View Full Version : Deep Creek

02-18-2008, 06:24 PM
I was planning on backpacking deep creek trail towards the beginning of April and I was wondering if it was too early in the season to fish that area?

02-18-2008, 09:30 PM
That is a pretty hard question to answer considering the weather can be finicky during april, it may be 80 degrees and it may be 50. I made a trip to the tn side of the park last april and if i remember correctly the water was still between 45-50. That being said, deep creek is a good destination to go to and i'm sure you will enjoy your trip. What campsite are you planning on staying at?


02-18-2008, 11:36 PM
We were planning on starting at Clingmans Dome and then hiking down to Campsite 53 for the first night, and fish around that campsite. Then the next day we were going to hike and fish down towards 56 considering its only about 3 miles it should be a lot more fishing than hiking. I do not know much about this area or these campsites so I am kind of going in blind but I guess that is part of the adventure.

02-19-2008, 01:45 AM
Are you going to park a second car down at the Deep Creek frontcountry campground, or are you planning on hiking back up to Clingman's dome?

If you are planning on hiking back up, have you considered starting at the top of the Deep Creek Trail on US441 below Newfound Gap? It's shorter to Campsite #53 and has less elevation change.

I've fished the upper sections of Deep Creek down to campsite #53 and from what I have heard, most of the other campsites on Deep Creek are nicer than 53. I stopped there last September and it looked awfully rough and rundown. Others have had good things to say about it, but I'm planning a trip up Deep Creek this Spring, and I'm probably going to stay at 55, 56 or 57.

I think some other folks have stayed at some of the other sites along Deep Creek, as well, and may have a better recommendation for you.

You also might want to consider starting at the bottom and hiking up to CS 56, and then fishing up from there...it would be about the same distance, but much less elevation change.

02-19-2008, 05:35 AM
I stayed at 57 last november and it was a very enjoyable trip. That campsite is probably one of the most popular on the river, although the only neighbors we had were on horseback one night, the other we were by ourselves. I plan on coming down from the dome and staying at 53 this summer and trying my hand out on that part of the river as well. Anyways, i can't speak for around 53, but the fishing around where we were was good last time we went. There are some big boys cruising around in there.


02-19-2008, 01:41 PM
That is a good idea on hiking down from Newfound Gap I had not looked at that until now and I think that is what I am going to do. The reason that we are going to stay at 53 is because I am still a student and I do not get out of school on Friday until 4:00 so I would rather not hike in the dark to 57, and I think I could make it to 53 a lot quicker. We are going to stay there Friday though and were going to hike down to one of the other campsites the next day. Then we were just going to hike back up deep creek trail to the car.

02-19-2008, 05:15 PM
That makes good sense. You should be able to make it from the TH on Newfound Gap to #53 in about 90 minutes with a pack. The hike back out is tough, but you're still young...

Here are a couple of past reports from the area...hope they help:


Make sure you post a report....have fun!

02-19-2008, 07:31 PM
Hey thanks for all the help Pete and Mtnman. I am definatly going to have to look into some things, but I will make sure to post how the trip went.

02-19-2008, 10:07 PM
No problem, i've only been there once but if you have any more questions about deep creek just ask. I plan on going back there at least twice this year so i'll be sure and post a report. It's a great place to fish hope you enjoy yourself when you're out there.


02-20-2008, 12:15 AM
I'm with Craig on this one and voting with my feet. Deep Creek is one of the places I really enjoyed and will be trying to figure out how to spend more time there this year. I can't say that about some of the other places I went to last year...

02-20-2008, 12:49 AM
Well since Pete pulled up one of my old posts I feel obligated to chime in even though I have been MIA from the board due to duck and deer season. If you are pressed for time and worrying about making it down to 53 from the deep creek trailhead, dont worry about it because it is basically 99% downhill with very steep switch backs starting out. Once you start seeing deep creek you will notice a unmaintainded campsite that is off the trail a ways on the right, take notice of that campsite because that is a good spot to exit the creek if you are fishing upstream from campsite 53. I caught alot of fish and would love to go back.

Although the hike down was great, if you are pressed for time and tired from climbing over rocks all day in the creek, the walk back up to the top of the trailhead of deep creek almost killed me. It is staight up and seeing that I overpacked alittle, really took a toll on me.

I would be interested in going sometime with you. I went to campsite 27 this past weekend and really had a blast. I didnt get any fishing time due to the high winds on Sunday and my truck being blocked in at the trailhead above Tremont. I did get to give some volunteer work back to the NPS and helped the ranger push trees out of the way after he cut them up. My email address is s_mlmorgan@pstcc.edu if you want to shoot me some trip plans if you want any extra company.

02-20-2008, 02:10 PM
Hey I would like to go up sometime with you. I already have a couple of guys that I am going up with on this trip though. I normally do not fish in the mountains a lot so I do not know much about the fishing up there so I am willing to do almost anything. If you have any ideas on what you want to do just post them and we can plan something.

