View Full Version : Deep Creek

07-05-2010, 05:24 PM
I have been wanting to hike down Deep Creek Trail to 54 for a long time and finally decided to do it this weekend. I have to admit that I have long been fascinated by the reports I have read about the fishing on Deep Creek. I have been going to 23 and 24 on Little River for the past few years. I have to say that I was completely unaware of how much different Deep Creek is beginning with the trail itself. I am so sore today that I dont want to get off the couch. The hike out was brutal and only for those in really good physical condition!!! I will need to lose 20 or so more pounds before I try that hike again! I will also remember to go with a much lighter pack!

Other than the hike out it was a great trip! The fishing was fair, however, I spooked more fish than ever on this trip and need to work on my stealth a bit more. I saw quite few nice size fish go darting under rocks! I was also not prepared for the lack of entry spots to the river. It was difficult when fishing upstream and also looking for an "exit strategy". I caught quite a few small browns and rainbows, more browns than rainbows. There were surprisingly few people for it being a holiday weekend. I was also surprised at how much water was flowing compared to the little river.

I plan to hike in to 59 next. I assume that that hike is a little more forgiving to 38 year old out of shape fisherman!

07-05-2010, 06:59 PM

07-05-2010, 07:02 PM

07-05-2010, 07:07 PM

07-05-2010, 07:10 PM

07-05-2010, 07:12 PM
Even if the fishing was only fair, it sounds like a good trip.

Did you go solo? Did you see any bears?

I have been planning a trip to #59 for a while, I have decided to head out in the morning. I was hoping to find a buddy, but I will be going in solo.

07-05-2010, 07:16 PM
http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh66/7797chapman/PICT0307.jpgSorry for all of the bad photography, I need a new and better camerahttp://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh66/7797chapman/P1130032.jpg

07-05-2010, 07:44 PM
I did go solo, however, there were others at the campsite. I did not see any bears or any wildlife though the others in the camp stated that they saw a rattler on the trail. Glad I missed that, the trail gets thick between 53 & 54 and I do not like not being able to see my feet!!! I like going in solo, however I will want company with me when do that trip next time.

07-05-2010, 07:48 PM
Nice pics, looks like the blair witch has been down there fishin' to me.

07-05-2010, 07:53 PM
You've inspired me to go in solo, but I really do hope I have a camp neighbor. I guess #59 is popular so there is a good chance. This will only be my third solo backcountry trip and it gets a little creepy out there.

I know what you mean about not being able to see you feet. I was following a little overgrown fisherman's trail at Pretty Hollow only to have a huge snake cross about a foot in front of me. I only saw him as I was about to step on him. :eek:

07-05-2010, 09:08 PM

I hiked into Deep Creek (without pack) for the first time in April. This was my goal for losing weight and getting in better shape starting early January and I'm glad I prepared. Even without a pack, it was a tough hike out for a 57 year old.

I have to say that I've found equal or better fishing in other spots that, even though relatively remote, were easier to get to. But chances are I'll go back at some point just because it's Deep Creek. :rolleyes:

07-05-2010, 10:24 PM
Nice pics, looks like the blair witch has been down there fishin' to me.

Funny you say that.... I was at 53 last weekend and someone had put some serious time and effort into stacking rocks on the boulders in the stream by the campsite. Some of the rock piles were made of fairly large rocks precisely balanced, end over end. It was a bit eerie at night, seeing all those standing in the beam of my headlamp.

07-05-2010, 10:49 PM
I have to say that I was completely unaware of how much different Deep Creek is beginning with the trail itself. I am so sore today that I don't want to get off the couch.

I plan to hike in to 59 next. I assume that that hike is a little more forgiving to 38 year old out of shape fisherman!

"completely unaware"??... I don't believe I have read many reports about Upper Deep Creek, that don't start off with something like..."I had no idea how bad it was"..."its one of the toughest hikes in the park"...or "its not worth the effort"...

Anyone who is thinking about making the trip should do a search on the forum for "Upper Deep Creek" and read for yourself. Its not an impossible hike, but its very tough. The hike-in, combined with the lack of rain over the last two months is a recipe for lousy fishing...btw, the last mile up to US441 is over 800' of elevation gain...Besides, I think the best fishing on Upper Deep Creek is between May 1 and Mid June...just my observation...Jim C. probably has a better feel for it than me...

As for the hike to 59, its much easier, but it does have one good section of elevation gain that will get your heart pumping. The rest of it is similar to Little River Trail...but honestly, with the weather the way it has been, you might want to wait until the fall...

