Hazel Creek at Camp Proctor

Hazel Creek at Camp Proctor (photo courtesy of R&R Fly Fishing

Isolated in the southwestern corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (on the North Carolina side) is a little slice of fly fishing heaven – Hazel Creek; a place where fond memories are born, provided you can get there.

Hazel Creek Backcountry

As shown on our interactive Great Smoky Mountains National Park trout stream map, Hazel Creek is a backcountry fly fishing destination. [Translation] This 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 and 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 Maps

Hazel Creek Backcountry Map

Hazel Creek Backcountry Map (click to enlarge)

The Great Smoky Mountains Trail Map and Guide details the location of stream-side backcountry campsites and the applicable regulations. In short, once you cross Fontana Lake (oh, did I forget to mention you need to cross a lake to get to Hazel Creek? - more on that later), Hazel Creek Trail provides good access to the stream for some 15 miles to the headwaters. 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.

Hazel Creek Trip Planning

Our Hazel Creek fly fishing guide provides additional information on Hazel Creek access (including an easy way across Fontana Lake), the latest fishing reports and resources available to help plan your trip to one of the prettiest streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Enjoy your trip!

Great Smoky Mountain Brook Trout (photo courtesy of R&R Fly Fishing)

Great Smoky Mountain Brook Trout (photo courtesy of R&R Fly Fishing)

2 Comments

  • Sonny Tarpley 4 years ago

    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

    • 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!

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