06/26/11
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2  .  Green Sedges (Caddis)
3.    Cinnamon Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
4.    Little Sister Caddis (mostly Abrams Creek)
5.    LIght Cahills
6.    Sulphurs
7.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
8.    Little Green Stoneflies
9.    Golden Stoneflies
10.  Slate Drakes
11.  Streamers (Sculpin, Minnows)
12.  Inch Worms
13.  Grasshoppers
14.  Ants
15.  Beetles

Brook Trout Streams - Part 6
It's the time of year when the high elevation streams really become important, so for the next few
days I will be pointing out some high elevation brook trout streams (and some not so high),
many of which you may be familiar with and some you may not be familiar with.

Bunches Creek
Most people that refer to Bunches Creek are referring to the section outside the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee North Carolina. It runs into
Raven Fork in Cherokee. There's places it can be fished outside the park and even
places it is stocked but the best brook trout fishing is inside the park.

You can access Bunches Creek from the Heintoogo Ridge Road which starts at the
Blue Ridge Parkway about eleven miles from its beginning. After traveling about
four miles, you will enter GSMNP.

About half way to Balsam Mountain Campground, approximately two and a half
miles from the entrance to the park, you will pass the first access (trailhead) to the
Flat Head Trail. A short hike down the trail will take you to Bunches Creek. This is
the only point you can reach the creek inside the park via an official trail. You can
fish up or down the stream from where the trial crosses the stream.

Flat Creek
Flat Creek is a small tributary of Bunches Creek. It too can be accessed from the
Flat Head Trail but it's best to use the trailhead at the end of the paved section at
the Picnic Area just past the Balsam Mountain Campground. This is near the
beginning of the one-way, Round Bottoms Road that takes you to the Straight Fork.

By the way, the Balsam Mountain Campground is the highest elevation campground
in the park. Flat Creek also starts at a very high elevation and that, along with it's
slightly difficult access and remote location is one reason for it and Bunches
Creek's good brook trout population.

Most people that use this trail, use it to access Flat Creek Falls. It's about a half
mile to Flat Creek. The stream can be fished all the way to Bunches Creek but
mostly from within the stream. It's small and tight. The trial does follow the creek but
access isn't always easy. Although it's at a high elevation, the stream isn't on a
extremely steep decline. From a climbing standpoint, It's easier to fish than most
other high elevation streams.

2011 James Marsh