Hazel Creek Fly Fishing Great Smoky Mountains
No other stream in the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is more treasured or storied than the famous Hazel Creek. Loved by many, and desired by all who have ever cast a fly, these fabled waters are the hallmark of everything fly fishing. Hazel Creek is located in one of the most remote sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hidden away from the modern world is this special place preserved in time. Wild rainbow, brown and brook trout are plentiful, some reaching epic proportions by park standards. Hazel Creek is the bucket list stream for fly fishing the Smokies. We are fortunate to call this region home.
Hazel Creek Fly Fishing Trips
Fly Fishing the Smokies offers guided fly fishing trips for the experienced angler to Hazel Creek. Day trips that include a shuttle across Fontana Lake, experienced guide, all gear and flies plus streamside lunch. Trips do require copious amounts of walking, mainly on old gravel road beds from decades ago. During the hottest days of summer, we may hike up the road a good piece, (3 miles) or so to suitable cold water where the trout have seen less people and more eager to bite. Terrain is fairly flat with a mild incline on the lower sections. Hazel Creek is wide with a more open canopy offering plenty of room for casting by Smoky Mountain standards. The creek bed is one that is very rocky with sizable plunges and holes which certainly contain some large brown trout. It is not until we pass Bone Valley and up towards the famous Hall Cabin that we find the trail gaining much noticeable elevation gains. Once above the old Hall cabin we start catching the famous Hazel Creek brook trout!
One of our guides, Capt. Ryan Laws, is a son of Hazel Creek. He comes from a long line of Smoky Mountain sportsman. His papaw is none other than Jack Laws ” The Old Bear Hunter” founding member of the Inspirations Gospel Quartet. Stories and legends of Jack’s exploits are known world wide. Ryan’s Great Grandfather was Cornelius Laws, a famous guide and bear hunter from long ago, who plied the mountains and waters of Hazel Creek. Known for his exploits in the world of Smokies bear hunting with other famous luminaries of the time, Mark Cathey, Sam Honeycutt and author Horace Kephart, Cornelius and his bear dogs of Hazel Creek were a legend. Capt. Ryan knows Hazel Creek well, and spends most of his days along the north shores of Lake Fontana.
Seth Shuler is a 4th generation fly fishing guide and son of none other than Fly Fishing the Smokies owner, Eugene Shuler. Seth has spent his entire life working in the family business as a shop employee and the last several years as a guide. At 16yrs old, he was the youngest licensed fly fishing guide ever in the state of North Carolina. Seth was the runner-up in the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Guide of the Year selections. Seth splits his time guiding on Hazel Creek and Forney Creek, both superb north shore Smoky Mountain Mountain trout streams. When not on a trout stream, Seth attends the University of Pikeville (Upike) in Kentucky where he plays college football and is an elite level punter. He has a cannon for a leg and can pin a receiver anywhere on the field he wants. His undergrad studies are in Healthcare Management and plans to attend medical school at Upike. His energetic spirit and witty sense of humor shine through as a guide. He is passionate about fly fishing and loves to teach.
MJ Lee is a high octane full of adventure kind of guide. He hails from Arizona and has spent his life chasing fish all across the globe! MJ has been guiding for Fly Fishing the Smokies the past couple of years and spends his time chasing wild fish inside the national park. He loves to fish the north shore streams of the Smokies that are only accessed by boat or super lengthy hikes. His incredible personality combined with his ability to think outside the box along with his sense of adventure separate MJ from most guides you have ever fished with. Rumor has it, you may see him on some upcoming shows of Homesteaders on your TV!
Those looking to fish Hazel Creek with our guides should be in good physical condition and able to hike several miles. We recommend anglers to have at least fly fished previously before attempting this trip. The fish here are wild and spooky making them a challenge. This is not a trip we would recommend for first timers to fly fishing or for kids under 16yrs old. This trip is based out of our Bryson City location only. Participants for this excursion will meet at our Fly Shop in downtown Bryson City at 157 Everett Street. You will then follow your guide in your own vehicle to the boat ramps.