9/25/08

Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River (Greenbrier) Outside
the Park:

For three years we lived close to the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River. In
fact, once we got out to the highway about a block from our home we could have
just turned the key off to coast all the way to the entrance to the park at
Greenbriar. It was a quick fix to just walk out the door and be fishing in five or ten
minutes.

This is not about the stream in the park but we do want to comment that this is
one of the best streams in the park for rainbow trout. Brook trout fishing in its
headwaters is also very good but the rainbows are very plentiful from about the
ranger station to well beyond the end of the road. Some of the stream flows along
the road with easy access and some of it requires a lot of effort to get too. The
areas that are not easily accessed are rarely fished by anyone.

The state stocks the stream right at the bridge where the highway crosses the
river at the entrance to the park at Greenbriar. If you are coming from Gatlingburg
headed north, and you take the first left past the bridge you can follow the river all
the way to Seveirville. The road rarely leaves the stream and when it does, it is
not very far away. The river is stocked at several other points along the road.
This is a lovely stream all the way to Sevierville but too warm for trout during the
hot summer months. It is a “put and take” river. I doubt there are any holdover
trout unless they migrate upstream quite a ways inside the park.

Smallmouth bass are another thing. The Middle Prong is excellent smallmouth
water. The farther from the park you get, the larger the fish get. Near the park,
the smallmouth are usually less than twelve inches long, at least on the average.
There are probably a few that would top that. A few miles downstream they are
much larger. I have caught a few over two pounds, seen many more that size and
feel certain they get much larger than that.

Most of the stream is on private property. I doubt you would have any trouble
fishing anywhere you wanted to if you simply ask the property owners for
permission to fish from their property. There are several areas the road borders
the stream and of course, that is on the road right-of-way and not private
property. Just be careful to park on the right-of-way where it is safe to do so.

I have not fished for trout in the Middle Prong outside the park. I don’t like
catching stocked fish but I have seen plenty of them caught along this stream by
others. The locals know where and when the state stocks the stream and they
catch most of them rather quickly. Even so, the stream still has plenty of leftovers
until the water gets too warm for them to survive.

You can check the state stocking schedules from their website if you are
interested in fishing the stream for trout. It will be posted up to date later in the
year. If not, and you are anywhere near the area, you should try the smallmouth
fishing. I doubt you will see anyone else fishing. There are plenty of smallmouth
bass in the stream, especially in the large pools which are common every few
hundred yards or so.

If you are fishing the park, don’t overlook the fine rainbow trout fishing the Middle
Prong offers inside the park or the excellent brook trout fishing found in its
headwaters.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh