If you fished the section immediately above the falls that is indeed some rugged stuff. I will only fish through there when the water is down and when I have some company. I will occasionally venture just above the falls alone but not attempt to make it through the gorge. The mile or so below the AT parking lot is pretty simple and fishes fairly well. You may want to try the area above Dennis Cove, there is a jeep trail that takes you off the mountain road down to a place called Frog Level. There is a gate across Firescald Branch you can follow this stream down to Laurel Fork and then fish either up or down through some fairly low gradient water. Let us know how you do.