Just a suggestion

Jim Casada
07-06-2010, 06:46 AM
Pete CZ (and others)--The hike invovled in reching Polk Patch from 441 is a bear (the final two miles going back out, at any rate), but there is an alternative well worth considering. That is to make a four- or five-day trip starting at the upper trailhead and finishing at the lower one, changing campsites two or three times as you go. It involves some planning but also lets you see the many faces of Deep Creek and other than a modest climb up the ridge where the trail leaves the stream at Bumgardner Bend, is pretty easy going.
Someone also mentioned trail access to Right Fork above Polk Patch. While the trail isn't visible from the creek in many spots, it is seldom very far away. When you decide to stop fishing, just strike out to your right (as you face upstream) and most places it isn't much distance at all to the trail. Now Rocky Fork and Sahlee (feeders of Right Fork)are different propositions.
Yet another point was made about Right Fork being tight fishing. I guess it is a matter of perspective, because I've never thought it particularly bad. However, if that troubles you and you don't mind some bushwhacking, climb up to the Fork Ridge Trail from Polk Patch campsite and then drop down to Left Fork. It is wide open (just no trail).
Finally, I guess I never thought much about the quality of the fishing at different seasons when it comes to Right Fork. I think, on reflection, I would agree April and May are prime, but then that's true anywhere in the Park. I've always been able to catch fish in good numbers in and around Polk Patch no matter what the season, and late October/November see the big browns moving up into this area
Maybe this weill help a bit It's an area where I've spent a world of time.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

David Knapp
07-06-2010, 10:58 AM
Agree that Deep Creek fishes well year round. I think that most people have a hard time later on because the fish can be spooky in the low flows. They still have to eat though and if you make an effort to cast a little further and stay a little lower then you will be rewarded...

07-07-2010, 10:39 PM
Shaggy I'm not sure if your site # 59 is affectionately known as Poke Patch or not. I first went to this site about 1963 or '64 and I made a trip or two there every year for about 25-30 years. I have litterly been all over the right and left hand prong of Deep Creek. I fished the left hand prong to the point where one could step across it. I could tell you some wonderfully true stories about this fantastic place but I won't bore you. please be careful on your return trips.
Tight Lines....Bob

07-07-2010, 10:57 PM
This newly published 11x17 Upper Deep Creek map illustrates just how challenging the terrain is up high, but also just how great the angling experience can be. I wish I could say it's free, but the proceeds will go to a good cause: helping me pay for the printing of the Little River map. :smile:

2/15 Update: Deleted map link previously posted.


PS. Printer hopes to have the Little River maps to me by July 19 or earlier.

Jim Casada
07-08-2010, 06:32 AM
fearnofishbob--Your Deep Creek experiences go almost as far back as mine. My first trip to Poke Patch (I know the campsites by name and can never remember the numbers) was in 1955. Since you've fished the Left Fork well above Keg Drive Branch, and in the "earlies," it's likely you saw the vestiges of Little Dam. This was about four miles up the Left Fork and was an old splash dam built by loggers. It is long since gone, thanks to the periodic heavy flooding which is the reason the Left Fork stays so wide open.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

07-08-2010, 11:25 AM
CS Name
== =================
53 Poke Patch
54 Nettle Creek
55 Pole Road
56 Burnt Spruce
57 Bryson Place
58 Nicks Nest Branch
59 McCracken Branch
60 Bumgardner Branch

Jim Casada
07-21-2010, 06:35 PM
Thought I'd use this thread, since geographically it is appropriate, to share my experience today on Deep Creek. As a boy I fished the Jenkins Fields and on up to the turnaround on this stream literally hundreds of times, so I know every pothole. I decided to relive my boyhood a bit today. Didn't get there at dawn, which would be ideal, but I've got some duties associated with my father (who will turn 101 in two weeks) which limit my ability to get away at daylight.
Anyway, as I expected in this heat, the fishing was so-so. I caught a good many trout--didn't count but perhaps 20-25, mostly rainbows--and kept a limit for Dad and me to eat tomorrow. Two interesting things happened. I didn't see another angler other than a spincaster fishing a big pool close to the trailhead and a fellow who was probably a local walking out as I was walking in (around 9:30 a.m.). But the really interesting development took place just above the bridge at the upper end of the Jenkins fields (last bridge). A medium-sized bear, perhaps 150 pounds, came tearing across the creek about 25 yards in front me me like his tail was on fire or hounds were on his behind. I watched and waited to see what had occasioned this, but saw nothing. Sometimes a really big bear will chase a youngster and I thought that might happen. What is noteworthy is that this is the lowest down the stream I've ever seen a bear in all my years of fishing Deep Creek. Maybe an anomaly but based on my brother's experiences (he's an avid hiker who probably averages 30-40 miles a week on Park trails) there are just a lot more bears than there used to be. He sees one or two almost every outhing. Part of that, of course, is hiking alone and not making noise. Much more likely to see 'em that way.
Fishing's tough right now--in the spring, covering the amount of water I did, I'd be disappointed not to catch 40+ fish and see or hook at least one good one. The biggest fish I saw all day was a brown of maybe a foot.
Not that I think it makes much difference, but I caught most fish on an inchworm pattern and the rest on an Elkhair caddis.
Jim Casada