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View Full Version : Brookies in the smokies????


jamorga1
03-21-2009, 01:56 PM
Where would yall suggest fishing if i want to catch brook trout and how do i get there???

gmreeves
03-21-2009, 02:31 PM
Up in the high elevations is where you will find most of your brookies. Without telling you stream names, you can do a search on the board and find out where people catch them. There are streams that don't make you walk long distances to get to the brook trout. Take a look at any of the fishing books related to the smokies as well and they are full of info on where to go and how to get there.

nvr2L8
03-21-2009, 06:48 PM
....to the board Jamorga1. Your best bet for guaranteed brookies would be Road Prong or Sams Creek. Both are physically separated from rainbow populations and are pure brookie streams.

To get to Road Prong, go to Highway 441 that runs from Gatlinburg up over the mountains to North Carolina (Cherokee). After you pass the Sugarlands Visitor Center, you'll go a little over 7 miles to the Chimney Tops trailhead. Take the trail up to the fourth bridge (about 3/4 of a mile) and fish up from there.

To get to Sams Creek, go into the park through Townsend. When you get to the Y (3-way intersection above Townsend), turn right as though you were going to Cades Cove. Right after you turn right, take a left up towards the Tremont Institute. Go up to the end of the road (turns to gravel after the Institute) to a parking lot. Cross the foot bridge and you will see the Middle Prong Trail up to the left with signs to different destinations. Go right instead up the unmarked trail which is Defeat Ridge Trail. You'll continue up this trail, cross the stream (Thunderhead Prong) once on a metal footbridge and after about 15 minutes of walking the trail appears to end at the stream; but if you look across, you can see where it picks up again. Wade across the stream, go up the other bank and find the trail on other other side. After another 10-15 minutes, you'll run into Sams Creek on your left. This will be above the waterfalls that make up the natural barrier between rainbow and brookie waters.

Both of these are beautiful streams - can't go wrong with either choice. For best success, I'd wait another month or so till the water warms up in the higher elevations.

Hope this helps.

Brook Fan
05-04-2009, 10:58 PM
I have fished Cosby and Road Prong for Brookies, but I haven't made it to Sams Creek as of yet. I can see from the map and from the above post that you have to hike to Sams Creek. What I can't tell from is what type of hike is this. If someone could provide me with the answers to these questions I would appreciate it.
1. What type of hike is this? (Novice hike, Medium Hike, Hard Climb)
2. How long is the hike and rough estimate on distance?
3. Would you describe Sams Creek more the size and openess of Cosby or Road Prong?

Thanks

fishingman62
05-06-2009, 12:56 PM
i have fished this stream twice both times during the drought...so i can't say how it will look this year ..the hike is very easy...i belive total time it took to get to the stream was about a half hour...once you cross thunderhead prong the second time... you can find sams creek to your left after another 10 min or so of walking ... i caught a few fish but conditions were just about as bad as they could get very low and very clear...its nice area and like i said very easy to get to...good luck

fly fisherman DK
05-06-2009, 06:09 PM
My dad and I fished sams creek last june with Tim Doyle and we caught around 40 in a day, and the water level was perfect. If I were you I would definitely go to sams creek.

Brook Fan
05-06-2009, 09:00 PM
Thanks for the information. Its always nice to half way understand what's ahead before you go out.

JoeFred
05-07-2009, 12:00 AM
Brook Fan, you and I gotta put Sam's Creek on our list.

JF

Brook Fan
05-07-2009, 07:17 AM
I concur
That's the problem with the GSMNP. So many places that need to be fished how do you prioritize where to go.

It's a good problem to have though.:smile:
Hopefully we will remove a stream never fished this weekend, which clears room to let Sams Creek in.

todd_grainger
05-08-2009, 10:17 PM
So I tried to follow your directions for Sam's creek, and that trail did real well until I got to the part where it ends in the creek and you have to cross over. On any other day that wouldn't be an issue. Today it was. Water was WAYYYYY up on all the streams, so I went back to the bridge over Thunderhead and fished it up for a while. Caught 2 nice little bows. That is all I caught today due to the flood conditions. Nice little stream. I bet Sams creek is even better. Can't wait for the water to get back to normal, cause it looks like T-head would have lots of little pools and such to get in and out of!! Thanks for the directions you helped me add 2 new streams to my "gotta fish" list.
TODD

nvr2L8
05-09-2009, 12:01 PM
Todd,

Thunderhead for me has been a consistent challenge. It has some of the fishiest looking spots of any stream in the Smokies but it's been tough going for me every time I've tried it. Always caught a few little bows but not nearly what I would have expected from a stream that looks that good. From the place where Defeat Ridge Trail (the one up to Sams) crosses Thunderhead upstream is some really nice looking water. The only time I fished it, the water was way down during one of our recent drought times but it looked really promising. There is also some really nice looking water just up from the confluence of Sams Creek and Thunderhead.

buzzmcmanus
05-09-2009, 04:05 PM
Todd,

Thunderhead for me has been a consistent challenge. It has some of the fishiest looking spots of any stream in the Smokies but it's been tough going for me every time I've tried it. Always caught a few little bows but not nearly what I would have expected from a stream that looks that good. From the place where Defeat Ridge Trail (the one up to Sams) crosses Thunderhead upstream is some really nice looking water. The only time I fished it, the water was way down during one of our recent drought times but it looked really promising. There is also some really nice looking water just up from the confluence of Sams Creek and Thunderhead.
Thunderhead has always been one of my favorite places to fish, mainly because it just looks like it should fish well. But, I've also always struggled with it. Never more than a few smaller bows. It's close to the house, so I'll continue going back.

