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  #11  
Old 05-09-2009, 12:01 PM
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Default Thunderhead

Todd,

Thunderhead for me has been a consistent challenge. It has some of the fishiest looking spots of any stream in the Smokies but it's been tough going for me every time I've tried it. Always caught a few little bows but not nearly what I would have expected from a stream that looks that good. From the place where Defeat Ridge Trail (the one up to Sams) crosses Thunderhead upstream is some really nice looking water. The only time I fished it, the water was way down during one of our recent drought times but it looked really promising. There is also some really nice looking water just up from the confluence of Sams Creek and Thunderhead.
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2009, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
Todd,

Thunderhead for me has been a consistent challenge. It has some of the fishiest looking spots of any stream in the Smokies but it's been tough going for me every time I've tried it. Always caught a few little bows but not nearly what I would have expected from a stream that looks that good. From the place where Defeat Ridge Trail (the one up to Sams) crosses Thunderhead upstream is some really nice looking water. The only time I fished it, the water was way down during one of our recent drought times but it looked really promising. There is also some really nice looking water just up from the confluence of Sams Creek and Thunderhead.
Thunderhead has always been one of my favorite places to fish, mainly because it just looks like it should fish well. But, I've also always struggled with it. Never more than a few smaller bows. It's close to the house, so I'll continue going back.
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2009, 05:22 PM
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Living about 7.5 hours away, I only make it to fish in the park about twice a year. I have fished many streams in the park and Thunderhead is one of my favorite. Last summer when I fished up the Thunderhead to where Sam's Creek flows in...I noticed the cable and no fishing sign was still in place. I was jus curious as to why they left the cable and sign up...if the stream is now open to fishing, and it may be gone by now. I will find out in about 7 days.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2009, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
....
To get to Sams Creek, go into the park through Townsend. When you get to the Y (3-way intersection above Townsend), turn right as though you were going to Cades Cove. Right after you turn right, take a left up towards the Tremont Institute. Go up to the end of the road (turns to gravel after the Institute) to a parking lot. Cross the foot bridge and you will see the Middle Prong Trail up to the left with signs to different destinations. Go right instead up the unmarked trail which is Defeat Ridge Trail....
Charlie, what is the status of Defeat Ridge Trail? I notice it's not on the GSM Trail Map.

JF
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2009, 09:00 PM
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JF,

Defeat Ridge Trail is officially an unmaintained trail. However, it has gotten enough traffic that it is really easy to follow up until the point that it crosses Thunderhead for the second time (wading). On the other side of Thunderhead, on the last leg up to Sams, it is a little more obscure in places, sometimes following a dry creek bed. However, if you keep following it up, you'll hear Sams off to the left, especially as you pass the falls, and will eventually run right up along Sams' bank. Don't think you'll find it on a map, but finding it in person is pretty straight forward.
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2009, 10:47 PM
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Thanks, Charlie. Very helpful. I've added Defeat Ridge Trail to my Little River System Map specifying it is "unmaintained." I based it on an older Thunderhead Mtn quad map, so I trust it's reasonably accurate. If the trail is too obscure in the upper reaches, I may need to show only the portion to Sam's Creek you described. I hope to take my fishing pole there soon.

JF
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2010, 11:51 AM
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Hey guys, reviving an old thread.

My son and I went up that way back in April and turned around as it was about 3:00pm and didn't want to get stuck up there after dark. Mainly we were just trying to "recon" the creek for future trips.

On Defeat Ridge trail up to Sams, let me see if I have it straight?
Take Defeat Ridge Trail
Cross the iron bridge
Go on up and it crosses another creek (I think that is Thunderhead).
Cross the creek and pick up the trail on the other side.

OK, this is where we got confused.
On the other side, about 100 yards up the hill, the trail seems to split.
One going up the hill pretty steep and one going off to the left more or less along the hill.

We went to the left and went a couple hundred yards and that's when we turned around. Getting on the wrong trail about 3 hours before dark was not in my plans for the day.

So, once we wade across the stream, do we keep the left?

Is there another stream crossing, or is the next stream we come to Sams?

From the maps, it looks like there may be another stream crossing before the trail runs into Sams, but in the discussion above, I only saw mention of 2 stream crossings, one was the iron bridge and second was where you wade across the stream to find the trail on the other side.

Thoughts?

Jeff
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:01 PM
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Jeff, If you would have gone another couple hundred yards, you would have been at Sams.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:04 PM
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If you just want to catch brookies, you should drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, stopping when the water looks too small to hold fish.

If this Sam's Creek is that good, I'm afraid I'd have not posted it up on a forum this widely read, but I guess the cat is out of the bag and clinging to a ceiling fan by now on that one.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2010, 02:14 PM
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Brookfan,

If you live in Cosby and you are looking for Brookies, I know of a lot of better places to go than Sams Creek. Not to mention a whole lot closer. email if you would like to know more about it.

ahlstedt@knology.net
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