Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for Cataloochee Creek (GSMNP) North
The smaller, fast water streams in the upper section of the valley and lower mountains
from which they drain provide the easiest places to catch trout. Small rainbows are
especially plentiful there along with the brook trout in many areas. Cataloochee Creek
has several tributary streams including Palmer Creek, one of the larger ones. Browns,
rainbows and brook trout exist in its lower section. It has a small tributary steam with
brook trout named Pretty Hollow Creek, a very appropriate name. Another one if its
tributaries is Lost Bottoms Creek. It has some rainbows in its lower section and plenty
of brook trout upstream a short ways.
Caldwell Fork is a small tributary stream that flows into Cataloochee Creek near the
campground. It has a population of brown, rainbow and brook trout. Den Branch,
McKee Branch, and Double Gap Branch are all very small tributary streams of Caldwell
Fork. Rough Fork is another major tributary stream to Cataloochee Creek. Part of this
stream runs through beautiful meadows and part of it through hardwood forest.
Most of its trout are rainbows. Little Cataloochee Creek is another tributary stream. It is
a medium to small size stream with both brown, rainbow and brook trout. The stream
has several tributary streams that form it's main portion. Coggins Branch, Conrad
Branch, and Andy Branch join the Little Cataloochee Creek. These streams have
mostly small rainbow trout. Correll Branch and Woody Branch, both tributary streams,
have brook trout. I hope you get the idea that there are plenty of places to fish.
Many anglers choose to fish the fast water runs and riffles with generic and attractor
dry flies or nymphs and they will catch some trout particularly in the fast water. We
prefer to fish specific imitations of what's the most available food at the time or what is
hatching. The best procedure in our opinion is to study the hatch section of this site
and the Smoky Mountain National Park hatch chart linked on the introductory page
and select the flies to use based on that.
When the dry fly doesn't seem to produce, trout can normally be caught by "high
stickin" nymphs. This is a method that requires getting close to the area you intend to
fish in the faster, deeper runs and making very short "flips" of the fly. You want to
dredge the bottom with plenty of weight. It is also a good way to catch some of the
large brown trout that like to hike out in crevices underneath the boulders.
Some of the best brown trout are found in the slower moving water of the long pools
and moderately flowing riffles. Some of the larger rainbows seem to be in the lower
section of the stream near the area it exists the park but there are also some nice
brown trout there too. Just about anywhere you fish the stream or any of its tributaries
you can expect to catch some trout. It is one of our favorite areas of the park.
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