Fly Fishing Hazel Creek

Nearby Creeks
By Don Kirk
  |  Gorp.com
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Sugar Fork

Size: Small
Fishing pressure: Fairly light
Fishing quality: Very good
Access: Hazel Creek Trail; Sugar Fork Trail
USGS quads: Tuskeegee, NC; Thunderhead, NC-TN

Sugar Fork is the first significant feeder stream encountered up Hazel Creek.

It is a nice little stream — although often overlooked by anglers — offering excellent rainbow trout fishing, with an abundance of cascades that provide interesting fishing almost any day of the year.Haw Gap Branch and Little Sugar Fork are tributaries of angling merit.

The Sugar Fork Trail starts 5 miles upstream from the lake. At 0.5 mile the Sugar Fork Trail reaches the mouth of Haw Gap Branch and the junction of Haw Gap Trail. The Haw Gap Trail offers access to the branch. At 1.7 miles the trail arrives at the junction of Little Sugar Fork. A short distance upstream from this point, the trail leaves the stream.

Bone Valley Creek

Size: Medium
Fishing Pressure: Moderately light
Fishing quality: Excellent
Access: Bone Valley Trail
USGS quads: Tuskeegee, NC; Thunderhead, NC-TN

Anyone taking the time to visit the Hazel Creek area should spend at least one day exploring and fishing Bone Valley.

Bone Valley came by its name in the late 1880s, when an unexpected and severe late-spring blizzard hit the area. Cattle, already brought up from the valley, were caught in the midst of the storm's fury.

In their efforts to stay warm, the cattle huddled together, one on top of the other. Their efforts failed, and huge stacks of bones were left to bleach in the summer sun. Henceforth, the area was known as Bone Valley.

Bone Valley Creek enters the main stream 5.6 miles upstream from the lake, and offers excellent rainbow and brook trout fishing. It is a good-size stream with a challenging mixture of riffles and pools.

Noteworthy tributaries of Bone Valley Creek include Wooly Branch, a good little trout stream, although very overgrown; Defeat Branch, a personal favorite, sporting both rainbow and brook trout; Desolation Branch, a brook trout stream; and Roaring Fork, a popular brookie stream.

The Bone Valley Trail begins at the mouth of the stream, 5.6 miles upstream from Fontana Lake. The trail follows alongside the stream, and reaches the Hall Cabin at 1. 7 miles at the end of the maintained portion of the trail, where an unmaintained path continues upstream. At the mouth of Desolation Branch the trail then begins following alongside the small tributary.

Walker Creek

Size: Small
Fishing pressure: Light
Fishing quality: Excellent
Access: Unnamed path
USGS quads: Thunderhead, NC-TN

Walker Creek is a small, often overlooked trout stream of very good fishing quality. The trout here are of average size, but are not nearly as leader shy as the fish in the main stream.

There are rainbow trout in the lower section of the stream, but above the falls the stream is all speckle trout.

The stream's mouth is 9.5 miles upstream from Fontana Lake. The stream is only accessible via an unmaintained path that begins at the mouth of the stream and follows alongside to its headwaters.

Proctor Creek

Size: Small
Fishing pressure: Light
Fishing quality: Excellent
Access: Unnamed path
USGS quads: Thunderhead, NC-TN

Size: Small
Fishing pressure: Light
Fishing quality: Excellent
Access: Unnamed path
USGS quads: Thunderhead, NC-TN

Proctor Creek offers anglers a chance to fish in a stream abounding with lively trout amidst an exceptionally beautiful forest setting.

This is a popular trout stream, and barbless hooks are definitely in order for all sportsmen. Ten and a half miles upstream, Proctor Creek flows into the main stream from the lake. This stream has a well-developed tributary system. Long Cove Creek and James Camp Branch are favorites among anglers.

The stream's mouth is 10.5 miles upstream from Fontana Lake. There is an excellent unmaintained path that follows alongside the stream to its headwaters.


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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