Planning Your Trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Where to Fish
Many anglers, especially those new to the area, want specific suggestions on where they should fish.
The following is a month by month list of suggestions as to where you should fish in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. Keep in mind that you can catch trout in any of the streams in the park. Our
stream section provides a lot of information about each of the major streams. This is just a short cut
list of suggested streams and areas of the streams for various times of the year round season.

October:
Rainbows and brown trout will become easier to catch when the water cools down this
month. The only problem you may have is the water levels may be low. That adds to the
difficulty but makes it more interesting as far as I am concerned. Remember the brook
trout will start spawning this month and the brown trout will move upstream looking for a
spawning location. If you want a big brook trout, try starting at the upper end of the
Chimney Picnic area and fishing upstream as far as you can. You will get some
rainbows but also have a shot at a big brook trout. The Raven Fork would probably be
nothing short of  incredible if you want to hike in there for brook trout. If you want to catch
rainbows, fish just about anywhere in the park. Try Big Creek on the North Carolina side  
or the Straight Fork (and get a big brown as an added bonus). On the Tennessee side of
the park give the Middle Fork of the Little Pigeon River a shot. You can probably catch fifty
rainbows a day.

November:
The weather should be cool enough for you to be able to fish anywhere in the park this
month. The brown trout will be spawning throughout the month. For a shot at a larger
brown trout try Deep Creek on the North Carolina side of the park. Hazel would also be a
great choice. On the Tennessee side, Little River above the sinks to well above Elkmont
Campgrounds would be a good choice for the browns. Just do not fish for them when
they are holding their redds. Fishing for them on the bed (redds) is like shooting ducks
when they are floating around on the water with the decoys. Rainbows will still take the
dry fly up until the water gets below about 50 degrees (if it does). Do you want a
sleeper? Try Forney Creek or Noland Creek. You can get to Noland by road. You may be
surprised with a good brown in addition to the rainbows and you probably will have
either of the two streams to yourself.

December:
December is not a good month to fish. Stay at home. JUST Kidding. December can be a
sleeper. Several large brown trout are always caught this month. The first half of the
month is usually the best, of course. You should watch the weather closely. Try Little
River between Metcalf Bottoms and Elkmont or the lower part of the Oconaluftee River or
Straight Fork on the North Carolina side of the park.

Copyright 2011 James Marsh
The water temperature usually
begins to cool some during the
early fall. Rain had brought the
normal low stream level up this
particular time in early October.
By the end of December, all the
leaves are gone off the trees and it
look like winter. On days when the
weather is warm, it is still possible
to catch trout, even on the dry fly.
Early autumn is a great time to
catch rainbows as well as the
large brown trout that have begun
their spawning runs. Fishing
during November can be great.
All images are thumbnails,
click for larger view
All images are thumbnails,
click for larger view
If the water is not too cold, and it
usually isn't, the rainbows will take
a dry fly. We have caught them
throughout the fall and early winter
months on a dry fly.
By as early as October, snow will
fall in the higher elevations. It can
be warm, in the seventies, with
snow still clinging to the higher
peaks from a previous cold front.
Fishing can be excellent during
the early fall and continue until the
coldest days of winter.
This is a zoomed in shot of the
scene on the other side of the
page. Snow is heavy on the
spruce trees. The temperature can
be as much as 20 degrees colder
in the higher elevations.