View Full Version : Fishing the AT

2 Fingers
05-14-2004, 16:58
Has anyone fished while hiking the AT? Any advice or experiences?

05-14-2004, 17:38
I have not, but the ranger at Baxter State Park told me about a couple that park officials kicked out of the park. They climbed up Katahdin and could not find their way off the peak. After camping up there for a few days they were met by park officials. They were not bringing any food, for they were going to rely on shooting fish with a bow and arrow for the whole trip. Baxter officials kicked them out and told them not to come back until they knew what they were doing.

Bear Magnet
05-14-2004, 17:49
I took a fly rod with me for about 450 miles when I hiked last year. It broke, I sent it back, and I didn't carry it again because I needed to make time.

There are places to fish on the AT, but I didn't cross good water as much as I thought I would. You are usually walking so high that you are above fishable water.

That being said, here are some places that you might want to have a rod with you.

1) Nantahala Outdoor Center: Good fishing upstream of where they put the boats in. NOC might even shuttle you up there. They did for me. Trout.
2) Pond out of Hot Springs. Sunfish, bass
3) Smokies. Lots of trout streams in the Smokies. Bad news, you have to take side trails to get to them.
4) Nolichucky River near Erwin-bass, trout. Big river-recommend medium weight spinning/flyfishing gear. My 4 weight didn't quite cut it.
5) Laurel Creek near Kincora. Trail runs right along this stream. Trout. Stay at the Kincora Hostel, take a zero, and do some fishing
6) Damascus: Streams near Damascus and on Creeper Trail. Trout. Some flyfishing only on stream next to Creeper Trail, I think (not positive). Stream in town has put-and take trout derby during Trail Days. Bring your powerbait and marshmallows for that.
7) Shenandoah National Park-streams on side trails. Wild brookies. Pretty, but small.
8) Shenandoah River-off trail a bit, but good fishing. I live in the DC area and fish here sometimes. Bass, sunfish, carp, catfish
9) Boiling Springs, PA. Pond in town, stream out of town. Trout.
10) Sunfish Pond, NJ. Small sunfish, from what I've heard.
11) Connecticut. Trail crosses the Housatonic a lot. Probably your typical warm water fishes, although I am not positive.
12) Mass/Vermont: Various ponds
13) Maine-trail runs near lots of great ponds. I really regretted not having my rod here, but I was pushing hard and it would have been too much of a distraction. Big brookies in Pierce Pond from what I hear.

Equipment-light spinning or a 4/5 weight fly rod would be most appropriate.

Any other questions, please let me know.

Bear Magnet

05-15-2004, 07:20
Are you kidding...? I thought that backpacking was a simple mode of travel between fishing breaks.
Yes, I carried a break down ultra light spinning rod. Most of the time it was mailed ahead...but in the south it was carried...I was in no hurry and it only takes a couple of seconds to catch a few.
If you don't mind the weight of an item you will seldom use per mile hiked....take it. you'll be happy you did when you are using it....you can always send it home or mail it up ahead.....fresh trout was a great switch from the ordinary.
Be prepared to pay some fines if you get busted without a license in any given state.....they don't care what you're hiking. An hour here or there fishing is a nice break.

05-15-2004, 07:30
The Yellow Breeches Creek in Boiling Springs, PA. is a top notch trout stream.
Dynamite fishing is illegal throughout Pennsylvania.

05-15-2004, 07:39

05-17-2004, 18:12
try bass and walleye fishing in culvers lake near culvers gap in NJ. you will have to hike down a 1400 ft descent then back up though, unless you walk from the trailhead parking south on rt 206, probably easier and you can hit dale's market a resupply store, there is also a tackle shop close by. if you need a break stay at stokes state forest campground.

do not eat the fish from the housatonic river in CT, and only flyfishing is allowed.