America’s Favorite National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the finest wilderness area in the southeastern United States. This Park is the most visited National Park in the United States. Despite the high number of visitors, a true backcountry experience is just a short walk away. Most visitors to the Park never leave the black top.
In addition to fly fishing, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers myriad activities ranging from hiking to auto touring. The warmer months bring a wealth of wildflowers starting in the early spring. Visitors from around the country travel to the Smokies for the spring wildflower season. The rhododendron, mountain laurel, and flame azaleas bloom later in spring and summer. Camping and backpacking are also very popular activities. Excellent hiking is available within the Park and is one of the most popular things to do. Around 800 miles of trail makes backcountry camping and fishing easy to accomplish. Fishing is good throughout the Park but gets even better the farther you get from civilization.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is surrounded by mostly undeveloped land. The communities of Bryson City NC, Cherokee NC, Gatlinburg TN, and Townsend TN offer the best options for lodging and other visitor services. If you are an angler or nature lover, I recommend avoiding Cherokee and Gatlinburg. Both cities are more geared to thrill-seeking tourists looking for a city experience. Townsend is the best option on the Tennessee side of the Park. This small town carries the well-deserved nickname of the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies.” Finally, a good option on the North Carolina side of the Smokies is Bryson City. Here you can find a small town atmosphere with some great places to eat and shop.
Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains
The Park offers hundreds of miles of fishable trout water. High elevation streams are inhabited by the native southern Appalachian brook trout. Rainbow trout are abundant throughout the Park, and many lower and mid elevation streams also contain brown trout.
Many first time anglers to the Smokies find themselves frustrated by the endless conflicting currents that make good drifts difficult. Hiring a guide to fish in the Great Smoky Mountains can pay dividends down the road. You will catch many more fish after learning the basic techniques for success in our mountain streams. Many visitors book a guide trip each time they visit. These anglers recognize that the casual visitor will find far fewer fish than a local guide who is on the water every day. More information on guided fly fishing can be found here or feel free to email me for more information at TroutZoneAnglers@gmail.com.
There is a wealth of information at the Trout Zone as well as here in the Smoky Mountain Streams and Techniques sections for those who prefer the DIY route. Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN is a great source for gear and advice on fishing in the mountains. This excellent fly shop offers superior customer service and sweetens the deal even further by offering free shipping on all orders. Also, they carry just about any brand of gear and equipment you might want to buy. The fly shop also has a very good fly tying department. Finally, they can usually special order hard to find items.