09/20/10
Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.    Blue-winged Olives
2.    Mahogany Duns
3.    Little Yellow Stoneflies
4.    Slate Drakes
5.    Needle Stoneflies
6.    Little Yellow Quills
7.    Ants
8.    Inchworms
9.    Beetles
10.  Grasshoppers
11.  Hellgrammite
12.  Craneflies
13.  Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)

Fly Fishing Mill Creek
Mill Creek is a very popular stream in Cades Cove for tourist because of its mill. It
isn't known for its fishing and I doubt many angers have taken the time to fish it. It's
small and tightly covered with bushes in most areas. The section of Cades Cove
that Mill Creek is located in is very popular for tourist, so there's always plenty of
people near the lower part of the stream.

Mill Creek enters Abrams Creek at the Abrams Falls parking area. It adds water on
the acidic side of the PH scale to the spring creek water of Abrams. Mill Creek is
about the same size as Abrams Creek at their confluence. The different types of
water in these two streams becomes very obviously at this point. The color of the
limestone spring creek water and the acidic water of Mill Creek mixes in sharp
contrast. When the sun hits the water where it merges, it's clearly obvious.

You can park at the Abrams Creek Parking Area at the end of the loop road and
fish Mill Creek upstream from Abrams Creek. Few anglers do, however, because if
you go there you can also fish Abrams Creek, one of the best streams in the park.
You can fish the upper part of Mills Creek but all of the locations we have tried to
fish required a lot of effort to get around in the stream or along the bank. It's tightly
enclosed with trees and bushes. Parsons Branch Road crosses the creek just
above the mill. From that point on you have to do some walking to fish Mill Creek.
Most of the stream lies above that point.

Just above the mill, not far upstream from its confluence with Abrams Creek, Mill
Creek receives water from another freestone stream, Forage Creek. I have always
thought the streams were labeled backwards, meaning Mill Creek should be a
tributary of Forage Creek. Forage seems to be the larger of the two. If that was the
case, Mill Creek would have to be renamed because it's the one with a mill.

The mill is the John Cable Grist Mill. Interestingly, according to a Google search I
did, Mr. Cable dug a canal from Forge Creek to the mill in order that  both streams
could power the mill. Dams and gates control the flow of water. Apparently, both
streams were needed during low water conditions. There was also an old saw mill
that existed on Mill Creek in addition to the mill.

Mill Creek certainly isn't a destination stream. It's only worth fishing if you happen to
be in Cades Cove and then probably only by those interested in fishing the various
streams in the park to satisfy their curiosity. We have only caught a very few small
rainbow trout from Mills creek on the few occasions we have stopped to make a
cast. We have never seriously attempted to fish its upper section. I feel sure you
could catch trout as long as you are willing to go to the effort required. It would
probably require some hiking and effort getting to the water. I would like to hear
from any of you that have.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh