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lexfly
08-27-2009, 12:58 PM
Last October I planned a trip to Hazel that fell thru. Trying it again Sept 9 thru 13 camping at Bone Valley. I read the fishing reports and message board posts, but was wondering what the water level was like on the NC side (specifically Hazel)? Is mid sept. too early for the brown trout spawn? As I have thought about this trip for 20 years or so I'm fairly excited to say the least and any advice on fishing, backcountry camping and exploring the history there is appreciated. Thx

Jim Casada
08-27-2009, 02:53 PM
Lexfly--Several thoughts--as for history, my recently published book has a great deal on Hazel Creek, and if you really want to dig deep, Duane Oliver has written a number of books on the history of the area. September is way before brown trout spawn, although they might be a bit itchy to start moving if it is cooler than normal. Hazel Creek is a pretty big stream by Smokies standards, thus water levels, at least this year, won't be a big factor. Anywhere in the Park in the fall though, you need to think far and fine (long casts and 6X or 7X tippets). Sawdust Pile and Bone Valley are my favorite Hazel Creek campsites, although both take a bit of hiking (it is easy going). Good luck, andone other thought--I know Hazel Creek is the best-known of the streams on the N. C. side, but my personal preferences lean more towards Forney Creek as a top choice.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

lexfly
08-27-2009, 04:15 PM
Jim,
Thanks for the reply. I enjoy reading your posts about the various things that pop up on the board (maps, otters, etc.) and I do plan on purchasing your book. I own most of the books on trout fishing in the Smokies (at least the ones I know of). I've been to Forney before. Hiked down from the AT to Jonas Creek, but that was many, many years ago before children etc. It was a great trip. I am trying not to get too excited about Hazel Creek, but I've read about it since high school and have always wanted to go so it is kind of on my bucket list. My father and I use to fish Noland and Deep Creek every year so I have a fondness for the NC side. But being from KY it takes a bit longer to get there. Hopefully my son and daughter will develop along the same lines. Thanks again. I will post about it when I return.
Tye

tennswede
08-27-2009, 09:15 PM
lexfly,

If you have a chance, fish down at sawdust pile. Campsite #85. I have a feeling your shot at a better brown will be down there.

lexfly
08-28-2009, 01:51 PM
We are going to be there for at least 3 days of fishing. I will definitely try Sawdust pile. Thanks!

hw3
09-03-2009, 06:03 PM
Have posted many times: Hazel is magical. Orange and yellow stimmies all you need. If camp at Bone, fish Bone upstream, small but packed with trout. Cold Spring is next campsite/stream uphill, only place I have caught Smokey Slam. Sugar Fork upstream to Bone is great, but must be first in line; do not follow anyone cause they are spooky after one has fished. Once in there, cannot get out until Bone; good place to take a buddy and swap off pools as you head up. Bigger trout as you get to Sawdust and downstream. Am trying to put together a trip there before end of SEP with a bunch that have gone there abt 5-6 times, but not lately. Tight lines. Skip Watson

lexfly
09-04-2009, 01:58 PM
Skip,
You may not remember but I posted about this last year and ended up not going. I remember as I have had to wait a year and am from Lexington as well. I appreciate your advice and will post when we return.
Tye Reece