View Full Version : Who's been to Deep Ck or Cataloochee?

Yellow Sally
10-01-2007, 11:09 PM
This is my first post ever. Help me plan a good trip- if you've had good or bad recent trips to either Deep Ck or Cataloochee, I'd love to hear from you. Has the drought affected NC as much as us here in Ky? Is the fishing worthwhile or do I try for another part of the country- lets see... NY has had some rain! But it's 12 hours drive! A good vacation would really boost my spirts! I'm shocked that I got my first pick at usernames- Yellow Sally- not many girls on the stream I guess!

Art Vandalay
10-02-2007, 09:20 AM
I've fished Deep Creek three times in the last month and I'm not going back for a while. It looks and fishes better as you move on up higher, but the water is just to low.

Every stream in the park is low and I would not waste the gas or your time.

Your best bet is to fish the Cumberland for a while.

Mr. Vandalay

10-02-2007, 09:31 AM
I usually camp and fish Cataloochee the last week of September. I just couldn't bring myself to do it this year. It was a very warm week and I spent my time fishing the South Holston. I have still considered going because I always enjoy the elk and I would really like to see what it looks like. There is a gauge on Cataloochee at Asbury crossing you can access the data at waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt
just click on North Carolina and then click on Cataloochee once you find it.
I have been watching it for some time and this is the lowest I have ever seen it. This morning it is running 16cfs normal for this time of year is 41cfs and every year I have fished it in September we have usually had some tropical rain and I have never fished it below 80cfs. I would really like to see what it looks like but it is a 2 hour drive and I can be in the water fishing the SoHo in 20 minutes, so I don't know that I will make the drive over. I'm off Friday but they are forecasting near 90 hear in Bluff City, sounds like tailwater fishing to me.

Yellow Sally
10-02-2007, 10:20 AM
That's what I was afraid of- thanks. I don't think I could handle much more drought depression (we have a farm).

10-02-2007, 06:01 PM
the water is low, but people are catching fish at least! A good fall trip is Pennsylvania. its much closer than ny and has tons of trout water. I go every year in sept or oct. not sure if I'm going this year or not, but would like to.

10-02-2007, 08:20 PM

Before you give up completely on the Smokies, if you are specifically interested in Deep Creek, read the recent posts entitled Upper Deep Creek by marktronic and Deep Creek Report by PeteCz.

Good to have another FFF on board; you've got some good company with Barbara, msdilligaff and others, not to mention the charming Paula from LRO. :biggrin:

10-02-2007, 11:15 PM

Before you give up completely on the Smokies, if you are specifically interested in Deep Creek, read the recent posts entitled Upper Deep Creek by marktronic and Deep Creek Report by PeteCz.

A very good point...and I would like to expand on it a bit. When the subject of low water comes up, the first thing to consider is the effect on the fish; this has been hashed out on this board all summer long. Basically, if you find low water AND high (above the mid 60s) temps, then hooking and playing fish might be adding a level of stress that might be one straw too many for the fish - in other words, unethical. However, if the water temps are ok, and the stream hasn't been reduced to a string of isolated pools, then it is a different story. The situation varies from stream to stream - some seem to hold more water than others, some areas have received more rain than others, etc. Little River was pretty much unfishable a month ago, while at the same time, Straight Fork was running fine and had good temps. Even though the air temperatures have been running above normal, now that we're into October we're getting less heating of the water, as the sun's angle gets lower on the horizon. The temps aren't bad now at all - it's just a situation of low water and skitterish fish...challenging conditions. Plus, things can change in a hurry with a bit of rain; while it will probably take a couple of years to dig out from this drought, any rain will recharge the streams, particularly after the leaves turn and the trees stop absorbing as much runoff.

We're coming up in a few weeks...I can't wait - even if the fishing isn't so good, I'm looking forward to seeing the mountains in the Fall, in all their colors.

10-04-2007, 05:08 PM
Sally, I fished Upper Deep Creek about a week and a half ago and did fairly well. It sounds like Art fished down below, (near/above the Deep Creek Campground) and the water was down quite a bit. I'm not sure how far a drive it is from where you are or how much you like hiking, but the fishing is not that bad on the upper end of Deep Creek. I was quite surprised and they have even received a little bit of rain yesterday and today, so it's not a totally hopeless situation, by any means.

Is it as great as it could be, no.
Is it a beautiful spot with cool water and lots of solitude and an opportunity to catch a Grand Slam, Absolutely!

Like Charlie said, you might want to do a search on the keywords "Deep Creek" and take a look at some of the more recent reports. They are not doom and gloom.

That being said, PA is nice, as well...

10-04-2007, 07:03 PM
If I might make a suggestion - if you're looking for a nice stream that has all three species, and is a bit easier to access than the upper reaches of Deep Creek, I would try Straight Fork. It is a bit of a drive to reach it in the park, but that's the key word - DRIVE. Once you pass the Cherokee Reservation's fish hatchery and enter the park, you have several miles of good water, all easily reached from the road. If you feel adventurous, you can continue up Straight Fork after the road crosses it - however, there is no trail past that point. I managed a slam there this summer - in fact, I've caught more browns there than any other species. Even in the worst of the drought conditions this summer, it never got too warm and it had a nice flow.

End of commercial...I would like to try Deep Creek sometime...it's tough with my kids in tow.