GSMNP / Little River

GSMNP / Little River

Get the latest stream flows for GSMNP / Little River.
Click Here »

GSMNP / Little River

GSMNP / Little River Fishing Report

Related News

Smokies7 9 15Stream levels in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are lower than average for this time of year and the water temperatures in the lower elevations are bouncing around the 70 degree mark. If you are headed to the mountains any time soon do the fish a favor and head to the higher elevations where the water is appreciably cooler. The fish are in an eating mood so the normal flies for this time of year should work. Yellow sally imitations, terrestrials, and of course the venerable greenie weenie will all draw a strike. Landing the fish is up to you. 

River Information

Nowhere else in East Tennessee will your angling skills be put to a test as much as they will on the waters of this National Park. The water is gin clear, cold, and can fluctuate literally by as much as five feet in depth within the span of minutes. This pristine, untouched wilderness holds hundreds of miles of fishable trout water. Honestly, this place has more water than you could effectively fish in a lifetime, and every bit of it is breathtaking. The streams range from little more than a trickle in the high country around Walker Camp to wide and smooth. Within one day trip you will encounter pocket water, deep slow pools, and rolling cascades as the river moves . This place has the full bag of tricks and gives the angler multiple opportunities to fish several different styles within a single trip. A working knowledge of high sticking could very well be your best friend when tackling this place.

+ read more »

Archived GSMNP / Little River Fishing Reports:

Smokies May 12The Great Smokies Mountain National Park is fishing about as well as it possibly can at the moment. While flows are lower than average for a typical May, the fish are happy and hungry. The streams are fishing well throughout the day, however, the better hatches and catches are coming later in the evening. Good numbers of yellow sallies, light cahills, and sulfurs are being seen just around dusk. This is fantastic news for the angler with a work problem! Get out there and get after them if you can!

MountainsMay5thJohn got out on the water in the mountains on Sunday and had a stellar day with a father-son team out of Knoxville. They caught fish all day in the eight to twelve inch range starting relatively early around 9 am with size 14 pheasant tails and Tellico nymphs and transitioning to dries after lunch. John says there are a lot of stoneflies and caddis moving and the dry flies of choice were size 14 stimulators, parachute adams, and brown elk hair caddis. If you'd like to learn how to catch some wild trout in the Smokies or Cherokee National Forrest, give John a call at the shop, 865-200-5271.

BrookTrout1The Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to be the hot ticket in East Tennessee at the moment but the lowland streams and tailwaters shouldn't be too far behind. John was back up on his new favorite ditch on Tuesday and reported another stellar day. He fished nymphs early but switched to a dry (Parachute Adams 14/16) when the Blue Wing Olives began to show up. Post lunch, per last week, the Quill Gordons made their appearance and a slightly larger sized dry fly (sz 12) seem to be just the ticket. All in all, over the period of about 8 hours, John said he managed to put about 40 fish to hand. If you're interested in getting out there and getting after them drop him a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give him a call at the shop 865-200-5271.

brookie3 Rivers Angler ever intrepid mountain angler, John, made it up into the park yesterday and was more than enthused about the results this morning when I ran into him at the shop. Fishing the upper reaches of the Little River drainage John says that he and his fishing partnter encountered blue wing olives in the morning right up until just before lunch time. At lunch they switched to nymphs (prince nymphs) for a bit until a quil gordon hatch began. John said the gordons continued to come off in good numbers with the hatch peaking around 3 o'clock in "numbers I've never seen before". He described the day as about as perfect as you can get. If interested in getting out there and after them in the mountains give John a shout at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give him a call at the shop (865) 200-5271.


Smokies2015.1 1Spring has sprung and while we are past the Ides of March officially the remnants of the lion are still dropping out of the mountains streams and rivers. To say the water column in East Tennessee is full would be an understatement. Nevertheless, the fishing in the GSMNP is picking up as the water continues to fall. John was out on a guide trip last week on a not-to-be-mentioned piece of water and his clients did very well despite the high water. Prince nymphs fished deep were the meal of the day but John says it won't be long before the fish start looking up particularly if this warm weather sticks around.

bug1I managed to get out for a few hours yesterday up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and enjoy the beautiful spring weather we are currently exhibiting here in east Tennessee. What I found didn't disappoint. There were bugs of all sorts hatching off the water or bouncing off the trees. I literally saw everything from blue quills, quill gordons, and stoneflies to even a few March browns. The only thing lacking from the picture was the trout keying in on the abundance of bugs. With the water temperature still in the lower forties most of the fish were pegged to the bottom. With more warm weather expected for the region over the weekend, it is only a matter of time before the fish wake up and begin looking up for the Smokies' spring hatches. If I wasn't stuck in the shop today working I would be headed back up to the park this afternoon. Get out and shake off the shack-nasties, it'll do your body good.

heptagenia macroSunday March 2nd was a good day of fishing. The morning bite was steady, small rainbows and browns gobbled up about any good presentation made, Mayfly and stonefly nymphs produced the most consistant action. As the Front moved in and the winds increased the fishing slowed considerably. I took some time to dig through the leaf litter and flip over rocks to see where the bugs were at in their journey towards maturity. We found alot of mayflies in the heptageniidae family which covers most of the two and three tailed "quills" we will see in the coming month. Nymphs that are mature will have well developed wing pads and turn  dark closer to hatching. The golden stones were out in full force as well, some specimens 1.5in in length. Just for the record, learning a dead language to identify bugs wont catch you many fish, being familiar with the common names and matching them to what you see on the river will. Stay sharp and be nosy when fishing gets slow, you may crack the code and have a stellar day of fishing!


oody fish smokies55 degrees is the magic number and though the Little River hasn't reached that temperature, it sure has gotten close recently. Temperatures just into the 50's have been reported and thats enough to wake a few bugs up and in turn a few fish. Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, Black Stones, and the odd Caddis have all made minor appearances but nothing thick enough to provoke any surface feeding. If you find your self in the Smokies fishing I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a hatch on a warm day but I would definitely be ready to nymph. The fish are still deep so I would adjust the length of my nymph rig the depth of the water your fishing plus half that again. If the water is 5 ft deep then start out fishing about 7.5 ft deep and adjust from there. My most productive rig has consisted of a #10 girdle bug followed by a pheasant tail or quill bodied soft hackle. Take home message is keep your head on a swivel, keep an eye out for bugs and plan your fishing around the warmest days. If we can help prepare for a trip to the river or plan a guided trip please swing by, we'll be ready and waiting

Trout Ice ShelfDuring the latest arctic blast I became, like many of you, restless with my inside chores. Cleaning, sorting of gear, tying flies,fish pornography, day dreaming, laundry, 12oz curls, watching the relentless torrents of water TVA passes though our dams, ect, ect, ect.... Late Tuesday evening a dim light bulb began to shine righter, and it hit me: Abrams Creek! Though not known for monsterous fish, Abrams holds many above average sized rainbows by Smokies standards. Often called one of the jewels of the Smokies, Abrams fishes well during the winter months due to various spring water influences. The rig I chose to fish Wednesday consisted of a heavily weighted wooly bugger variation trailed by a caddis pupah. Both flies produced fish on the swing; but dead drifting this combination also worked well. Most fish held in the bottom third of each run where the water beagan to slow. Within these areas find a depression in the bottom or find timer and you will find fish. My preffered approach was to enter the top of a run and swing flies to the deep bank, after working about half way down the run I would the flip my rig upstream, high stick down and then transition into a swing. This transition is where I hooked into most of my fish.

REMEMBER TO BE CAREFUL!!!!! If you fish alone and fall in our ass is in trouble. The water temperature is in the upper 30's to mid 40's and on a cold day hypothermia will set in quickly. Hand warmers, a thermos full of hot soup or coffee, emergency blanket, extra change of clothing, and a wading staff are all highly recomended. Lastley be careful handling your fish if you plan on releasing them, extremely cold air is hard on fish kept out of the water. Tight lines and be Safe.


Little River 12-18-2013The water levels in the Smoky Mountains National Park are now back down to a fishable level but only just. Little River is flowing at about 350 cfs at the time of this report. While still a little bit high its much better than it has been in the last couple of weeks. The weather forecast is calling for some warm weather for the next couple of days with rain called for again on Sunday. If I had all my Christmas shopping done and no work obligations, I'd give some bead head nymphs a try with plenty of lead to get them down deep where the fish are holding.