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Indian Creek Was The Legendary Angler Mark Cathey’s Home


Mark Cathey (1871-1944) once ‘owned’ Indian Creek. It was where he lived — a short distance above these falls — and it was where he mastered the art of fly fishing. Cathey was a colorful character who would modestly admit “I have been accused of being the best fisherman in the Smokies.”

Today, most visitors to the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park take the short one-mile walk to admire Indian Creek’s beautiful falls. But after learning more about legendary angler, you may want to continue your walk northward through what was once “Cathey’s Place”.

Bryson City naturalist George Ellison related two classic Mark Cathey stories in his Smoky Mountain News “Mountain Views” column in 2001. Ellison wrote, ‘He earned his living as a lumber-herder, trapper, and hunting or fishing guide. When the splash dams on the creeks in the Smokies were released, lumber-herders ran along the banks to clear jams. Some few, like Cathey, had the agility and courage to ride the logs down the creek, ducking branches and risking sure death in the event of a miscue.” Read entire article.

In his new book Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Jim Casada writes about Indian Creek and it’s most famous resident. When fishing Indian Creek, Casada writes, “…you can take quiet comfort in knowing that you are wading and casting in the footsteps of Uncle Mark Cathey.” Download a PDF excerpt from Jim Casada’s new book and read chapter 23 “Indian Creek”.

Download a PDF map of Deep Creek’s trails and waterfalls.

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