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tjw37909
09-21-2009, 04:07 PM
A friend and I are thinking of fishing Hazel Creek next month. Out plan is to hike in from Clingman's Dome one morning, fishing the rest of that day, camping, fishing part of the next day, then hiking back up to Clingmans. I am wondering how far it is to Hazel Creek and how far down we would have to go to get in to some good browns. Looks like around 6 miles to the head of the stream on the map? Any info would be great. Thanks

tennswede
09-21-2009, 04:18 PM
Oh boy! That is a tough one. Not really doable in the time frame you specify. Even going downhill will be hard. Remember you are going from 5000 ft plus down. I don't have the map right now but going back up after fishing as soon as the next day. I advice against it if it is even possible to do with the shorter hours of daylight right now.

Jim Casada
09-21-2009, 04:59 PM
A friend and I are thinking of fishing Hazel Creek next month. Out plan is to hike in from Clingman's Dome one morning, fishing the rest of that day, camping, fishing part of the next day, then hiking back up to Clingmans. I am wondering how far it is to Hazel Creek and how far down we would have to go to get in to some good browns. Looks like around 6 miles to the head of the stream on the map? Any info would be great. Thanks
Tjw--As Hans has already suggested, unless you are an absolute fitness fanatic, you are about to bite off more than most anyone would want to chew in terms of energy expenditure. The upper Hazel Creek Trail is rugged, and unless things have changed in the last few weeks, it probably needs some maintenance. You'd need to take a longish hike just to get to the first designated campsite (Calhoun--#82). If you have my book, take a gander at the graph on page 335 and you'll find it is more than four miles and over 1000 feet in elevation change from #82 to the Cascades, and you've still got miles to go to the upper trailhead. Take more time or plan another trip would be my suggestion. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

fearnofishbob
09-21-2009, 07:39 PM
Tjw, I second Jim's recommendation. You are about to embark on a "very" demanding trip. As Jim suggested I'd either add more time to the trip or change the layout. I'd suggest going in from the bottom via ferry,then hike up to the Sawdust Pile or Sugar Fork. Good road. easy grade. and the bigger browns are on the lower half of the creek anyway. Ferry can be accessed at the Fontana Marina for $50.00 round trip. The best to you...Bob

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Ghost
09-23-2009, 07:24 PM
How far is it from the Marina to the Hazel Creek confluence? I ask because 'one' of the Smokies writers [maybe Jim-I read his book on publication] said they'd canoed it. [Not sure of point of origination as related-my 'oldtimers disease' gets worse daily!].
Anyhow, I was planning on doing that [possibly] in my solo canoe someday. Haven't reconned Fontana's southern shoreline for the closest launch site across to Hazel yet. If the marina gets $50 ,THEIR route must be longer than I'd prefer to paddle. Just from the map there 'seems' to be a launch/park site almost dead across from the Hazel Creek bay. I realize the 'trip' can be measured by map scale but guess I'm really asking about the TIME if paddling and if a portable canoe can't be put-in closer?
I'm asking in the supposition that the info. might help tjw plan his expedition from the water end as well. [From a map recon I'd pretty well figured the 'hike down' approach was gonna be strenuous, ie too much like actual work:-)].
I'm still looking for that appropriate 'icon' Jim:-). Ghost
ghostar556@hotmail.com

fearnofishbob
09-23-2009, 08:06 PM
Ghost, from the marina to the mouth of Hazel would probably be 3-4 miles, that is an estimate. I've made the trip numerous times and on their ferry boat it is about a 30 minute trip. Your best bet if you want to canoe is of course going in at Cable Cove and you will have about half the distance..................Bob

tjw37909
09-23-2009, 08:11 PM
I have a canoe and thought about paddling over as well but did not know how far it is, and I do not like hauling a 15ft canoe around.

Jim Casada
09-23-2009, 08:33 PM
Ghost--It's pretty much a straight shot across the lake from Cable Cove, which is a public camping area with a launch, parking area, etc. You can easily do it in a canoe in under two hours. Just one comment--try to do your paddling in the morning. This is about as wide open as Fontana gets and I once made a canoe journey in the afternoon I certainly would not care to repeat with whitecaps, constant need to adjust the craft, and constant fear of being swamped. The trip will be longer than it sometimes is because the lake is quite full (although they begin drawing it down this time of summer). Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Ghost
09-23-2009, 08:41 PM
tjw, from what I've READ, folks leave their watercraft beached across the lake at the creek outlet. Supposedly no problems. [Granted, it sounds like an 'act of faith' in todays world. I'm not taking nor leaving my $300 airex kevlar bent-shaft paddle under my canoe regardless!].
My solo Wenonah is painted-up -and 'experienced enough' looking to avoid larceny I think:-). Figured I'd just 'hide' my double blade and back-up paddles [both breakdown] in a tree uphill somewhere.
I'll try and check-out Cable Cove [thanks, Bob] and get some local intel on 'security' issues this weekend and report back. [Looks like I may have some downtime from fishing the Nantahala from the weather forecasts.] Good opportunity for a recon. Ghost

Crockett
09-24-2009, 09:25 AM
This spring I hiked from #84 on Hazel up to Silers bald via the Hazel Creek/Welch ridge trails. I left #84 at 8am and didn't get to Silers bald until 7pm. Definitely no fishing that day and I wasn't even going as far as Clingmans. To get to Hazel initially I took the ferry over which was a nice easy way to get there albeit a bit expensive. Spent a couple of days fishing there. I hiked out cause I left my car in Tremont and it took me a couple of days to get back to it.

Mundele
09-26-2009, 08:08 PM
I think the ferry's probably worth it, especially if you've got a bit of a drive to get to Fontana. Crockett can chime in but there's a hiking club you can join which will give you a discount on the ferry...

--Matt