Advice from the Guides Video Blog – Winter Fly Fishing on Abrams Creek

This is the first installment in our Advice from the Guides Video Blog. We’ve decided to take what would have been an article in our newsletter and do it as a video. Watch for future installments to include casting tips, streamer fishing, nymph fishing techniques, and more.

This month we’ve focused on Abrams Creek, the best wild trout stream to fish in the Smokies when the weather is brutally cold. Charity and I fished through the winter blast we experienced a few weeks back. The weather was freezing, but the scenery was spectacular and we always managed to pick up a few fish.

Advice from the Guides – Winter Fly Fishing on Abrams Creek from Ian Rutter on Vimeo.

This video is also available via YouTube.


  1. Michael M Kennedy says:

    Ian & Charity,

    Great video, enjoyed the advice and the location. Why haven’t we been there? Maybe a site to consider on my next trip.? We have had 8″ of snow in the last 24 hours, looking forward to my next trip on the Little River.


    • Michael,
      We guide Abrams Creek some, but traffic on the loop road is usually a real headache when fishing is best. It is a nice rainbow trout stream, though it always fishes best with nymphs. Little River seems to be a more consistent dry fly stream. Hope I get to take you fishing again this year!

  2. Ian, I love the video at abrams creek. I appreciate you returning my call about fishing conditions. Thanks to your advice, a friend and I fished abrams a couple weeks ago. It was cold, but we caught a few fish. It was great to be in the mountains and the water this time of year.



  3. Excellent video Ian! I’m so glad to see you add them as they add so much to the site and the experience.

    I hope to one day get up there to fish the mountains like this!

  4. Lee Burgess says:

    Great Video on Abrams.
    I am from Boone NC. and love fly fishing for wild trout. How do I find Cades Cove and Abram’s creek?
    a friend and I fly fish and/or guide about once a week, all year, up around where NC, Va,@ Tn. come together. “catch and release” only.

    • Lee, Cades Cove is the most popular area in the national park. It’s closest to the Townsend entrance. There isn’t a ton of pressure, though. It’s pretty easy to find on a map. Also has the highest trout populations in the park.

  5. The videos are a great addition. It really adds another dimension to the instruction and helpful tips. There are many things that one can pick up on in a video (or in person) that do not come through with the standard written fishing report.

  6. Thank Ian – that’s what I feared. That’s ok – it will give me reason to make a return trip!

  7. John,
    Always good to see you out on the stream! The biologists have shocked several outstanding fish over the years. In the late 1990’s they shocked one around 18″ in the site downstream of the trailhead. The mineral content of the water really helps a fish get bigger. You’re probably also aware that Abrams has the best population in the park, somewhere in the range of 5,000 trout per mile.

  8. Ken,

    The only way to get into Abrams at that time will be from Abrams Creek Campground down in Happy Valley. It’s important to remember that this is not good trout fishing in this vicinity, but a smallmouth bass stream. You’ll need to walk at least as far as campsite #17 to get into decent trout fishing. Access is spotty between there and the falls, but the fishing gets better the further up you go.

  9. Thanks Ian – I love the videos – very helpful. I am coming down to the Smokies the last week of March and heard the Cades Cove loop road is closed for construction. If so, what is the best way to access Abrams Creek?

    Thanks in advance!

  10. Great information. I may try to fish Abram’s this weekend. Three or four years ago I caught a 15″ bow in Feb on Abrams, big fat hen. I wondered how that fish had grown so large. Hope you four are doing well.

  11. Craig Haney says:

    Once again, the best time to go fishing is whenever you can get away. Good job.