Any outdoorsman or woman visiting the Smokies knows of the many great spots for fishing in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas. However, it may be hard to choose which ones to visit this vacation. But if you must narrow your selection, be sure to check out one of these Gatlinburg fishing spots.
The Horseshoe at Cades Cove
Long a favorite of local fishermen, The Horseshoe is a Gatlinburg fishing area in Upper Abrams Creek that’s well-known for rainbow trout. Avid anglers will quickly see that staying dry isn’t an option, but once they hook into an 8-to-12 inch Rainbow, all worries disappear. Accessibility isn’t a snap, since there aren’t any established nearby trails, but with perseverance and some good waders, the reward is well worth the effort.
English Mountain Trout Farm and Grill
For a unique adventure, check out this combination trout hatchery/restaurant located in Sevierville. Visitors can wet a hook and catch their own dinner from among various species of trout. Kids, especially, won’t forget the experience of catching their own meal.
Little River at Elkmont
One of the more picturesque Gatlinburg fishing settings imaginable, this large stream can be fished from the roadside, but with a roughly two-mile hike upstream via the Little River Trail, both rainbow and brown trout await in abundance at the juncture of Little River and Fish Camp Prong.
Cosby Creek Watershed
Located in the remote town of Cosby, this small stream is perfect for family excursions and is easily accessed from the campground. Cosby Creek isn’t noted for “trophy” fish, but it’s ideal for smaller children with an abundance of rainbow trout.
Out of Gatlinburg, a short drive up Cherokee Orchard Road past the Great Smoky Mountains National Park office building is LeConte Creek, a small stream that’s well-stocked with rainbow. A brief walk is all that’s required, and makes for a pleasant afternoon excursion.
One of Sevier Co.’s most-visited recreation areas, Douglas Lake offers activities for the entire family, including boating and picnic areas. The fishing is also popular, specializing in bass and crappie, while the ease of access is as simple as any to be found in the Park.
Located a bit off-the-beaten-path but well-suited for the adventurous, Hessee Creek contains primarily rainbow trout. Access is mainly gained from the end of Millers Cove Road, then an invigorating hike of about a half-mile whets the appetite for some tasty trout.
On Highway 73 is Dudley Creek, which is one of the more overlooked Gatlinburg fishing areas of the Park. It will require some light-to-medium “roughing it” to access the creek, but plenty of rainbow trout are available, especially in the upper section.
Please remember to fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or any of the other Gatlinburg fishing places you need a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license.