The Great Smoky Mountains are home to thousands of miles of streams, making it a memorable destination for fishermen and fisherwomen to visit. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park provides lots of public access area for visitors to explore, get away from the crowds and catch lots of fish. While the area is best known for its trout fishing, there are also large numbers of smallmouth bass fishing opportunities in the area as well.
The Great Smoky Mountains offer anglers the opportunity to pursue rainbow, brown and brook trout, though only the brook trout is native to the area. Though all three trout can sometimes be caught in the same hole, each has its own preferred habitat. Rainbows are commonly found in fast moving water while brook trout are more at home in slower moving areas of streams. Brown trout are generally found in deep, calm water and are more active early and late in the day.
Most of the streams in the Great Smoky Mountains are small and so are the trout. Most trout caught in the area will be less than ten inches in length. Lures and flies should be chosen with this size of fish in mind. Trout naturally feed upon insects, eggs and smaller fish. Lures and flies that mimic these foods are good choices for anglers.
While trout are commonly found in higher elevations and cooler water, smallmouth bass can be found in the lower elevations of the mountains. Like the trout, the smallmouths do not grow to large sizes, but smallies are known as one of the best fighting fish regardless of size. Smallmouth bass primarily feed upon crayfish, making crayfish imitating lures a productive choice.
Anglers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park need to have a fishing license from either North Carolina or Tennessee. A license from either state will allow a person to fish legally throughout the park. Anglers can only use one handheld pole when fishing in the park. Only lures or flies with a single hook may be used, up to two flies may be used on a leader. Night fishing is not allowed in the park, fishing is allowing from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. The use of bait is not permitted. The possession limit in the park is five trout or smallmouth of seven or more inches per day. The possession limit on rock bass is 20. Outside of the park, fishing regulations will vary depending on the state.