View Full Version : Left Fork of Deep Creek

09-14-2007, 11:36 AM
Does anybody know of any unmaintained side trails off of Fork Ridge trail that go down to the Left Fork of Deep Creek? Or has anybody had any luck bushwacking down from the trail? I'm going to be staying at 53 and it would save several miles of hiking vs. hiking all the way down to junction of Left Fork and Deep Creek...

David Knapp
09-14-2007, 12:58 PM
I haven't fished the left fork but did hike down to its confluence with Deep Creek on a day trip about this time last year. Based on the general nature of the mountains, I'm guessing that even if you cut of distance by bushwacking, you're still going to have less time to get there if you just follow the trails. That area has some thick rhododendron thickets which would take awhile to negotiate I'm sure...

09-14-2007, 02:44 PM
I found this online:

From Polk Patch, located on the Right Fork of Deep Creek, you can make a day trip across Fork Ridge to fish Left Fork (there’s no trail after you reach the main ridge, so you need to study topo maps carefully) or work upstream from the campsite. Camping farther downstream, you have the option of following the Deep Creek trail in either direction and starting to fish wherever you please.

It was located at:

It appears to be 3 miles from campsite #53 down to the confluence of the Left Fork. If you took the Fork Ridge Trail from #53 (3000') for about .4 miles to Deep Creek Gap (3300'), you would then have to bushwhack down about .1 miles to the Left Fork (2950' at that point). Getting down to the stream may be the easy part. You definitely need to be careful to mark where you started so that you can find the trail when you attempt to get back out. Take a Topo Map and a compass. Or you could fish down to the confluence with Deep Creek and take the Deep Creek trail back to CS #53.

Here is a Topo of the immediate area:

When were you thinking about attempting it?

09-14-2007, 03:38 PM
Thanks PA and Pete...

Pete: How severe would a 350 foot descent be over .10 of a mile (528') distance? Maybe it sounds worse than it is...

09-14-2007, 03:53 PM
PA: What were you catching them on last year when you were on Deep Creek?

09-14-2007, 05:25 PM
How severe would a 350 foot descent be over .10 of a mile (528') distance? Maybe it sounds worse than it is...

Thats a pretty good grade. You'll probably have to switchback-and-forth going down to the stream and scramble on all fours going up. Since you'll wind up covering around .2 miles to get to the stream, you're looking at a rate of 1750' per mile. Most of the tougher trails are over 600' per mile (of course you only have to go a short distance, so it shouldn't be too bad). Just make sure you have a well-sighted point to aim for, or you could wind up lost. Although if you do miss your mark, as long as you head east, you will eventually run into Deep Creek and should be able to find your way back to CS#53.

Advice: Take a compass and a map!

David Knapp
09-14-2007, 05:50 PM
I was catching them on stimulators, para Adams, small EHC, and green weenies (no weight)... They shouldn't be too picky...

09-15-2007, 04:39 AM
Also, remember that there's not alot of soil on the slopes( loose, thin soil can suddenly give way and leave you sliding down the mtn on yur backside - don't ask! ha!), and with decaying leaves and rocky outcrops(falls and snakes are possible), it's not the safest thing to do. that said, I've done a similar bushwhacking trip for about three years now, and there's no better way to get to unpressured fish. But you should go with someone - going alone is asking for trouble, IMHO. And do heed the advice of others and take a map, etc. it's easy to think you're on one ridge, and you're actually a couple of ridges over, or to think you're on the right trail(usually deer trails in this case) and you're going the wrong way.
Spending the night out in the cold might not kill ya, but it sure isn't any fun......but if you get to walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway at 3 am, it's a nice walk with no traffic. Just watch out for the rattlers( which mostly don't have heads since they've been run over several times by 3am. ;) LOL )

again.....don't ask how i know this. haha. it's a heckuva long story.

be careful and good luck. maybe we could get a couple of pictures of the creek?

09-17-2007, 02:46 PM
Owl: Thanks for the suggestions and look for pictures and a report in a couple of weeks...