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Large-size freestone creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Location From Fontana Lake by boat, or by hike in through the tunnel on Lakeview Drive, Clingmans Dome, or from Fontana Dam. Easy to moderate access depending on location and elevation.

Species Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout

License Requirements NC or TN fishing license 

Hazel Creek is easily the most storied stream in the Smoky Mountains, and is widely considered to have the best trout fishing in the Park. Brown trout of legendary size lurk in the waters of lower Hazel Creek, and fall is the best time to catch the biggest fish. Rainbow trout live in all but the highest elevations of the creek and will take flies eagerly all year long. Brook trout live in the upper reaches above the Hazel Creek Cascades and will take dry flies all spring, summer, and fall.

Multi-day camping trips are the best way to enjoy all that the creek has to offer. Once the thriving logging and mining community of Proctor before the establishment of the National Park, Hazel Creek still sports many old remnants of that bygone era.

A short Weather Channel film about fishing on Hazel Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.   Longer 5-minute version

Fishing Map