Beautiful landscape of fall leaves floating down Deep Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Deep Creek


A man and a woman dressed in fly fishing gear standing in knee-deep water casting a line.

The headwaters of Deep Creek are in the Great Smokies near Newfound Gap Road, South, about 11 miles as the crow flies north of Bryson City. The creek flows southward through the Smokies and then to its mouth at the Tuckasegee River in Bryson City.

Fish Species

fly fishing north carolina

Brook Trout

fly fishing north carolina

Rainbow Trout

fly fishing north carolina

Brown Trout

What's Special About This Water?

This creek is breathtaking, and there’s easy access to the water from the Deep Creek Trail, which runs a total of about 14 miles along the creek. Deep Creek includes a number of beautiful waterfalls and room for fly fishing from the creek’s banks.

The most common place to access the creek is at the Deep Creek Trailhead, about 3 miles north of Bryson City. The vast majority of the creek is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, minus the tailwaters running through Bryson City and into the Tuckasegee River.

Wide-angle of a man in a creek wearing fishing gear casting a line downriver.

Best Time to Fish

Deep Creek is a year-round fishery. Even in the heat of summer, the creek stays cool, so it’s a great spot to walk and wade during hot days.

A woman wearing fly fishing gear standing in a river casting a line next to a waterfall.

Trip Planning

There is so much to do around Deep Creek! Of course there’s fishing, which we focus on here, but the creek also offers excellent spots for camping and incredible trails for biking and hiking. A big draw for hikers along Deep Creek is the Waterfall Loop Trail, which offers close-up views of 3 picturesque waterfalls. It’s an ideal place to bring a group, some of whom want to fish the creek and others who want to hike, bike, or tube.

Latest Fishing Reports

Additional Information

Technique and Tips

Like most streams in the Smokies, casting space can be tight upstream, so roll casting and bow-and-arrow casting are common techniques. Euro nymphing is another effective fly-fishing technique on Deep Creek and other streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Go-To Flies

We fish with wet and dry flies in the creek and occasionally small streamers. Larger streamers are an option in larger waters as you approach the mouth of the creek.

Types of Trips

Deep Creek lends itself to walk-and-wade trips only.

License Requirements

Within the Smokies portion of Deep Creek, you’ll need a valid fishing license from either Tennessee or North Carolina. Once outside the park, in the lower stretches of Deep Creek, you’ll need a valid N.C. fishing license.

Nearby Towns

  • Bryson City
  • Cherokee

Getting There

From downtown Bryson City, take Depot Street eastbound to Deep Creek Road. Turn left and drive 2.3 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance. Then drive 0.5 miles to the parking area for the Deep Creek Loop trail.