Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area, Tennessee


To find Hampton Creek Cove, use 760 Hampton Creek Rd, Roan Mountain, TN 37687 in your GPS.

When you first make it to the gravel parking lot you’ll see signs giving you the rules about fishing in the area and other regulations. There will be a gate for you to go through and then there will be another sign that shows you the trail map.

The first time I went here I was confused because there aren’t many trail markings leading to the part of the creek with the brook trout. The map shows you that the manmade waterfall and the entrance to the brook trout is half a mile up the trail. This part is pretty easy to follow. Once you get to the waterfall there will be another sign telling you about the brook trout. There will then be a small creek crossing and then open fields and you’re left standing there wondering where the heck to go. Before you cross the creek, there is a small gate that leads to a path on the right. Sometimes the path gets overgrown and you can’t really walk through it, so here’s the alternative route:

After you cross this creek STAY RIGHT and keep walking along the barbed wire fence. Follow it until you can find an area to safely go around the fence. I usually try to hop over/under it, but if you keep walking up there are more gates that you can go through and eventually the barbed wire opens up. The fences and gates are there for cows and horses that live in the pastures, so if a gate is closed when you get to it make sure to close it back after you go through it.


At this creek I only use a dry fly – usually a size 16 Royal Wulff or some sort of elk hair caddis. The biggest key to being successful here is to be extremely stealthy and quiet. If you step too loud around the pools or if you make a splash in the water you’ll watch as they swim away and hide under rocks. I’ve come to find that I am most successful when I stand as far back from the pools as possible and cast my fly right into the beginning of the current in a pool. Don’t be fooled by the small pools – cast there too.

If you’ve cast your line more than 15-20 times it’s safe to say you’ve either scared them off or there aren’t any there and you should move on to the next pool. Typically you can can only catch one per pond and it spooks the rest away, so either wait a few minutes and cast again or keep moving.


Little brookie! These little guys come out flailing and are so much fun to catch. Regardless of their size, the beauty of each and every one of these is phenomenal. 

When you are planning on coming to this area make sure you have a whole day for it. I like to get there around 9 and stay for 6-7 hours. Try to get there on the earlier side though, if you stay late it gets very dark in the creek. You don’t need waders for this area, but I would recommend wearing pants because of the tall grass and foliage with wading boots and socks, but I usually just wear chacos.

Here is a video that I made after one of my own personal adventures at Hampton Creek! It helps show the beauty of the area that is impossible for me to describe in words!

And go HERE to learn a little more about the area!


Published by

Taylor Joyce

East Tennessee lady angler specializing in fly fishing on the South Holston and Watauga rivers.

7 thoughts on “Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area, Tennessee”

  1. Absolutely beautiful brookies, I am fortunate enough to be about an hour drive away from Shenandoah National Park which provides some really great brook trout fishing but I just don’t find myself out that way very often. :/


  2. thanks for sharing, great read and pictures. i also fish some beautiful area’s here in NY for wild brookies.


  3. I recently fished this for the first time the day after Thanksgiving. The trail is difficult to follow from the parking area up. When you go through the pasture gate and cross the little foot bridge I noticed there is a smaller gate on the right side of the bridge that appears to lead into the woods, do you know if this will take you to the stream or do you need to hike on up through the pasture to access fishable water? Great little spot!


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