Fly Fishing Abrams Creek


Abrams Creek's headwaters begin on the slopes beneath the grassy balds of Spense Field and Russell Field. The stream from that point flows into Chilhowee Reservoir. The Abrams Creek watershed is located in the southwest section of the Smokies. Its principal tributaries are Panther, Rabbit, and Mill creeks. Abrams Creek is basically a rainbow/brown trout fishery. Brook trout have almost vanished from this watershed.

The mouth of Abrams Creek is actually part of the Chilhowee Reservoir impoundment. The first couple of miles upstream from the lake offer only mediocre trout fishing. This section of the stream is often difficult to travel, due to the impoundment and the dense flora around the stream.

It is a common sight in the winter season to view boats full of warmly-clad anglers anchored at the mouth of Abrams Creek in the Chilhowee Reservoir. These knowledgeable fishermen brave the sometimes severe winter weather for a chance at the angling bounty of the rainbow trout spawning run. Winter rains spark the instinctive mating drive of these trout, commonly weighing 3 to 8 pounds, which spend the majority of their lives in the cool depths of the TVA impoundment, waxing fat on forage fish.

Before swimming upstream, these hefty milt- and roe-laden trout often spend a day or two at the mouth of the stream, waiting for precisely the right moment before embarking on their quest. It is during this quasi-immobile period at the mouth of the stream that fishermen often score limits of trout of a much greater size than is generally possible during other times of the year. The stream and Chilhowee Reservoir are open to fishing year-round. Anchoring a boat at the mouth of the stream is both legal and profitable.

Abrams Creek at the Abrams Creek Campground offers excellent trout fishing. The stream has many long, green pools, commonly stretching over 300 feet. Here a large number of downed trees litter the stream bank, providing shelter for many wise, old, mossy-back trout. This section of the stream is a favorite haunt of several of the fine local East Tennessee trout fishermen. It is seldom crowded, making this a good bet for a day of solitary fishing.

Upstream from the campground lies an area known as Little Bottoms. This is a somewhat remote section of the stream that offers superior trout fishing for those willing to make the two-mile walk. At Abrams Falls the stream plunges 25 feet into a deep emerald pool. The falls' pool harbors many of the stream's largest trout, and the pool's size allows fly-fishermen plenty of backcasting room. Unfortunately for anglers, swimmers and sightseers also find Abrams Falls much to their liking. Early morning and late evenings are usually the only times anglers can find relative peace on this lovely pool.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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