View Full Version : Deep Creek, 6 Days from Top to Bottom

05-13-2011, 12:32 PM
We have returned from our epic 6 day trip on Deep Creek and I wanted to share a few pictures and stories I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

We started out trip with a little larger group than normal that includes, my 2 brothers, 2 nephews and my cousin.


Our trip started on Thursday May 5th with morning tempitures around 32 degrees. Early Thursday morning we left a spare vehicle at the Deep Creek Campground for our return trip back up to the Newfound Gap trailhead letting the morning tempitures rise just a little before a 10:00AM departure.

From the Newfound Gap trailhead to Campsite 53 is a very steep and narrow trail and as James can testify its best to keep your eyes on the trail even when you're talking. One minute James was on the trailhead talking and the next he was over the bank laying in a briar patch.

The best part of this event was when we all saw James fall off the trail and everyone jumped over the bank to make sure James was not hurt and help him back up the bank and (my brother) his Daddy, Robert yelled out for everyone to hold one minute while he got his camera out to take a picture.


Our plans were to stay the first few nights at Campsite 53 to give us a chance to do some high altitude Fly Fishing for the Brook Trout. You can see that the first few mornings were cold by all the clothes we were wearing.


We fished above Campsite 53 the first day and did very well catching the Brook Trout as the day tempitures warmed very nicely. There was plenty of clear water to fish upstream and we all used Dry Flys the entire time, an excellent first day. Uncle Colby had an excellent time teaching his nephews how to fly fish.


Our next day at Campsite 53 was also cool overnight but warmed nicely with another sunny day. We started the morning climbing the 300 foot uphill Fork Ridge Trail to take a look at bushwhacking down to the upper Left Fork of Deep Creek. After climbing to the top of the trail and looking over the 300 foot descent required to reach Left Fork everyone commented on how nice Deep Creek was the day before and we all decided to return to fish downstream of Campsite 53 for the day. Another great day Fly Fishing downstream of Campsite 53 catching mostly Brook Trout with a few Rainbows. The fishing downstream was pool after pool with the water clear and the water levels were perfect.


For our third night on Deep Creek we reluctantly packed up camp and headed downstream to Campsite 55 to stay the next 3 nights. The trail downstream had a lot of running creeks that crossed the trail and (my brother) Daddy Robert had to carry (my nephews) his boys across the wet sections. My brother Robert had to remove his shoes and he complained about how cold the water was.


We left for Campsite 55 in the early morning so we could setup camp and get everything in order. After setting up the tents and hammocks in record time and making sure all our food was safe from Bears, animals and my brother Colby. We were all eager to start fishing again.

Below Campsite 55 Uncle Gary was teaching Ben a 101 Fly Fishing class. Both my nephews wanted to do some Fly Fishing themselves for the first time.


We decided to stay at Campsite 55 to give us the option of fishing above Campsite 55, below Campsite 55 or the entrance of the Left Fork of Deep Creek depending on water conditions. Again the clairty and water levels at Deep Creek was perfect for our group and the Left Fork of Deep Creek was just a little small so we saw no need to spend any time on the Left Fork.

Three members of our group ( not to name names however, it was me, my brother Colby and my cousin Gary) have done a considerable amount of Fly Fishing in the past and there was a question that came up about if I was able to catch any fish on Deep Creek. So, I thought it was appropriate for me to include at least one picture with a "good trout" and "MY" Fly Rod in the photo. Deep Creek above and below Campsite 55 has some very nice Brown and Rainbown Trout. I don't believe that we caught any or at least very few Brook trout from this area.


Both my nephews, were able to reel in a wild trout for the first time. Here is a picture where James caught "his first" GSMNP wild trout all by himself.


Our trip was finally coming to an end and for some reason there was a discussion of exactly how far it was to the car. I told them it was 6 miles to the car. Right past the Campsite 55 there was a marker that said 7 miles to Deep Creek Campground. It's amazing how one extra mile can cause such an uproar with "my family". When we finally made it to the road part of the trail you can imagine the smiles on everyone's faces that we had almost made it out.


Thank you for allowing use to share a small part of a wonderful trip with my family that we will remember for a lifetime.

05-13-2011, 02:05 PM
Nice brown and great trip report.

By the way, I don't think it's very smart to hang a kid from the bear hang. Even a minor injury in the backcountry can turn into something pretty dangerous. But, at least the bears couldn't get him...


05-13-2011, 02:15 PM

I heard that you got skunked???

Your loving brother who didn't get skunked,

05-13-2011, 02:26 PM
That looks like an incredible trip!

