Little River is one of the largest drainages within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This stream system consists of the West Prong, Middle Prong, and East Prong. In general, the East Prong is just called Little River as it is the dominant “prong.” This stream contains gentle pools and tumbling pocket water. Thus, the nice mix of water types makes this an enjoyable fishery. In fact, fly fishing Little River is probably our favorite fishing experience in the Park.
Little River Fly Fishing Opportunities
This Smoky Mountain stream features some of the most diverse fishing opportunities in the Park. Fly fishing Little River offers something for everyone. The highest tributaries of the East and Middle Prongs featuring native brook trout. Sometimes wild rainbow trout mix in with the brook trout in the higher elevations. As you head lower, brown trout start to show up and brook trout give way to rainbows. Little River probably contains some of the largest brown trout in the entire Smokies. In the lower elevations near the Park boundary, smallmouth bass start to mix in with the trout. By the time you get into Townsend, just outside the Park, smallmouth and rock bass are dominating. Trout are also stocked in town by the state of Tennessee.
In addition to being a great trout stream, Little River is also one of the most accessible streams in the Park. There are many miles of roadside access and many more backcountry miles accessible by hiking trails.
Where to Stay to Fly Fish Little River
Being close to the peaceful mountain town of Townsend helps as well. Anglers can stay in the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies” without experiencing the crowds of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Elkmont Campground is an excellent base for anglers looking to explore Little River due to its proximity to the stream. This campground is at the heart of the best water on the river.
Middle Prong (Tremont) and the West Prong are also very popular and for good reason. Check out each the individual pages for each of these below for more on the fishing opportunities available. Stop in at Little River Outfitters to get set up with the necessary gear for fly fishing Little River.