Water flow: 1400 cfs - approximate
Visibility: 60 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 36 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: Afternoon
Best access point:
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Winter Stone #20 - 18 Dun Caddis #18 BWO #18 Midges #18
Fish species: Rainbow & brook trout
Fishing season: Open year round. Peaks in Spring & Fall
Nearest airport: Asheville Regional, Knoxville McGee Tyson
Recommended fly fishing leader: 7 ½ Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 6X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 7' 11" 3 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Double Taper Trout Fly Line
This page details the higher elevation (3000' and above) bodies of water on the North Carolina side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Certainly this covers a lot of water but while you may find slight variations in temperature and flow from stream to stream, this should serve as a fairly accurate baseline. Notable high elevation streams on the North Carolina side of the park include the Deep Creek headwaters, ...
Upper Hazel Creek, Upper Bradley Fork and Raven Fork.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts nearly 800 miles of fishable trout water within its Tennessee and North Carolina boundaries. Brook trout are the native trout in the area and tend to be confined to higher elevation streams. Rainbows and browns were introduced to the area and have been self-sustaining for more than 40 years.
Though the climate is quite mild, elevations over 6000', heavy canopy, and ample rainfall allow the Smokies to serve as a rare wild trout sanctuary in the Southeastern United States. While trout measuring 6-12" are what should be expected here, brown trout well exceeding 20" are present in many of the larger rivers and sometimes reward the most patient and diligent of anglers.
Streams in the Smokies consist mostly of freestone bottoms with large boulders and numerous cascades providing accents along the way. Snowfall amounts are rarely significant enough to impact the streams with long periods of run-off. Rather, regular rainfall keeps this water flowing, which can cause water levels to routinely fluctuate throughout the year.
Streams and rivers in the Smokies are not large enough to be considered viable float destinations. Many rivers can easily be accessed near roadside pull-offs, while many more are only accessed by trail.
For non-camping lodging options around the Smokies, there are three primary "gateway" towns: Cherokee, NC, Townsend, TN, and Gatlinburg, TN.
Approach & presentation is the name of the game here. These fish don't often get overly selective on fly patterns, but they spook easily and won't tolerate a bad drift! Fish upstream, dress in earth-tone clothing, and keep a low profile. Stay back and make longer casts in slow pools. Get closer and keep as much line off the water when fishing pocket water.
High elevation streams should start to turn on in 3-4 weeks.