Headwaters
Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Enloe Creek:
9/10/08

Nestled in one of the most scenic watersheds in the Smokies, Enloe  
Creek is one of the park's hidden gems. While not easy to reach, Enloe
Creek will reward an angler who is willing to put his/her angling and  
wading skills up against the stream's challenging conditions.

Access to the stream is troublesome and tiring, to say the least. There are
two access points, both of which are difficult. The first, and most practical,
is coming in off of Straight Fork Road and up the Hyatt Ridge Trail. Once
you make the grueling 1.9 mile ascent of the trail you will come to Enloe
Creek Trail. This trail goes down .9 miles to campsite 47 and then
traverses the top of a gorge for .7 miles until dropping down to cross over
Enloe Creek. As previously  mentioned, the trail up to Hyatt Ridge is difficult
although  relatively short. It's all easier down to the campsite as it's all  
downhill and from the campsite to Enloe Creek the short jaunt is just wide
enough for one person and is littered with ups and downs, none of which
are too difficult. One note of interest are the incredible views that you will
have while on this section of the trail. While walking along the top of the
gorge you will look out at the surrounding ridges and see amazing views of
the Smokies.

The second, and more difficult way to access Enloe is by starting out on a
1.2 mile hike up the Bradley Fork Trail to Chasteen Creek Trail. Once there,
follow the Chasteen Creek Trail it's whole course, 4.4 miles, until you
reach Enloe Creek Trail and the last leg, a 1.3 mile hike down the ridge to  
Enloe. This way is much more longer and also requires a steep hike up a
ridge, this time Hughes Ridge, but it could be an option, especially if you
were staying at campsite 50 on Chasteen Creek.

Recently opened to fishing after the brook trout moratorium, Enloe is  
nothing short of a spectacular Southern Appalachian Brook Trout stream.
However, just like it's larger neighboring stream Ravens Fork, this stream
is rough and tumble and offers plenty of places where an angle will have to
navigate the stream bed with extreme care. The stream is much smaller
than Raven where the trail crosses, about 15-20 feet wide in most places,
but there are enough large rocks to keep things interesting with deep
plunge pools and interesting runs.

Fishing upstream from the trail crossing should produce numerous fish  
as they are not used to seeing flies thrown their way, most in the 6"-7"
range, a good size for brook trout. As you continue upstream, the stream
maintains it's size and average fish size until it's first major tributary,
Hideaway Branch, runs into it about a mile upstream from the trail
crossing. Once you start approaching Hideaway Branch and above it, the
average fish size seem to get a bit smaller as the stream also dwindles in
size. Above Hideaway, Enloe Creek becomes very tight with rhododendron
choking the stream in some places where even a bow and arrow cast
won't work.

If you decide to fish Enloe Creek, make sure and invest almost a whole
day on it. The ability to catch good size brook trout well above the trail
crossing as well as the seemingly naive fish ensure that you  will not regret
your decision to come here. If you are anywhere in this watershed,
however, wading can be dangerous due to the rugged nature of this area
of the park, so take your time and be careful.

Enloe will surely delight any fisherman and should not be passed up by
any brook trout fanatic.

                       Article Copyright 2008 Craig Lancaster
Copyright 2008 James Marsh
Thumbnails-Click on Image
Thumbnails-Click on Image
Enloe Creek
Enloe Creek Brook Trout
Enloe Creek Above Hideaway