Deep Creek, Hazel, Abrams, and Elkmont. Everytime I fish one of these streams I feel I have a chance at something special happening and a chance is all you can ask for.
Well I'm hitting Elkmont and one other place (probably Treemont) this weekend, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I'd have to say Little River around Elkmont. I've caught 5 Browns in Little River around 14-15". I was very lucky, b/c they were all on the same day from a very small stretch of water. When I'm in town I spend a lot of my time fishing from Metcalf Bottoms up through Elkmont. There's some big fish around Metcalf, but you have to contend with the crowd to fish there. I have definitely seen more big fish on Little River than any other stream I ahve fished in the park, I just haven't caught any of the true monsters. They seem to be smarter than me, which isn't saying much.
I have never fished Hazel, but have heard great things about it.
Man, I am glad I started this thread. It's given me some good info. I just bought a new Orvis BS III small arbor and I can't wait to use it this weekend!
I'd also go with Little River around Metcalf for big browns. I hooked a big one just above Metcalf the weekend of Troutfest, on a dry fly to boot - snapped my tippet knot within 5' of landing it.
If in NC I'd go with the Oconaluftee River downstream of Smokemont. I watched a massive brown in there last fall. That was one of the only good things about last years low water, I had a chance to scout of some nice honey holes.