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Old 08-11-2010, 10:29 AM
cubefisher cubefisher is offline
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Default Hazel in October/November

All:

I haven't been to Hazel Creek in years. From what I've gleened from this site, it gets really crowded there in May.

Does anyone have a sense for how much more or less crowded it tends to be during weekends in late October/early November? I realize that's a subjective question, and there are not guarantees; I'm just trying to do my homework. I'd hate to take the ferry and be caught in a situation where I had little to no ability to find solitude and fish and be stuck there until Sunday.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:38 AM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Cubefisher--I am not sure how you define solitude, but if you mean not seeing other anglers I think you can pretty well forget it on a weekend in the fall (or spring, or summer). The one exception would be if you were willing to hike a long way--up to the Calhoun campsite. Even then there are no guarantees, because horses are allowed in that site. As for the lower portions of the stream, a lot of outfitters utilize it because of the ease of access via pontoon and the fact that Hazel Creek buggies let them offer comforts beyond what is normal in the backcountry. For example, I know Ian Rutter, Steve Claxton, Ronnie Parris, Roger Lowe, and others utilize Hazel Creek on a quite regular basis, and if an outfitter has a group of six or eight fishermen in a party they can cover a lot of stream mileage.
ON the other hand, Hazel Creek endures pressure as well as any stream in the Park, and it certainly has plenty of fish and fine fishing. If solitude is what you seek, however, I'd go elsewhere (at least on weekends).
Jim Casada
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:36 PM
cubefisher cubefisher is offline
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Thanks, Jim.

I've gotten used to seeing other anglers; that doesn't bother me as much as it used to. So, to me, solitude is more like not feeling like you're waiting in line to find a place to fish or feeling like you're fishing in someone else's footsteps because there's nowhere to fish where you aren't.

When I was there in the Spring years ago, I think we saw a small group on the way out, but that was it.

We typically fish out of a few select frontcountry sites and can get out of other anglers' way with little to no effort.

thanks for your input/insight!
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:45 PM
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lexfly lexfly is offline
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Cubefisher,
I have only been to Hazel once. Mid Sept last year thurs thru Sun. We stayed at bone valley. There was one guy at the site below it and people leaving bone valley when we got there. Other than that we only saw rangers and people at the lake campsite when we left. Although there was one very curious bear or several as we all saw one at different times. I think October is a different story from what I hear. I will hopefully be back there (or somewhere down that way) mid October.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:45 PM
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GrouseMan77 GrouseMan77 is offline
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My wife and I stayed at #83 (Bone Valley) in November two years ago and didn't see another person for two nights. No one was at #84 either night.

I wonder how many nights a year that happens?
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:30 PM
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I love Hazel in October, matter of fact I love any Smokys stream in October.

Dont worry there is pletty of water on Hazel the farther up you are willing to go the less crowded.

If you have free time in October go for it you will not be sorry.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:52 AM
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Grouseman more this year than any other. They were both closed for a while due to bears....may make this fall there pretty exciting.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:54 PM
Jim Casada Jim Casada is offline
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Grouseman--Once you get into November it is common. There's not a lot of overnight activity from then until mid-March. Once the leaf color is gone the hiker numbers drop dramatically. The good news is that browns are usually still on the move then, although weather can be problematical in November.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:49 PM
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The window between the time most of the leaves fall off the trees and winter really sets in is a good time to fish over there. Most of the crowds will be gone, and the weather can be quite nice that time of year. Just keep your eye on the long range (3-5 day) forecast. Fish the lower end, you might get a surprise.
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:11 AM
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I have been entertaining the idea of heading over there again. If I do it will be between the months of November and March.
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