View Full Version : anyone fished laurel fork?
milligan trout degree
07-09-2007, 09:18 PM
i was wondering if anyone here as ever fished on laurel fork in hampton, tn? i know there is a hatchery within a couple miles of the laurel falls trailhead, and thought that it may be stocked. i think it might be too low in elevation for wild trout, but who knows. it is on the way to roan mountain, and may come out of roan mountain if you're willing to hike the app. trail above the falls.
07-09-2007, 10:26 PM
I fish Laurel Fork a lot during the spring and fall, but stay on the tailwaters most of the summer. I fish this creek more than any other. It is both a hatchery supported stream as well as a wild trout stream. It is a hatchery supported stream from the area known as Dennis Cove down to its confluence with the Doe River in Hampton. There are 3 primary access points in this area started low and working up: 1)the parking area on Hwy 321 which is used mostly as a hiking trail to Laurel Falls, 2)the AT parking area just below Dennis Cove which is also used to hike down to the falls instead of up to the falls off of 321, and 3)the Dennis Cove campground (this is where you will find most of the stocker rainbows). One-half mile above Dennis Cove there is a cable across the stream that begins the special reg. single hook artificial lure only section which is a wild brown trout stream. There are also 3 primary access points on the upper creek as well, again working up: 1)parking at Dennis cove and hiking up the creek above the cable, 2) driving up the mountain road and down a jeep trail to a place known as frog level, and 3) the area known as Cherry Flats (this area requires a little more driving along the NC border. While the bottom portion (below Dennis Cove) is a hatchery supported stream there are plenty of nice browns (10-14") and quite a few larger ones. The upper section (above Dennis Cove) is a wild brown trout stream but there are also some brookies in this section I have caught them in the Dennis Cove camp ground. However, the brookies are found primarily in the streams that feed Laurel Fork, for example, if you drive to Frog Level there is a stream right there at the parking area, Firescald Branch, I have caught several brookies in this stream and I am certain that many of the other streams that feed this area would have brookies as well. This is a beautiful stream and one that I am very familiar with, I have fished every step from Hwy 321 to above upper Laurel Falls above Frog Level, if I can help you know more about a particular area let me know.
milligan trout degree
07-09-2007, 11:28 PM
thanks for the reply. i read it three times to make sure i've got everything. i plan on fishing it quite a bit this fall-next spring. just whenever i have the spare time to get up and fish. i've hiked to the falls from 321 before so i know that route. but how do you get to Dennis cove? and the jeep trail you mentioned. what is it like?
07-10-2007, 11:27 AM
I cannot remember the name of the road that takes you to Dennis Cove. But if you are on 321 going through Hampton there is one of those brown signs with a picture of a tent on it that represents a campground. This is a right hand turn just before a Bank (only a short distance past the high school and before the parking lot on the creek). Follow that road through a small residential area and then it will begin to climb quickly and steeply you will know you are on the right road if it begins to climb the mountain. It will top out and begin to descend as it levels off again there is a parking are on the left, this is the AT parking area and is about 1 1/2 miles above the falls. If you continue up the road about a mile with the creek on your left you will then cross a small bridge and Dennis Cove campground will be immediately on your right. The best hiking trail goes up the creek before crossing the bridge, you can park on the left before the bridge and walk across the road and start up the creek, I have fished from here all the way to frog level. If you want to drive to frog level, continue across the bridge and pass the campground, as you cross the bridge it will become a gravel road and begin to climb again at the top of the climb there will be an obvious jeep trail that descends to the right, this trail goes to frog level. It is not to bad, but it will be slow travel. The main concern is ground clearance, I have had my SUV in there with several inches of snow and I have driven my small car in there when it is dry. This jeep trail will end at a turn around point. The creek here is Firescald Branch, you can follow it down a short ways to Laural Fork or you can cross Firescald and follow the trail that will take you to Laural Fork. This area is fairly level for a mountain stream and there are open field around the stream, it is a beautiful area, but somewhat remote. I suggest you take a friend, just in case you twist an ankle or have a bad encounter with a copper head. I suggest that you get Ian Rutter's book on Tennessee Trout Streams he provides information on Laural Fork and Doe River as well as several streams in the Erwin area that you might want to check out. But I would suggest that your best bet at learning more about fly fishing and catching fish is to spend some time on the Watagu, since you are so close. Hope this helps.
milligan trout degree
07-10-2007, 11:21 PM
you're the man with the plan, mike. thanks a lot for all the information. its way more than i expected, and i really appreciate it. im sure i'll check out some of the less remote areas, and when i find someone to go with me, i'll do some more hiking. i have a jeep wrangler now with a lift kit, so if its not too bad, i wont be too worried about taking my jeep down that road.
one more question for you, if you dont mind. i've only been fly fishing a handful of times. once or twice in the smokies, a little on the holston river, and some bluegill fishing on cherokee lake. when i come back up to elizabethon in month, where is a good fly shop in the area? i dont remember hearing or seeing any when i was there last.
07-10-2007, 11:51 PM
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