Smoky Mountain Gillies LLC, TN

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Knoxville, Tennessee

Smoky Mountain Gillies LLC, TN


East Tennessee boasts over 1,000 miles of trout-fishing water. Whether you choose a wade trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or a drift-boat trip down a Trout Unlimited “Top 100” tailwater, Smoky Mountain Gillies can tailor an unforgettable trip for anglers of all experience levels.

Date Range

There is no “closed” season, though fishing is best in both the National Park and on the tailwaters from March-October.

What is Provided to Customer

In-trip transportation, casting instruction, lunch, all necessary equipment, flies, tippet, etc.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Wade trips are in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The streams are steep and rocky, but there are plenty of gentler areas and river sections that are appropriate for younger anglers and those with physical limitations. Wild rainbows, browns, and native brookies are all found in both front- and backcountry settings.

Float trips take place on Tennessee Valley Authority tailwaters below hydroelectric dams. The scenery ranges from pastoral to wilderness to residential, and the rivers provide opportunities to target larger fish. There is a mix of stocked and wild trout ranging from 8 inches to over 30 inches.

Typical Weather by Season

Spring: April-June provide the best weather and fewest tourists. Dress for anything, as the morning may be sunny and clear, and the afternoon can be rainy and overcast.

Summer: Hot and dry with afternoon pop-up thunderstorms. We typically head up the mountains or into the backcountry to escape the heat and crowds.

Fall: Brings on the brown spawn. Fishing picks up as air and water temps drop and fish start packing on food for the winter.

Winter: The Park is fishable year-round, though temps in the 30s and 40s slow things down considerably.


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Trips begin with a casting lesson/refresher for those who need it. Depending on the desires of the client, we may set out into the backcountry for an all-day adventure with a packed-in lunch, or fish multiple streams/areas with a lunch either streamside or at a developed Park Service picnic area.


Species You Fish for by Season

Rainbows (wild)
Browns (wild)
Brookies (wild and native)

All are year-round fisheries.


What Should Customers Bring?

Appropriate clothing for the weather, Tennessee fishing license (you do not need a “trout stamp” to fish within the Smoky Mountains National Park.)


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 4 reviews


4 of 4 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Awesome trip!! - 2/20/2015

    My trip with Clay was in the Smoky Mountains in what they call "the gorge". Clay was very professional and extremely well prepared. It is a bit of a task getting in and out of the gorge but he knew exactly what he was doing. Clay is a great guide and made me and my buddy David feel that we really had a great day of fishing! Lunch was great too!

  • 5/5

    Miles Away, Close to Home - 2/19/2015
    By: from Great Smoky Mountains

    Spent an awesome day with Clay Aalders and another friend fishing native southern Appalachian specks (brook trout) and wild rainbows in the Smoky Mountains. Clay had us on fish within an hour drive of the Knoxville airport and we didn't see another soul all day. Experienced, hardworking, smart and funny, he has a knack for knowing when to coach and when to blend in to the beautiful scenery. Whether you're a first timer or veteran of this obsession we call fly fishing, you'll leave your time with Clay having learned something and gained a greater appreciation of his beautiful corner of East Tennessee.

  • 5/5

    To the back of the beyond - 2/19/2015
    By: from Louisville, Ky

    After contacting Clay and working out a date, he asked if I would like to fish in an out of the way area. Being adventurous, I said yes. I didn't put much thought into the fact that he had asked if I was in good shape. On the day of our trip, he stopped the car and there we were looking down a 200 foot drop off to the stream. With a good amount of assistance from Clay, we started fishing. Wow is all I can say. The wild trout fishing was on fire. The 8 hour fishing was amazing as was the lunch that Clay provided. Clay is very professional, great instructor, and fun the be around. It was a great trip!

  • 5/5

    Fantastic Experience - 2/19/2015
    By: from Minneapolis, MN

    We were planning a family vacation through Tennessee and stopping in the Smokey Mountains. My son (then 12) and I had just started fly fishing and thought it would be fun to fish the streams in the Smokeys. Being from Minnesota and only allowing 1 day for fishing, I decided to hire a guide. I found Clay and Smokey Mountain Gillies on the internet and reached out to him. We communciated by email and eventually by phone and were able to schedule a trip on Fathers Day. It turned out to be one of my most memorable father's days! I let Clay know that we were beginners, but that we were open to instruction. Clay has the ability to teach both young and old. He took time to explain WHAT we were doing and WHY we were doing it. Soon, my son had a fish on the line! We spent the day with him, catching fish and enjoying the beauty of the Smokey Mountain National Park. We learned a great deal that day and are continuing to use many of his tips today. Next time we head through Tennessee, I'll be calling Clay for sure!

Smoky Mountain Gillies LLC
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide
Henry Clay Aalders
3313 Timberlake Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37920

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