AMERICAS TROUT - GATLINBURG
Gatlinburg, Tennessee is not only a hub for the gathering of trout fisherman but is also megalopolis for family fun and entertainment. Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains it attracts countless millions of people to its doorsteps each year. Because it is centrally located among the eastern states it is often chosen by fishermen as that 'one big time trip' destination. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park provides visitors with some of the most breathtaking scenery you'll ever be witness to. The park boarders both the State of Tennessee and North Carolina, with one of the park entrances located just a few steps from the west end of Gatlinburg.
With under a one hour drive most any destination within the 500,000 acre national park can be reached. The park contains over 13 major watersheds (not all of which are available by car), providing a lifetime of fishing for the average angler. The rainbow trout is the dominate fish species in the park with brooks found in the higher latitudes while brown trout can be caught in the slower, deeper waters of the park. Access to the rivers is good with many turnouts and parking facilities. Fly fishermen may find casting a bit of a problem consideration might be given to bringing a short rod. One might expect the fishing pressure to be heavy but there is so much water in the park that you should never feel crowded. Hikers have additional opportunities for solitude. The river bottoms are mostly rocky and Middle Prong of the Middle Pigeon
slippery wader chains are in order.
Park regulations require either a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license. Only artificial flies or lures with a single hook may be used; no live bait! Possession limit is five fish per day.
Prior to any major trip I do some pre-planning. I pick up several guide books to check for access sites, parking, water conditions, preferred bait, etc. For the Smoky Mountains there are dozens of books available. The books were generally correct but don't rely on them 100% of the time. I was sent on a couple of wild goose chases where the roads or the promised access sites were non-existent. I always make it a policy to carry a GPS.
Whether fishing alone or traveling with the family I promise you'll enjoy the Gatlinburg area. They boast of having more than 400 shops, hotels and restaurants. The wife and kids can spend their days in the town while you're off fishing. The city provides a trolley service which extends the entire length of the city. There are hotels and lodging facilities to meet every budget. Shopping is very easy with lots of gift and boutique shops, restaurants galore, and many activities for the kids like the aquarium, arcade, and amusement park.
In the nearby town of Sevierville you'll find an Orvis shop that is one of the most complete and impressive stores I've ever seen! On the east side of Gatlinburg be sure you pay a visit to the 'Smoky Mountain Angler' for local advice and a great selection of fly patterns.
See you on the water…..
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