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  1. #1

    Default Backpacking/flyfishing around Smokies?

    My brother in law has no backpacking or backcountry camping experience and is an avid flyfisherman with bad knees. I know nothing about fly fishing. We are talking about getting together for a long weekend around the Smokies to trade skills. Would appreciate suggestions for short easy hikes leading to good fishing, maybe a base camp offering clear casting for me and challenges for him. He is working on conditioning, braces, etc on the advice of his hiker doctor but I definitely want to break him in on the slow and easy plan.

    Some trails I have considered are Big Creek up to site 37 or 36. How is the fishing?

    Others would be in Cattaloochee. Caldwell Fork to site 41 or Rough Fork to site 40. Good fishing?

    Any good fishing over on the Harmon Den side of I-40? We talked about using the little stocked pond by the Max Patch trailhead for a casting clinic, day hike or overnight on Max Patch, then do an overnighter in the forest or back into the National Park for the real thing.

    Any tips or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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    Default fishin' & hikin'

    there are some great FLYFISHING guides in Gatlinburg

    but, since youre talking fishin' & hikin' why not head to DAMASCUS,VA?

    you've got both there!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybird
    there are some great FLYFISHING guides in Gatlinburg

    but, since youre talking fishin' & hikin' why not head to DAMASCUS,VA?

    you've got both there!

    We are trying to do this on the cheap and Rick ( the fly fisherman) has plenty of expertise with the fishing technique, so paying a guide is probably foolish.
    I thought about some areas up around Damascus but Rick will be driving out from the Little Rock, Arkansas area. He can make the Smokies in a long day.
    Damascus or the classic troutwaters around Mills River and the Pisgah are enough further away to make the driving unweildy.

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    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    From the descriptions of the interests and the knees, I'd consider the shoreline trail on Fontana Lake, or further south along the Little Tennessee.

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    I've blue-blazed down the Big Creek Trail many times, once with hiker who had a fly rod. He was catching fish left and right.

  6. #6
    cyclocrosser
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    I work at a flyfishing store in Louisville, KY and there a lot of books about flyfishing in the smokies. What I hope you are going to do is a flyfishing trip that involves back packing not backpacking that involves fishing, because you will never have enough time to fish if you spend it all hiking. Try to find a trail that runs the length of a good stream so you can fish it for several days.

    Also you will want him to teach you how to cast in your backyard, so you don't waste time on your trip. You may want to take a day trip with him to a local stream to practice.

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    Big Creek and Deep Creek are good sites. I think Deep Creek is a little nicer, but both see a lot of fishermen.

  8. #8

    Default Thanks for the suggestions

    Cylcocrosser: Point well taken about practice. One thought about the Max Patch pond is to make a day of that, there are handicap accessible board walks along one side and long areas with no brush for a novice to curse. For those who don't know where it is: heading Nobo on the AT go to the top of Max Patch, soak up the view, turn left and descend to the small parking area visible from the top, turn right along the road, the pond is on the right maybe a 1/4 mile???. At the far end of the pond is a gated forest road that leads back to the AT. The pond is stocked and I think bait fishing is allowed-may not be the sporty version of fishing but locals tell me it can be easy to catch dinner.

    Orangebug: Any good ideas for the Little Tennessee? I am not familiar with Citico wilderness, Slickrock can be a bit rougher than I want to start my b in law on given his knee history.

    L. Wolf: Glad to hear Big Creek isn't fished out. It certainly is worthy of a blue blaze detour.

    Chris; I hadn't thought of Deep Creek. Good idea. Any quiet places on the Tennessee side? I thought about going in at Abrams Creek to site 1 and /or 2 on the Cooper Rd Trail, or to site 17 on Little Bottoms. Never hiked this area of the park.

    Putting together a trip on the Cades Cove end of the park would help even our driving out. He is about 500 miles west of Waterville and I am 300 miles east.

    Thanks all. Bob

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    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    I was simply spouting off based on reading the maps of the area. Little Tennessee looks like it might be a good fly fishing stream, and I suspect there are nice less used trails SW of the AT in that corner of the Smokies.

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    On the TN side of things, in the northwest corner of the park (north of Abrams), you'll find, I think, some nice solitude and fishing along Beard Cane Trail. There are a lot of fords, and I did find a group of four tough guys who seemed to have hauled about six cases of Strohs in, but overall it was very quiet and the river nice. You can access it from Cades Cove via Ace Gap, which is easy walking or, more scenically, from Abrams. However, this does require a substantial ford of Abrams Creek.

  11. #11

    Default Ace Gap via Davis Creek?

    Chris or anyone else that knows:

    My map shows a trail running from Ace Gap at the park border down Davis Creek to the end of a dirt road off 321 about a mile nw of Kinzel Springs. Know anything about that trail, parking safety, and if it is on USFS or private property?

    Beard Cane by way of Cooper Road looks like a cakewalk with plenty of fishing; just what we need.

  12. #12

    Default Ace Gap via Davis Creek?

    Chris or anyone else that knows:

    My map shows a trail running from Ace Gap at the park border down Davis Creek to the end of a dirt road off 321 about a mile nw of Kinzel Springs. Know anything about that trail, parking safety, and if it is on USFS or private property?

    Beard Cane by way of Cooper Road looks like a cakewalk (other than the fords) with plenty of fishing; just what we need. If the fords are too tricky I could schlep his gear across to be extra cautious about the knees.

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    You can rock hop about 2/3 of Abrams creek, if you are careful, but the last bit is the deep ford.

    Ace Gap runs RIGHT along the boundary of the park and private homes are almost on top of it. I don't remember passing a road, except for the one that goes into Townsend (plenty of parking). I suspect that the property to the north of Ace Gap trail is all private. When I was last there, it looked like more houses were going up.

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    Default Many options.

    Contact Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN. One of the best flyshops I've ever been in. They should be able to answer any questions you have and are located 5 mins. from GSMNP. There is good flyfishing on both the TN and NC sides of the Park, but as with most places the best fishing is where there are less people and that means hiking farther up the streams. Any trip is well worth the work. You may wish to look at the Noland Creek Trail. You mentioned bad knees was an issue. The first four miles of this trail is basically a slightly sloped gravel road that follows the stream up the mountain. There is campsite 65 about a mile from the trailhead, 64 a little more than 4 miles. I have had some success fishing close to the trailhead and the fishing is sure to be better a mile or more upstream. Good luck!
    AT -> '02-?

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    Registered User hikingpm's Avatar
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    Default Beard Cane Trail Access

    If you are considering a trip up Beard Cane Trail I would recommend parking at The Abrams Creek Ranger Station and taking Cooper Road Trail north out of Abrams Creek Campground you can then follow Cooper Road Trail to Beard Cane Trail and bypass the ford of Abrams Creek. I have heard of good fishing in Hesse Creek just north of Campsite #3. There is a self registration board across from the Ranger Station to obtain your free backcountry camping permit.

    You will not find fishing out of campsite 1, but campsite 17 on Little Bottoms Trail is popular with fisherman. The trail might be a little rugged for somebody with bad knees though.

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