View Full Version : Meadow Branch and Sycamore Creek in Cherokee National Forest

10-30-2010, 11:02 AM
Google Books led me to a book called Brook Trout by Nick Karas. The author mentions that in the 1990s the TWRA attempted one of the largest brook trout restoration projects in the southern Appalachians in the 2 creeks I posted in the title. However, the book never mentions whether or not this was a successful venture or not. I'm curious if any of you that frequent this area has first hand knowledge of the success or lack thereof with the project. I looked around but haven't found any data. It is a pretty cool book and the section on the Southern Appalachians is very interesting.

10-31-2010, 04:46 AM
The brook trout hatchery is located at the rear of the Pheasant Fields hatchery on the Tellico River, three miles from the NC state line. It was closed after two years due to high cost of operation. I have had good fishing in Sycamore Creek but haven't gone upstream for brookies. That is on the "to-do" list.

11-01-2010, 08:10 AM
September 4, 2010


11-01-2010, 08:34 AM
I'd classify both ventures as successful, although neither stream has a significant low elevation fish barrier like Lynn Camp or Sam's Creek, so neither stream is an exclusive brook trout fishery. There are places high up on Sycamore creek that could be considered a natural barrier, but they are far from any road or trail. Maybe Meadow Branch has something similar, I haven't been too far from the road.

Buzz...nice catch. Great Colors.

11-01-2010, 08:49 AM
Grannyknot is right. There are plenty of fisherman barriers,

but, they haven't stopped the rainbows.

11-01-2010, 05:08 PM
Very nice pictures! Thanks for the info. The book (if you haven't looked at it) said that a northern strain of brook trout was put into Meadow Branch and a southern strain from the GSMNP was put into Sycamore Creek.

It also mentions that there was a barrier constructed on Sycamore Creek to keep rainbows out of the upper parts of the creek.

I'll apologize for posting the name of the stream if that offended anyone. Since I found this info fairly easy with a Google search, I figured I wasn't posting anything that was already known. I'm still new to this so I'm not really clear on the "protocol" so to say. (I've seen some other threads that has almost turned me off from asking questions.) After looking at the map and finding the location of these waters, I assumed (probably wrong :confused:) that they don't get as much pressure as other places.

11-01-2010, 09:47 PM
I'm still new to this so I'm not really clear on the "protocol" so to say. (I've seen some other threads that has almost turned me off from asking questions.)

I wouldn't let it turn you off from asking questions. I just wouldn't expect too many answers. ;)

I second Grannyknot's comments on Sycamore. I have not yet visited Meadow Branch.

11-02-2010, 08:10 AM
It also mentions that there was a barrier constructed on Sycamore Creek to keep rainbows out of the upper parts of the creek.

Interesting. I have been a long way up that creek and have never seen a "constructed" barrier. There is one at the very bottom that keeps fish from the Tellico from going upstream, but thats all I've seen.

11-02-2010, 09:24 AM
I thought they had shut down Sycamore this year to poison it and restablish brook trout...guess I'm wrong.

11-02-2010, 11:39 AM
The concrete barrier has a purpose: it acts as a dam to supply water for the hatchery. I have caught rainbows above it, one about 11 inches long. No secret about secret spots- the Forestry Service has a map, showing wild trout streams in the Cherokee National Forest. I was going to see if it has a publication number but I can't find my copies. I'll check with the local USFS office and report.

11-04-2010, 10:23 AM
I was in on the stocking of Sycamore Creek in 1995 and knew the folks the stocked Meadow Branch a couple of years earlier. We backpacked in a couple hundred (that is all we had) southern strain brook trout into upper Sycamore and planted them abovd a waterfall barrier in the headwaters. Two years later there were decent numbers of brookies at least 1/2 mile below the barrier. The Meadow Branch fish are definitely northern strain. A couple of years after the stocking, there were some really nice 10-12" brookies in there, but I have not seen any that size lately. I even caught a 13" rainbow on Meadow in 1996. It must have been one of the last rainbows that evaded capture.

11-05-2010, 08:39 PM
Sycamore is a decent wild rainbow fishery in the lower reaches. There is much better trout water in that area, but Sycamore is a nice scenic little stream. The brookie water requires a pretty good hike. Haven't been on Sycamore in over a year, but used to spend quite a bit of time there in the past. Good stream if you're looking for some solitude.

I fished Meadow Branch a couple of weeks ago and found it to be full of silt in several places. The fishing was sub-par compared to previous trips to that stream. Kind of disappointing.

11-10-2010, 10:08 AM
I haven't caught as many in last couple years as I used to, but they are still in there. Seems to me that they move around quite a bit and I think that people are taking some of them out.

Still seems to be some good ones here and there.