View Full Version : Deep Creek Report

05-05-2007, 10:55 PM
I was supposed to camp at Hiwassee this weekend, but my former Sister in Law passed away and I wanted to attend the funeral on Saturday. So Friday morning I headed down 129 on my way to Seneca, SC for the night. I was going to fish Twenty Mile, but it's kinda small and I wanted to fish the nymph rig. As I got close to Bryson City I decided to check out Deep Creek for the first time. I rigged up in the picnic area and had a 12" Bow to hand in less than 10 minutes. I fished for an hour and a half and landed five (three Bows and two Browns), four of which went 10-13". All fish but one were caught on Hugh's Blackbird. Here are some pics...





05-05-2007, 11:12 PM
Nice pics. I think I might order a few of Mr Hartsell's flies. I also wouldn't mind checking out Deep Creek, but from the upper end; I started to check out the trail down last November, but it looked a bit steep to try in hippers - it might not be so bad in just boots.

05-06-2007, 02:05 AM
deep creek is my favorite stream for many reasons. one of them being that is where I caught my first trout on a fly rod. glad you got to check it out! how far up the trail did you go? also, has the tubing gotten bad up there yet?

05-06-2007, 08:48 AM
I started in the picnic area and fished up to the bridge. No tubers on Friday, but I think I got lucky...

05-06-2007, 01:59 PM
way to go man! I have been thinking about hiking down from Clingmans Dome and fish back up. Any takers?. I would do it on a Saturday and be ready to hike at first daylight, which should be around 6:30 AM this time of year. I plan on hiking down for about 2 1/2 hours and then fish back up. I would like to do it the Saturday before Memorial Day. Any takers on this board?

05-06-2007, 08:19 PM
I would love to try that, even if I'm an out-of-shape swamp rat; I'm always up for a bit of a hike if it gets me away from the crowds. Unfortunately, I can't try that with 2 7 year olds and a 12 year old - maybe I can get away for another "dad only" weekend sometime.

Is the hike from Clingman's easier than the Deep Creek trail that starts up on 441? As I said in an earlier post, I tried a few hundred yards of it in my hippers last November, then turned around. It has a reputation of being a real killer going uphill. It would still be worth it, to have a chance at a triple crown in one day.

Memorial Day weekend, I'm actually working - have to move some servers a few feet down the hall...but that's ok - I don't want to be near the Park, or a beach, or anything else that draws tourists that weekend.

05-06-2007, 08:33 PM
I made that trip last year and almost got washed away in a thunderstorm....Now, everytime I think about trying it again, I reconsider. I didn't see anyone else the whole day.

05-06-2007, 09:01 PM
I don't think the Saturday before memorial day would be bad at all. Trails and places like that discourages most people. I haven't actually hiked it but I assume it is as bad and probably worse than Road Prong Trail. In other words, a complete uphill battle.

I'm waiting for any takers, I would like to do it that particular Saturday because of my other commitments.

I shall remain.

05-06-2007, 09:36 PM
You're right...I misread your original post. That weekend would be pretty good...unfortunately, I don't think there's any way I can make it up there this month. It's the last month of school, and they love to get their licks in before turning the kids loose for the summer. I think the weekend you're talking about is also the weekend for Troutfest - I'd love to make that too, but I'm having to settle for entering a ticket for the door prize.

I'm looking at my map of the park right now, and the Deep Creek trail even looks steep in two dimensions; however, it isn't that far down to it. Also, if one didn't want to take the trail back up to the road, you could fish any of the streams in the area to the absolute headwaters, then bushwhack up to the road to Clingman's...however, I don't know how thick the undergrowth is up there.

05-06-2007, 10:01 PM
Not trying to confuse it but I actually mean the Saturday of memorial day weekend. I still don't think it would be too bad since most people don't want to go through the effort to do something like this. As for bushwacking off trail. I seriously doubt it is doable. If you have ever got off trail on the steeper areas of the smokies you know that there is absolutely no way of getting through the rhododendrons, not to mention the snakes and hornets and you name it.