05-13-2011, 02:35 PM
That does look like an incredible trip. Good call Mac getting rid of that pic I have updated my comment on it here. Nice map you got there too.

05-13-2011, 03:05 PM
Absolutely awesome! What a great trip, and those boys will remember that and talk about it forever.

05-13-2011, 03:18 PM
In his book, Jim Casada mentions as a kid, spending a week far up left fork, and it still being one of the "highlights of his entire angling career"

Really, given where he grew up, I doubt there is much of the entire deep creek drainage he hasn't fished at least once.

05-13-2011, 03:46 PM
That does look like an incredible trip but I probably would not have put a small child like that up in a bear hang either it ain't Dollywood out there. Hopefully it is just photoshopped or some other such non sense.

Do you have a better suggestion for keeping those mice away? Looks like a perfectly plausable solution to me:rolleyes: They ate 3 holes in my waders when I stayed there. Only place I ever wished to see a rattlesnake:eek:

05-13-2011, 09:52 PM
Nice report. Glad to see you all had a good time. Thanks for sharing.

Paula Begley
05-16-2011, 04:33 PM
Mac, that was a lovely post about a wonderful trip. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! I know you will all remember it for a lifetime.


P.S.: I had to lock this thread and do some clean-up of some posts. Some posts were removed not because they broke forum rules, but because they referred to another post that did. So, if yours is missing, or edited, I'm sorry.

I really do not like to have to intervene like this on the board. Please read the forum rules (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/faq.php?faq=vb_faq#faq_b). It is against the forum rules to be insulting to another member. Period. Thank you.

05-16-2011, 05:23 PM
Very nice. That is a trip I plan to make one day.

05-17-2011, 09:24 PM
I have hiked into deep creek one time from the top. It is one of the most beautiful and romantic streams in the smokies. A true back to nature trip. Awesome picks, great story and glad no one was hurt in the fall.

05-17-2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the report. Because of this post my wife and I will make the trip to CS55 Monday. We will hike up from the campground. Any suggestions on fishing areas that are better than others?

05-18-2011, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the report. Because of this post my wife and I will make the trip to CS55 Monday. We will hike up from the campground. Any suggestions on fishing areas that are better than others?


I would be happy to comment on what we experienced during the one trip we made. Others with more experience in this area might have other insights.

We spend one entire day fishing below Campsite 55 back up to the Campground and one entire day fishing above Campsite 55. For us the two areas provided quite different experiences and opportunities.

Fishing below campsite 55 required an uphill Deep Creek trail walk and than back down to where the trail meets the stream again creating a wonderful loop. Two of use ended up walking all the way to campsite 57 before entering the stream and fished all the way back to 55 campsite. Downstream we were able to use a little larger dry flys like size 10 and 12 with a size 20 hairs ear dropper.

Upstream from campsite 55 was completely different for us. The water was much smaller. The upstream trip had cascading pool after pool. The day we fished upstream of 55 the creek was a little small for a dropper so we used just a number 16 simulator the entire day.

You should have a great time fishing around 55 if it's anything like what we experienced. You will always have the option of fishing the Left Fork of Deep Creek if there is to much water on the main Deep Creek.

Good luck and please post some pictures and a report. :biggrin:

05-18-2011, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the advice. I will have the stream to myself as my wife will just sit bankside and read. If I survive the hike up I look forward to fishing for about two days straight. What was your timeline on fishing from 57 up (how many hours)? I will attempt to get photos and provide a report.

05-18-2011, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the advice. I will have the stream to myself as my wife will just sit bankside and read. If I survive the hike up I look forward to fishing for about two days straight. What was your timeline on fishing from 57 up (how many hours)? I will attempt to get photos and provide a report.

For two old guys, we left campsite 55 about 9:30AM to 10:00AM and made it back between 4:00PM and 5:00PM. :cool:

My brother is tall and jumps from rock to rock looking like Sasquatch, so we were hitting every hole but moving pretty quickly as well. :eek:

If you look up into the trees over the creek you should find about a half dozen each of our flies, :redface:

05-27-2011, 09:42 PM
Well we are back from our Back Country Fishing trip. I will have a trip report complete with photos as soon as possible. On the 7 mile hike out I rolled my ankle on the 2nd mile. I hiked out the last five miles with my 42 pound pack screaming in pain the whole time. On the drive back we made a detour to LeConte emergency room where I was told that I have a broken ankle. I am waiting to get back home to see the surgeon. I will try to get the report up in a separate post when I can.