We’re Back from Another Great Weekend at Hazel Creek

We’re back from another weekend expedition to Hazel Creek. Fortunately the weather was quite cooperative and the trout were pretty agreeable too.

We’ve got another full week of guided trips on the schedule this week so we don’t have a lot of time for a detailed report. We’ll try to post that in a few more days.

Here are a few photos for now.

Flame Azalea in Bloom along Hazel Creek

Flame azalea in bloom along Hazel Creek

Plenty of rainbows and browns in this size range

Plenty of wild rainbows and browns in this size range

March Brown

March Brown

Charity and I went fishing between guiding and supper and it was worth it!

Charity and I went fishing between guiding and supper and it was worth it!

Group photo


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  1. Well…just got back from a couple days spent near Hazel. Above my camp (83) the water was just barely fishable/wadeable. Caught a few decent bows and a couple little browns yesterday morning. I attempted fishing a section lower than my camp in the afternoon and it was a mistake. The water is ripping right now and there was little I could do that would allow me to fish at all. Wading was difficult and fishing was too. I went down to fish one long pool in the evening that I saw while hiking in. It was a waste of time, at least for me…

    Went up Bone Valley this morning. It was awesome! Caught at least 20 trout (almost all 8in bows). On my way out, I came across 3 bears. I spent three days in the Smokies and saw a total of 8 bears! I still can’t believe it.

    I’m sure you would know where to point me at Hazel, but for my first time…it was just so darn high/fast. If I had it all to do over again, I’d hit up Eagle Creek. It looked very good.

    • Pretty much all water in the Smokies was too high through Wednesday, but judging by water levels across the region it should have been decent by Thursday. Charity did a trip on Little River on Thursday that was pretty successful and water looked similar across the park according to stream gauges. I’m guessing you were there for most of the high water.

  2. Ian, I was at 83 this past weekend. Bone Valley fished really well, but we had a hard time getting fish to rise on Hazel. I was wondering if this was common or is the population on Hazel down right now? The insect activity was very encouraging though. From that standpoint it seemed to be a very healthy river.

    • Saturday was a tougher day of fishing overall as there were some funky things with the weather. Friday was a great dry fly day on Hazel Creek and I caught that nice brown on a dry late in the evening. The same thing happened the previous week we were there; superb dry fly fishing on Friday and mainly nymphing on Saturday. We wouldn’t say fish populations are down at all. Hooked fish, often times multiple fish, in practically every piece of water we fished.