It is also discouraged by the park service due to the hazards involved and if you get lost the cost of trying to find you as well as the erosion and degrading of nature by making new unofficial trails, not that anyone else would follow you anyway.

I'm not trying to sound negative just my two cents worth.

maybe we can wet a line somewhere more accessible some time.

05-06-2007, 10:06 PM
Wouldn't recommend it, they don't call it Rhododendron **** for no reason. As I recall the hike from 441 is the short route and the elevation change is 2,800 feet to the fishing... It is a grind. The creek is tiny at that point too. I can't remember how far but I am sort of thinking 3.5 miles, then a little further to have some fishable water to cover before hiking out. The last time I did it I ran into a man and son, he was teaching him how to fish. They were using worms........... with cigarette at the ready which was used to burn the line off the as I approached. That was quite a few years ago now, maybe 8. Nothing like teaching your kid how to poach!
Wish I could make it though, it is pretty up/down there!

05-06-2007, 10:09 PM
Ok...you're probably right about the bushwhacking. It might not be very far on a map, but it's another thing when you're actually climbing. However, the one thing I don't mind doing is a bit of scrambling under branches, etc - I grew up doing that down here, and I did a bit of that in college - found some great bass fishing in places where I doubt the fish had ever seen a lure. But, it's one thing to do that on level ground - another when you have to contend with a slope.

I'll give you a holler sometime if I'm able to make it up there by myself, or with just my oldest in tow - my twins are a bit too young for anything really rugged; plus, I'll have the chance to get in some halfway decent shape - I wish we had a few even small hills to practice on down here ;). All we have are the levees across the lake.

05-06-2007, 10:11 PM
Hey John...thanks for the info. I explored a similar situation when I was up there a few weeks ago, only the hike down was only a few hundred yards. I checked out the upper reaches of Bunches Creek, and it was truly tiny - you could easily straddle it in most places. However, there were trout in there, just very small. Had a couple hit and almost had one to hand, and none of them were bigger than 4 inches.

05-06-2007, 10:56 PM
Hey IJ,
I think I have seen Bunches where it empties into the the Raven's Fork in Cherokee. It is tiny there as well! (I think it is tribal water at that point) Must be small up high. I hate to be negative about an idea, but those Rhododendrons are ****! I've tried getting through them before, I am small, in pretty good shape (still run and play soccer) They are tough without a pack, or a flyrod! People get lost in them every few years and aren't found for months. There may be a trail for all I know though from Clingman's.
Hope you are well,

05-06-2007, 11:17 PM
Thanks for asking...we're fine, but after reading about the kind of shape you and Hans are in, I feel like quite a slacker. This weekend was really the first one of summer down here - it topped 90 (at least by my car thermometer) and the humidity was way up after our downpour on Friday, so now is the season of sweat.

That's interesting about Bunches. The reason I checked it out was because it was one of the original test streams in the Brookie/fishing pressure program. It was rated the top stream in terms of trout density. I looked at the map, and it seemed that the only way to access it within the park was via a drive in from the Blue Ridge Parkway on Balsam Mountain Gap Road, and then down the Flat Creek Trail to Bunches. When I first saw it, I started to turn around and hike back to my car, but then I saw a tiny trout in a pool smaller than a bucket. I dropped (there was no room to cast) several different flies in his living room, and got him to rise several times, but I couldn't get a decent hookset. Finally, he got bored, and stopped rising - I gave him a salute and moved on. I found a few others, and spooked some more. Looking up ahead, I saw some waterfalls, and perhaps a few deeper pools, but I was running out of daylight and energy.

Yep, the Rhododendrons are tough, but they can't be any worse than a whole blackberry briar patch - of course, I used to do some stupid things as a kid. I 've fished Cosby Creek a few times, and I've really grown to love it - in spots, it's a real jungle. I know some people find it claustephobic, but I love it - I must be strange.