Great Smoky Mountains – Fly Fishing Hazel Creek

Hazel Creek  is located in the southwest corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has the reputation of being the finest freestone stream in GSMNP. It also has the distinction of being the most remote. Hazel Creek headwaters start on the slopes of Stateline Ridge at an elevation of over 4,000 feet, prime native brook trout habitat.

In short, Hazel Creek is a little slice of fly fishing heaven, a place where fond memories are born.

Hazel Creek Backcountry

Hazel Creek is a backcountry fly fishing destination which means you are going to have to do a little hiking and camping if you want to experience some of the finest fishing for native southern Appalachian brook trout, wild rainbow and brown trout the Smokies has to offer. If you do make the effort, though, I don't think you will be disappointed.

Hazel Creek Trip Planning

The primary access to Hazel Creek is by crossing Fontana Lake by boat or canoe. A boat launch is available at Cable Cove, accessible by Highway 28. Boats are available for rent and shuttle trips to Hazel Creek are also available at the Fontana Village Marina. Day trips and longer stays can be arranged.

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GSMNP - Cades Cove Visitor Center & Msm: 35.598415, -83.776245
GSMNP - Sugarlands Visitor Center: 35.692177, -83.533600
GSMNP - Townsend Visitors Center: 35.678249, -83.745407
GSMNP - Oconaluftee Vistors Center: 35.515518, -83.305611
GSMNP - Gatlinburg Welcome Center (Spur): 35.734070, -83.521561
GSMNP - Gatlinburg Welcome Center (Downtown): 35.714394, -83.510422
GSMNP - Sevierville Visitor's Center: 35.867046, -83.558121
Deep Creek: 35.464340, -83.433952
Raven Fork: 35.608848, -83.222959
East Prong of Little River: 35.654854, -83.580727
Middle Prong of Little River: 35.652973, -83.697578
West Prong Little River (GSMNP): 35.640488, -83.715607
GSMNP - Abrams Creek, TN: 35.591297, -83.853622
Twentymile Creek, NC: 35.467975, -83.876345
Cataloochee Creek: 35.634487, -83.083076
Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River (Greenbrier Creek): 35.702614, -83.357348
Hazel Creek, NC: 35.474170, -83.727150
USGS Gauge - Little River above Townsend, TN: 35.664444, -83.711389
Jakes Creek: 35.651787, -83.581131
Fish Camp Prong: 35.613610, -83.542120
Rough Creek: 35.616384, -83.531263
Thunderhead Prong: 35.617788, -83.670008
Laurel Creek: 35.627338, -83.726571
West Prong of Little River (Backcountry Camp 18): 35.628280, -83.705435
West Prong of Little Pigeon River: 35.637619, -83.489217
Roaring Fork: 35.694319, -83.466718
LeConte Creek: 35.675644, -83.485687
Dudley Creek: 35.729896, -83.452899
Porters Creek: 35.696863, -83.387947
Cosby Creek: 35.752085, -83.204999
Big Creek: 35.751667, -83.109877
Caldwell Fork: 35.631105, -83.085866
Palmer Creek: 35.629361, -83.116508
Little Cataloochee Creek: 35.676280, -83.087540
Rough Fork: 35.616105, -83.120842
Oconaluftee River: 35.552968, -83.309906
Bradley Fork: 35.563006, -83.310785
Straight Fork: 35.569813, -83.241863
Indian Creek: 35.472510, -83.428631
Pole Road Creek: 35.529397, -83.423095
Rocky Fork: 35.573618, -83.425348
Left Fork Deep Creek: 35.534007, -83.421185
Beetree Creek: 35.554644, -83.411808
Noland Creek: 35.458293, -83.526950
Laurel Branch: 35.458415, -83.536906
Mill Creek: 35.498011, -83.501780
Forney Creek: 35.467556, -83.566003
Bear Creek: 35.472309, -83.569651
Bee Gum Creek: 35.495303, -83.560145
Jonas Creek: 35.513243, -83.558058
Slab Camp Creek: 35.503706, -83.562527
White Mans Glory Creek: 35.510361, -83.559179
Bone Valley Creek: 35.499251, -83.679643
Sugar Fork: 35.498884, -83.693740
Proctor Creek, NC: 35.530602, -83.620226
Eagle Creek, NC: 35.487633, -83.774110
Lost Cove Creek, NC: 35.491739, -83.788390
Pinnacle Creek, NC: 35.489328, -83.766482
Ekaneetlee Creek, NC: 35.497993, -83.763757
Moore Springs Branch, NC: 35.484925, -83.868996

Hazel Creek Map

The Great Smoky Mountains Trail Map details the location of stream-side backcountry campsites and the applicable regulations. In short, once you cross Fontana Lake, Hazel Creek Trail provides good access to the stream for some 15 miles to the headwaters.

Hazel Creek map

Along the way are five backcountry campsites including Proctor Campsite #86, Sawdust Pile #85, Sugar Fork # 84, BoneValley #83 and Calhoun # 82. You must obtain a permit to use the backcounty campsites, and Proctor and BoneValley require advance reservations through the Backcountry Reservation Office at (865) 436-1231. Permits and further information are available from most park visitor centers.

Visit our Great Smoky Mountain National Park Fly Fishing Guide for more information about fishing in the park.

Ken Sperry
 

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help folks find new places to fish and to share tips and tricks to help make fly fishing and fly tying a little easier. Have a question? You can get in touch with Ken here.

Sonny Tarpley

I haven’t fished Hazel since I graduated form college in 1964. I want to make a trip before I get to old to fish the stream. What time of year do you belive fishing is best. Also I mainly used Adams,Cahill and Hendrickson flies,size 12 and 14. Are they still good flies to use? Any information you can share will be greatly appreciated.Sonny

    Ken Sperry

    Hi Sonny,
    Late April to early May is one the best times to fish the Smokies including Hazel Creek. In the early part of April the Quill Gordons, Hendricksons and March Browns will be coming off. Mid to late April brings the emergence of the yellow mayflies, namely Sulphers, and Yellow Sallies (yellow stoneflies), the later is a fun hatch to fish. May brings the light colored mayflies including the Light Cahill, and the Sulpher’s continue to emerge. All the patterns you mentioned still work just fine in the April to May time frame. I would also pickup a few Light Cahill and Yellow Sally dry flies. Some of the hatches come off later in the day so you might want to have a few light colored may fly and stonefly nymphs on hand to fish in the morning before the adult flies start coming off. Have a great trip and drop us a line if you go and let’s know how you make out!