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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've tried searching for this and may have missed it, but has anyone out there fished the Basin Creek area recently or this time of year? We are planning a trip there and just need to know what to expect. Looking to wade in the creek to fly fish for smallies or trout as well as hike a bit. Specifics on "wade-ability," tree coverage, what flies to use, creek access, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

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If you are talking about the one in Doughton Park I was there just last weekend for the first time. My wife and I hiked up to the Caudill cabin and on the way out I fished the creek a bit. I only caught fish out of the deeper pools with a wooly bugger, all fish caught were 6-7" rainbows. There were a lot of fish in the pools and I talked to a older gentleman who said he caught a 14" rainbow a few weeks back on an Elk Hair Caddis. I plan on going back some time this summer with only fishing on my mind. It is a very pretty place to enjoy a warm summer day.
 

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No smallies in that creek. Not sure if that's the one you are talking about or not? I have been there quite a bit. If you want more details pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, we were planning to hike up to Caudill Cabin and fish along the way. Skyhawk, I haven't figured out how to pm, but if you have any hints on where to fish, that would be great (or you could pm me?). I'm going to bring some terrestrial flies and some wooleybuggers since I have them on hand. Preparing for a day of roll casting since it looks covered up by trees (on google maps). Anyway, I'm looking forward to a great hike and a little bit of fishing too. Thanks a lot for the replies.
 

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I can help. What issues need to be resolved?
I can offer advice as well.
Thank you
I've slowly been making my way up from the longboat parking lot and have finally made it about half way, where the trail crosses the creek a second time ( the first being where they built the bridge) and all I've caught have been shiners. I've been using dry droppers.
Finally a little bit before the second Crossing I saw some holes with big rocks next to them and thought I saw bigger fish (all I see are the little one inch shiners) but I've had no bites or anything. I want to think now that I think I'm seeing bigger fish that I just need to push on a daily my luck will improve but I am beginning to wonder if I'm wasting my time and need to move on.


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Put on your hiking shoes, and start fishing after at least two stream crossings, preferably three. In my experience over the years, to get to decent fish on this creek you need to hike a long dang way, abandon the trail, climb rocks, climb over trees, scale waterfalls, wade, you get the idea. Once you start seeing waterfalls, chutes and plunge pools you are in the right area, don't waste your time on flat easy to get to water. The best fishing is where it's the biggest pain to get to. Tellicos have always worked for me in smaller sizes. I have had really good days in the dead of winter and never saw a soul the whole day. Interestingly there is a LOT less water in this creek than there used to be in the 1980's-90's at the higher elevations, areas that were always wet even in the heat of summer are now dry and it has had a detrimental effect on the fish in the higher reaches. Multiple 10-12" fish used to be common on this stream higher up, not huge certainly but very respectable for a native population. Never have figured out why the reduction in base flow occurred. PLEASE do not keep fish from this creek. There are very scattered scaled down smallies in this stream but only below the campground. Good luck.
 

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Water levels are low and once again susceptible to elevated temps due to low flow and warm air temps. Fish will be sulking during the pm hours until near dark. In a situation such as this, go early, or do a late evening quickly. Now is not a great time for small stream fishing.

Dry dropper rig fishing produces sorry results, and I have no idea why so may fish this way. I dare anybody to challenge me on this fact. Either single nymph with weight, or double nymph, or single or double dry. In low water conditions, the fish will be skittish and will be buried in rocks, imo. Go deep with nymphs, underflip, not cast. Tin weight makes this possible. Keep line and leader taut

Go above the campground and fish to the falls.
 

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I'd be interested in your findings if you go again. As previously stated, after the second trail crossing you should find fish all over the place. The creek goes for a long while up in there.

These rainbows are wild, not native. This is why they're largely frowned upon. They run many native brookies out of habitat and further upstream.

Good luck.
 

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I'd be interested in your findings if you go again. As previously stated, after the second trail crossing you should find fish all over the place. The creek goes for a long while up in there.

These rainbows are wild, not native. This is why they're largely frowned upon. They run many native brookies out of habitat and further upstream.

Good luck.
I just got back from another sort of frustrating day. I hiked in about 2.5 miles and fished the creek until I think I ran into the third Crossing where it goes from right to left as you head uphill. I wished I read your notes earlier because it just seems desolate. Just minnows. From what you're telling me now that I've reached the third Crossing that's when things should get better but it seems to get worse from the second Crossing as I progressed to the third.
And yes I don't know this creek but seems I was walking a lot of it on dry river bed as I went higher.
Part of me wants to go somewhere else but part of me wants to keep going and fish the entire creek but I don't know when I'll hit diminishing returns.
For instance I got up at 4 and got there by 5:15 and hiked in for a good hour and so twilight was breaking as I got my rig set up

I'm looking at a 1.5 - 2 hour hike each way to keep trying to complete this creek and each time it's only going to get longer since I'm told there's no blue Ridge highway access from above (true?)

