safer from vandilism. The walk is harder than the hike into Enloe Creek in my opinion. However, there are some interesting logging artifacts on the trail that make it interesting. Yes this area was logged, but has recovered very nicely. If you park at Lakeshore Road (the road to nowhere) there is a chance your car will be vandilized. I gave a fisherman a ride whose truck was stolen and my truck was broken into (two seperate trips a couple of years ago). This parking area and the Abrams Creek campsite parking areas are the only two areas I have had problems with breakins. Beware, many kids from Bryson City party at parking lot on the road to nowhere and where there is much alcohol there are problems. The Park service cleans the parking area at the road to nowhere so the broken glass is not always evident.

On a brighter note, Forney creek gets less fishing pressure than Hazel creek and Noland creek. The creek makes a straight line down between Forney Ridge and Welsh Ridge so there are not many pools or deep runs, mostly pocket water. The best fishing is between campsites 74 and 70. Campsite #71 is heavely used by horse riders, I would recommend campsite #70.

I caught many rainbows and some browns on Forney, nothing over 12 inches. This creek has a few braids in the stream beds and I found the largest and most willing fish on some of the smaller braids. Good luck.