Fly Fishing Abrams Creek

Abrams Creek

Of all the streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this is my favorite. I have spent many memorable hours on this fine stream, and look forward to many more. Abrams Creek is not only the finest rainbow trout stream in the park, but also the most interesting and unique.

Stream surveys conducted by fishery biologist Steve Moore of the National Park Service confirmed what this writer and many other anglers have long known: this is the most trout-rich water in the national park. The scientific stream survey revealed Abrams Creek has twice has many pounds of trout per surface acre as any other stream in the Smokies. One of the most popular fishing destinations in the Great Smokies, angling pressure on this stream has gone up significantly over the last fifteen years.

Abrams Creek also is the top smallmouth and rock bass fishery in the national park. Smallies up to 7 pounds are regularly caught from this stream.

The spring caddis fly hatches here are equal to any found in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Abrams Creek can also boast one of the Smokie's most spectacular hatches of Quadwing yellow mayflies. It is not only the fly-fishermen who find this stream an inviting haven. The stream is literally working alive with forage fish, whose food value to the trout affords the spinner fisherman excellent opportunities.

Abrams Creek is one of many streams in the park still known by its Indian name. Old Abram was the chief of the Cherokee village of Chilhowee, which was located at the mouth of Abrams Creek on the Little Tennessee River. He met an untimely and gruesome death at the hands of a vengeful 17-year-old lad named John Kirk. Old Abram and four other Cherokee chiefs from the neighboring Citico area were being held prisoner, as they were thought responsible for the deaths of Kirk's mother and ten brothers and sisters.

Kirk entered the lodge where the five chiefs were being held, and killed all five with blows from an ax. It was later proved that Creek Indians, not Cherokees, were responsible for the Kirk family massacre. General John Sevier ordered Kirk to be hanged for the murder of the innocent Cherokee leaders, but the flamboyant militiaman then refused to allow the execution to be carried out, and subsequently, Kirk was released. John Sevier went on to become the governor of Tennessee, and my great-great-grandfather, John Kirk, resettled much farther north in Nolichucky Valley.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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