12/28/08 Special Note: If the magazines can put out issues a month ahead of the
date on them, I can put out some articles a few days ahead of the date on them.
Since this is the holidays, most of you will probably be staying home or visiting friends and family
during the coming days. I doubt that many of you will be traveling to and fishing the Smokies
although I hope you do. January and the first part of February is probably the coldest time of the
year and you will have to pick out the better days to expect much success fishing the freestone
streams. By the end of February, everyone will be doing their best to force the bugs to hatch and
the trout to respond even though they will probably have to wait a few more days to see any
surface action. That considered, I thought I would write about some fishing trips we have made
to various other destinations. Don't expect these articles to win any awards, just tell you about
some things I hope you will find interesting and a few that I look back on with a gleam in my eye.
Beaverdam Creek, Tennessee
Beaverdam Creek is in the Northeast corner of Tennessee just south of the Virgina
line and town of Damascus. It flows into Laurel Creek which flows through
Damascus. You can reach the creek from Elizabethton, Tennessee, or Damascus,
Virginia. Tennessee highway 91 runs along side the creek just about its entire
length. The upper end of the stream is in a beautiful valley with several farms. I do
not recommend you fish the stream in that area. Most of the places you could
access the stream is on private property and you would need to ask permission.
The reason I am not recommending it is the fact it is not the fast flowing water trout
prefer and I seriously doubt it has very many wild trout. The best water is
downstream of the valley where the stream flows through the Cherokee National
The stream has a good population of both brown and rainbow trout. Although it is a
Appalachian stream, it does not have a low PH typical of most others. It has a
relatively high PH probably due to the runoff of the farm land upstream. The aquatic
insect population is quite different from that of a stream in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. For example, we have found both Yellow Drakes and Green Drakes
there as well as a lot of different species of net spinning caddisflies that don't exist
in plentiful quantities in acidic water. To put it in simple terms for you that are not
real familiar with bugs (entomology), there is a lot of food for the trout to eat in the
This stream is stocked but it also has a good number of wild trout. Just like Laural
Creek in my last article, this stream seems to produce as many wild trout as it does
stocked trout. That could be because the locals quickly catch most of the trout the
state stocks. That is pure speculation, however.
Angie and I have fished this stream approximately six times, although all but one trip
was just for a couple of hours each time. We have spent only one full day on the
creek fishing it at various spots all the way from the end of the valley to Virginia. We
caught trout at every stop. I caught a very nice brown trout approximately 14-15
inches on a dry fly along with several eight to ten inch trout that certainly appeared
wild in all respects.
Again, most of our fishing in that area has been on the Whitetop Laurel Creek just
over the line in Virginia. Like the Laurel Creek, we could only recommend
Beaverdam Creek as part of a trip that included other streams in the area; or for
anyone, like us, that may just want to discover everything there are to discover. It is
a good stream in all respects but like all the others in the area, I wouldn't rate it
higher than several of the streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the
special regulation area of The Whitetop Laurel Creek close by there.
Copyright 2008 James Marsh