Anyway you help and insights really are going to be appreciated.
Sorry this is long
tl;dr: Is basin creek worth 2-3 hikes just to get to the good parts?

Ps t
Don't get me wrong. I had a great time hiking and trying to fish. The crayfish were snagging my stone fly left and right and I ran into a timberland rattlesnake


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Water levels are low and once again susceptible to elevated temps due to low flow and warm air temps. Fish will be sulking during the pm hours until near dark. In a situation such as this, go early, or do a late evening quickly. Now is not a great time for small stream fishing.

Dry dropper rig fishing produces sorry results, and I have no idea why so may fish this way. I dare anybody to challenge me on this fact. Either single nymph with weight, or double nymph, or single or double dry. In low water conditions, the fish will be skittish and will be buried in rocks, imo. Go deep with nymphs, underflip, not cast. Tin weight makes this possible. Keep line and leader taut

Go above the campground and fish to the falls.
Hi. Thank you
1. How far above the campground should u go? See my other post
2. I tried dropper fly/nymph. Then I was told to try a nymph rig (stone fly with nyphm) with thingamajig bobber and that was a disaster to cast. :)
3. What does underflip mean? I did notice when I just did the stone fly I was getting hits but nothing stuck and was just shooting it into areas near rocks.





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Put on your hiking shoes, and start fishing after at least two stream crossings, preferably three. In my experience over the years, to get to decent fish on this creek you need to hike a long dang way, abandon the trail, climb rocks, climb over trees, scale waterfalls, wade, you get the idea. Once you start seeing waterfalls, chutes and plunge pools you are in the right area, don't waste your time on flat easy to get to water. The best fishing is where it's the biggest pain to get to. Tellicos have always worked for me in smaller sizes. I have had really good days in the dead of winter and never saw a soul the whole day. Interestingly there is a LOT less water in this creek than there used to be in the 1980's-90's at the higher elevations, areas that were always wet even in the heat of summer are now dry and it has had a detrimental effect on the fish in the higher reaches. Multiple 10-12" fish used to be common on this stream higher up, not huge certainly but very respectable for a native population. Never have figured out why the reduction in base flow occurred. PLEASE do not keep fish from this creek. There are very scattered scaled down smallies in this stream but only below the campground. Good luck.
Heh heh. I wished I read your post before today. I've been walking up this creek from the parking area for the post month. Ie walking every bit of it piecemeal. Then the next week I hike in where I left off and do another half mile of bouldering to get over some of those massive rocks. :)
From what you're telling, I've just reached the third Crossing which is about 2.8 miles from the longbottom road and that this is where I should have been all this time?!? :)
I kind of want to walk this entire creek but it seems to get worse today the closer I got to the third Crossing. And yeah the water just seemed low. Like as I got up more the more time I was walking dry river bed.
Any more help and advice is truly appreciated
Thanks



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Hi. Thank you
1. How far above the campground should u go? See my other post
2. I tried dropper fly/nymph. Then I was told to try a nymph rig (stone fly with nyphm) with thingamajig bobber and that was a disaster to cast. :)
3. What does underflip mean? I did notice when I just did the stone fly I was getting hits but nothing stuck and was just shooting it into areas near rocks.




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Underflip...When there is sufficient weight on the leader, your leader will swing like a pendulum. Swing dat thang upstream for a gentle landing. This will also help keep your rig out of the witchhazel. I never use a float or indicator. If you are using pinch on tin from wally world, your leader should be tight more often than not, thus neutralizing the need for an indicator. It will also get the goods down. In shallower streams, a double nymph rig will suffice, but it is harder to under flip.

Nymphs and weight tend to fly together. Nymphs and thingembabbbaobers don't cooperate well.
 

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That trail will take you 5.5 miles or so into the mountain. Fishing is going to be tougher due to low and clear conditions all around. runs into it farther up. It holds fish. also holds plenty after the trail leaves it. is full of fish as well and a far shorter hike than upper .

You can access from the Parkway area, but it won't be fun.

I've discovered two timber rattlers in that area, but I've never seen one at . Only black snakes and a ringneck. The timber rattler was along ?
 
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