5 WT
05-16-2009, 05:22 PM
Living about 7.5 hours away, I only make it to fish in the park about twice a year. I have fished many streams in the park and Thunderhead is one of my favorite. Last summer when I fished up the Thunderhead to where Sam's Creek flows in...I noticed the cable and no fishing sign was still in place. I was jus curious as to why they left the cable and sign up...if the stream is now open to fishing, and it may be gone by now. I will find out in about 7 days.

JoeFred
05-25-2009, 09:25 PM
....
To get to Sams Creek, go into the park through Townsend. When you get to the Y (3-way intersection above Townsend), turn right as though you were going to Cades Cove. Right after you turn right, take a left up towards the Tremont Institute. Go up to the end of the road (turns to gravel after the Institute) to a parking lot. Cross the foot bridge and you will see the Middle Prong Trail up to the left with signs to different destinations. Go right instead up the unmarked trail which is Defeat Ridge Trail....

Charlie, what is the status of Defeat Ridge Trail? I notice it's not on the GSM Trail Map.

JF

nvr2L8
05-26-2009, 09:00 PM
JF,

Defeat Ridge Trail is officially an unmaintained trail. However, it has gotten enough traffic that it is really easy to follow up until the point that it crosses Thunderhead for the second time (wading). On the other side of Thunderhead, on the last leg up to Sams, it is a little more obscure in places, sometimes following a dry creek bed. However, if you keep following it up, you'll hear Sams off to the left, especially as you pass the falls, and will eventually run right up along Sams' bank. Don't think you'll find it on a map, but finding it in person is pretty straight forward.

JoeFred
05-26-2009, 10:47 PM
Thanks, Charlie. Very helpful. I've added Defeat Ridge Trail to my Little River System Map (http://www.smokystreams.com/downloads/assets/littleriver_basic.jpg) specifying it is "unmaintained." I based it on an older Thunderhead Mtn quad map, so I trust it's reasonably accurate. If the trail is too obscure in the upper reaches, I may need to show only the portion to Sam's Creek you described. I hope to take my fishing pole there soon.

JF

jeffnles1
06-04-2010, 11:51 AM
Hey guys, reviving an old thread.

My son and I went up that way back in April and turned around as it was about 3:00pm and didn't want to get stuck up there after dark. Mainly we were just trying to "recon" the creek for future trips.

On Defeat Ridge trail up to Sams, let me see if I have it straight?
Take Defeat Ridge Trail
Cross the iron bridge
Go on up and it crosses another creek (I think that is Thunderhead).
Cross the creek and pick up the trail on the other side.

OK, this is where we got confused.
On the other side, about 100 yards up the hill, the trail seems to split.
One going up the hill pretty steep and one going off to the left more or less along the hill.

We went to the left and went a couple hundred yards and that's when we turned around. Getting on the wrong trail about 3 hours before dark was not in my plans for the day.

So, once we wade across the stream, do we keep the left?

Is there another stream crossing, or is the next stream we come to Sams?

From the maps, it looks like there may be another stream crossing before the trail runs into Sams, but in the discussion above, I only saw mention of 2 stream crossings, one was the iron bridge and second was where you wade across the stream to find the trail on the other side.

Thoughts?

Jeff

buzzmcmanus
06-04-2010, 02:01 PM
Jeff, If you would have gone another couple hundred yards, you would have been at Sams.

Owl
06-04-2010, 02:04 PM
If you just want to catch brookies, you should drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, stopping when the water looks too small to hold fish.

If this Sam's Creek is that good, I'm afraid I'd have not posted it up on a forum this widely read, but I guess the cat is out of the bag and clinging to a ceiling fan by now on that one. ;)

tennswede
06-04-2010, 02:14 PM
Brookfan,

If you live in Cosby and you are looking for Brookies, I know of a lot of better places to go than Sams Creek. Not to mention a whole lot closer. email if you would like to know more about it.

ahlstedt@knology.net

jeffnles1
06-04-2010, 02:23 PM
If you just want to catch brookies, you should drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, stopping when the water looks too small to hold fish.

If this Sam's Creek is that good, I'm afraid I'd have not posted it up on a forum this widely read, but I guess the cat is out of the bag and clinging to a ceiling fan by now on that one. ;)

Owl,
I've caught plenty of brookies in the park. That wasn't the question. I was trying to figure out how to get to Sam's creek because I wanted to fish the stream.

It's been widly talked about on this and other forums for years so I don't think it's much of a secret. There are a couple streams where I've caught them and really don't want to publicize the stream name, but Sam's seems to be a very poorly kept secret.

Again, just trying to figure out how to get to a stream I'd like to fish some day.

Jeff

jeffnles1
06-04-2010, 02:26 PM
Jeff, If you would have gone another couple hundred yards, you would have been at Sams.

Buzz,
Thanks.

Next time I get to the Smokys I want to give the stream a try.

Jeff

Owl
06-05-2010, 09:24 AM
Yeah, Ummmm.....I was kinda talking to the OP. Sorry! I didn't realize the thread was old.....saw folks sending the OP all over the place, when there are some brookies that are alot closer. Most folks just want to catch one - you know, get that first few out of the way and then start looking at where the big ones live( or the most or whatever their personal thing is...)




PS - Swede would not steer you wrong!

flyman
06-05-2010, 01:02 PM
Owl,
Most people would rather fish somewhere they don't have to worry about hooking a Hyundai on their backcast:biggrin:

jeffnles1
06-05-2010, 04:21 PM
Owl,
Most people would rather fish somewhere they don't have to worry about hooking a Hyundai on their backcast:biggrin:

Flyman, I don't know, some of those Hyundai's put up a pretty good fight on a 3wt.:smile:

Owl, no problem. I didn't really even read the OP. I was doing a search on Sam's creek and this thread came up with some walking directions. Was trying to confirm if I was "on the right path" (couldn't resist).

Thanks all,
Jeff