02-20-2008, 09:09 PM
Here's a link to some pix of my trip to Deep Creek last September...


02-20-2008, 10:03 PM
Those are some nice pictures, a couple of those looked like you got into some pig brookies. Did you stay at 53?


02-21-2008, 07:33 AM
Yep, those are pix of 53. I liked the campsite and was spoiled by the fishing there. If you are used to hiking in the Smoky's, the climb back out of 53 is not too bad. It's much easier than the Alum Cave trail up LeConte.

03-13-2008, 11:57 PM
The Poke Patch is one of my favorite places to stay. Some big Brooks, and apparently you landed some nice brown as well. I live in Waynesville and I always am looking to go for a weekend, Let me know email is corbodiesel@yahoo.com doesn't have to be Deep Creek anywhere around here I am failiar with.

04-19-2008, 03:18 PM
Well I finally decided to take my trip to 53 yesterday. The rain of the past few weeks made us push the trip back a couple weeks. The hike in was a breeze took us around an hour and a half. Once we arrived we immdiately saddled up our rods and hit the stream. On the first cast I hooked a small rainbow but the fishing slowed after that. Ended the day with five fish brought to hand and I lost about double that number. I was planning on fishing saturday morning but the rain forced us to cut the trip short. The hike out was very difficult. It is uphill the whole way. Took us around two hours and we were booking it out of there. Sorry no pictures dont have a good camera yet.

04-20-2008, 08:36 PM
I loved the pics of your Deep Creek trip. It has been awhile since I have packed in anywhere. Can you give me an idea of your trip list for a ovenighter for trout in the back country? My vest probably weighs as much as all your gear. Feedback concerning what to bring and what to leave would be appreciated.

04-20-2008, 09:21 PM
Well that is the biggest problem for me when I backpack into the backcountry. I always tend to overpack in case of an emergency. I bring the normal camping gear (sleeping bag, tent, mat, and a stove). That takes up a great deal of room and then once you add in food it seems as if I have no more room for my fishing gear. I normally squezze in my rod in one of the side pockets of my pack. It is very helpful to get a four piece with a traveling case if you dont already know that. I decided that waders were not a must so i left them at home. The water was very cold but waders are just too bulky so i had to leave them. As for the fishing vest. This is the hardest part on what you need and what you don't. I try to consoladate everything into as little as possible. This ends up making me leave a lot of stuff at home. I always wear my vest as I hike instead of packing so that I can save space. This is the basics of what I do if you have any more questions just ask.

04-22-2008, 03:53 PM
Is there parking on NGR at the Deep Creek trailhead?

04-22-2008, 06:52 PM
Yeah we parked on a pull off on new found gap road right next to the trail.

04-23-2008, 08:40 AM
Will it be OK to leave a vehicle there for multiple nights?

04-23-2008, 12:36 PM
Possibly, I have heard that there are a lot of car break ins on NGR. We only camped one night and when we got back to the truck it was fine. Just make sure that you take all of your valuables with you or hide them under the seat or out sight.

04-23-2008, 10:17 PM
I left mine parked there for 3 days, when I went 2 years ago. No porblems at all..

04-24-2008, 03:40 PM
I couldn't help but notice the thread, as I am planning to backpack and camp at Deep Creek this fall (with my recent bride actually, as part of our honeymoon in the Smokies for 2+ weeks, I'm only fishing for several days, mostly on this trip to Deep Creek), from Oct. 24-26.
I read your post, mtnman, from last fall, and it sounded pretty intriguing...We were thinking of staying at campsite #60 at Bumgardner, and I would prospect the water upstream for the next day or two, while she photographed and hiked. I read that you stayed at #57 at the Bryson Place; is #60 a nice campsite, or would it be worth hiking several more miles towards #57?
Either way, I look forward to hopefully prowling around for some fall browns (catching them might be another matter though...:biggrin:). Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks!


04-24-2008, 05:11 PM

If i remember correctly, #60 looked to be a pretty nice campsite. It was nice and open and appeared to have room for quite a few campers. If it was me, i would stay at #57 just because i would assume the fishing would be better since there is less fishing pressure. If you can fish the bend then i would, gotta be some good fishing back there, just be careful since it gets away from the trail.

If you and your wife can handle the extra mileage i would definitely stay at 57, alot of history there and a nice campsite. If you have any more questions just let me know.


04-24-2008, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the reply mtnman. I'll bet you're right about the fish being less pressured up towards #57, although I was definitely thinking about exploring the bend as well, since the creek does pull away from the trail, like you said. Well, I guess we'll just have to make a decision on it when the time comes, and go with it! Either way, I will definitely post a report (and photos, hopefully) after the trip.