Made a hike up big creek today with my gf and found a very nice area. The trail is fairly easy and follows the river the whole way which offers some nice views, plus you go by the insanely overcrowded midnight hole and mouse creek falls. We also went up swallow fork trail for a bit and had the opportunity to run very close to a couple deer. One deer was no more than 20 yards away from us and seemed to want to come closer until my camera scared him away. I fished for about 30 minutes and found the stream to be absolutely slam full of rainbows. I caught 9 and missed just as many. They were coming up to a size 16 yellow parachute fly with some wulff style hair on top to help it float. They were all small fish but the stream looked to be full of them.
All in all, we hiked about 12 miles today which is a good tune up for my hazel creek trip. Also of note, the stream had a rather unique surprise for me. The lower portion, as is noted in most books and websites, is very rocky and turbulent with a steep gradient, extremely large boulders, and some very deep holes. About 3.5-4 miles up, the stream seemed to flatten out and the it changed characteristics almost on a dime with a more pocket water look to it all the way up to the walnut bottoms campsite. I thought this was interesting since it usually happens the other way around. We are going back the first chance we get to try either swallow fork or gunter fork. I will post some pictures when i get them uploaded, no fish pictures but plenty of nice scenery!