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Thread: Deep Creek

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    1,063

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    Shaggy,

    I hiked into Deep Creek (without pack) for the first time in April. This was my goal for losing weight and getting in better shape starting early January and I'm glad I prepared. Even without a pack, it was a tough hike out for a 57 year old.

    I have to say that I've found equal or better fishing in other spots that, even though relatively remote, were easier to get to. But chances are I'll go back at some point just because it's Deep Creek.
    Charlie B

    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
    bartonca@hotmail.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Encinitas, CA
    Posts
    299

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodonthefly View Post
    Nice pics, looks like the blair witch has been down there fishin' to me.
    Funny you say that.... I was at 53 last weekend and someone had put some serious time and effort into stacking rocks on the boulders in the stream by the campsite. Some of the rock piles were made of fairly large rocks precisely balanced, end over end. It was a bit eerie at night, seeing all those standing in the beam of my headlamp.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    800

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
    I have to say that I was completely unaware of how much different Deep Creek is beginning with the trail itself. I am so sore today that I don't want to get off the couch.

    I plan to hike in to 59 next. I assume that that hike is a little more forgiving to 38 year old out of shape fisherman!
    "completely unaware"??... I don't believe I have read many reports about Upper Deep Creek, that don't start off with something like..."I had no idea how bad it was"..."its one of the toughest hikes in the park"...or "its not worth the effort"...

    Anyone who is thinking about making the trip should do a search on the forum for "Upper Deep Creek" and read for yourself. Its not an impossible hike, but its very tough. The hike-in, combined with the lack of rain over the last two months is a recipe for lousy fishing...btw, the last mile up to US441 is over 800' of elevation gain...Besides, I think the best fishing on Upper Deep Creek is between May 1 and Mid June...just my observation...Jim C. probably has a better feel for it than me...

    As for the hike to 59, its much easier, but it does have one good section of elevation gain that will get your heart pumping. The rest of it is similar to Little River Trail...but honestly, with the weather the way it has been, you might want to wait until the fall...

    Just a suggestion

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    Pete CZ (and others)--The hike invovled in reching Polk Patch from 441 is a bear (the final two miles going back out, at any rate), but there is an alternative well worth considering. That is to make a four- or five-day trip starting at the upper trailhead and finishing at the lower one, changing campsites two or three times as you go. It involves some planning but also lets you see the many faces of Deep Creek and other than a modest climb up the ridge where the trail leaves the stream at Bumgardner Bend, is pretty easy going.
    Someone also mentioned trail access to Right Fork above Polk Patch. While the trail isn't visible from the creek in many spots, it is seldom very far away. When you decide to stop fishing, just strike out to your right (as you face upstream) and most places it isn't much distance at all to the trail. Now Rocky Fork and Sahlee (feeders of Right Fork)are different propositions.
    Yet another point was made about Right Fork being tight fishing. I guess it is a matter of perspective, because I've never thought it particularly bad. However, if that troubles you and you don't mind some bushwhacking, climb up to the Fork Ridge Trail from Polk Patch campsite and then drop down to Left Fork. It is wide open (just no trail).
    Finally, I guess I never thought much about the quality of the fishing at different seasons when it comes to Right Fork. I think, on reflection, I would agree April and May are prime, but then that's true anywhere in the Park. I've always been able to catch fish in good numbers in and around Polk Patch no matter what the season, and late October/November see the big browns moving up into this area
    Maybe this weill help a bit It's an area where I've spent a world of time.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,401

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    Agree that Deep Creek fishes well year round. I think that most people have a hard time later on because the fish can be spooky in the low flows. They still have to eat though and if you make an effort to cast a little further and stay a little lower then you will be rewarded...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Rabbit Skin N.C.
    Posts
    178

    Default Poke Patch

    Shaggy I'm not sure if your site # 59 is affectionately known as Poke Patch or not. I first went to this site about 1963 or '64 and I made a trip or two there every year for about 25-30 years. I have litterly been all over the right and left hand prong of Deep Creek. I fished the left hand prong to the point where one could step across it. I could tell you some wonderfully true stories about this fantastic place but I won't bore you. please be careful on your return trips.
    Tight Lines....Bob

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lenoir City, TN
    Posts
    993

    Default Map

    This newly published 11x17 Upper Deep Creek map illustrates just how challenging the terrain is up high, but also just how great the angling experience can be. I wish I could say it's free, but the proceeds will go to a good cause: helping me pay for the printing of the Little River map.

    2/15 Update: Deleted map link previously posted.

    JF

    PS. Printer hopes to have the Little River maps to me by July 19 or earlier.
    Last edited by JoeFred; 02-15-2012 at 09:37 AM. Reason: To help protect the wellbeing of the waters, etc.
    “Joe” Fred Turner
    Southern Appalachian Stream Maps sasMaps.com
    Formerly SmokyStreams.com

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    fearnofishbob--Your Deep Creek experiences go almost as far back as mine. My first trip to Poke Patch (I know the campsites by name and can never remember the numbers) was in 1955. Since you've fished the Left Fork well above Keg Drive Branch, and in the "earlies," it's likely you saw the vestiges of Little Dam. This was about four miles up the Left Fork and was an old splash dam built by loggers. It is long since gone, thanks to the periodic heavy flooding which is the reason the Left Fork stays so wide open.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Maryville, TN
    Posts
    800

    Default Deep Creek Campsites

    CS Name
    == =================
    53 Poke Patch
    54 Nettle Creek
    55 Pole Road
    56 Burnt Spruce
    57 Bryson Place
    58 Nicks Nest Branch
    59 McCracken Branch
    60 Bumgardner Branch

    "Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if he kept his mouth shut."

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    992

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    Thought I'd use this thread, since geographically it is appropriate, to share my experience today on Deep Creek. As a boy I fished the Jenkins Fields and on up to the turnaround on this stream literally hundreds of times, so I know every pothole. I decided to relive my boyhood a bit today. Didn't get there at dawn, which would be ideal, but I've got some duties associated with my father (who will turn 101 in two weeks) which limit my ability to get away at daylight.
    Anyway, as I expected in this heat, the fishing was so-so. I caught a good many trout--didn't count but perhaps 20-25, mostly rainbows--and kept a limit for Dad and me to eat tomorrow. Two interesting things happened. I didn't see another angler other than a spincaster fishing a big pool close to the trailhead and a fellow who was probably a local walking out as I was walking in (around 9:30 a.m.). But the really interesting development took place just above the bridge at the upper end of the Jenkins fields (last bridge). A medium-sized bear, perhaps 150 pounds, came tearing across the creek about 25 yards in front me me like his tail was on fire or hounds were on his behind. I watched and waited to see what had occasioned this, but saw nothing. Sometimes a really big bear will chase a youngster and I thought that might happen. What is noteworthy is that this is the lowest down the stream I've ever seen a bear in all my years of fishing Deep Creek. Maybe an anomaly but based on my brother's experiences (he's an avid hiker who probably averages 30-40 miles a week on Park trails) there are just a lot more bears than there used to be. He sees one or two almost every outhing. Part of that, of course, is hiking alone and not making noise. Much more likely to see 'em that way.
    Fishing's tough right now--in the spring, covering the amount of water I did, I'd be disappointed not to catch 40+ fish and see or hook at least one good one. The biggest fish I saw all day was a brown of maybe a foot.
    Not that I think it makes much difference, but I caught most fish on an inchworm pattern and the rest on an Elkhair caddis.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

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