Hazel Creek brook Trout

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.

Hazel Creek Fishing Map

DIY Fly Fishing Map

Click the map icons to get directions to fishing spots, boat ramps and real-time USGS stream flow data

Hazel Creek Trail 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.

About the Author Ken Sperry

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

Sonny Tarpley says

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 says

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!