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Fly Fishing in the Backcountry of the Great Smoky MountainsYou are standing in the middle of a wild trout stream in the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the native home of the brook trout; however, there are rainbow and brown trout in these waters as well.  There are no cars, no homes, no people, only you, the water, the high mountain peaks, and trout. And you think of how lucky it is that you are fishing in the middle of it all.

From the streams that can be easily reached from a parking site on the side of a park road to the remote streams that require overnight camping, the Great Smoky Mountains offer spectacular trout waters. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The sprawling landscape encompasses lush forests along with more than 300 trout streams totaling over 700 miles.

There are hundreds of miles of wild trout waters within the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains that await you, and the professional guides at Turning Stone's Fly Fishing are your key to unlocking their potential.

Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains Backcountry

The Smoky Mountain region is the natural habitat of the southern strain of the Appalachian brook trout, which, thankfully, are still found throughout the region. The two other species include brown trout and rainbow trout, which were first introduced over 100 years ago. The first documented introduction of brown and rainbow trout into the park was by loggers working in the area around 1910.

The region has many rugged streams filled with rainbow, brook, and brown trout.  Many of the trout waters are far off the beaten path and difficult to get to, whereas other areas are near local roads and are fished more regularly.  

Although maps of the area can provide the locations of many of the streams and rivers that are available, unless you are familiar with the mountain roads, public lands, and areas where fly fishing is not allowed, then it is imperative that you have one of our professional guides at Turning Stone's Fly Fishing lead you to success. 

Many of the streams within the park itself are remote and difficult to get to. To fully lose yourself in the wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains, you may wish to go on a camping/fly fishing adventure. There are over 800 miles of trails within the park, many of which access the trout waters you are searching for.

The park offers backcountry camping on the trail system, as shown on the trail maps available from the ranger stations within the park or online. For the less adventuresome, the park also offers designated camping sites at established campgrounds. In both cases, registration is required through the park service before beginning your trip.

Trout fishing is permitted throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park except if noted otherwise. While the Park manages the habitat and protects water quality, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission regulates fishing. Anglers should have a fishing license. For information on licenses and more, contact the Wildlife Resources Commission at or call 888-248-6834.

Fly Fish in the Backcountry by Utilizing Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing Guides 

  • Our guides research the streams in the Great Smoky Mountains to find the best location for trout.
  • Our guides know the local stream conditions and the best fly patterns to utilize.
  • Our guides can work with any fly fishing experience level and can pick locations that best suit the experience and physical condition of the angler.
  • If you need the right fly fishing gear for the local conditions, our guides can assist you with finding the right gear to catch trout.
  • Our guides have a lot of experience in backcountry fly fishing and know plenty of great spots to get away from the crowds.

The majestic Great Smoky Mountains of the southern Appalachians in North Carolina and Tennessee provide some of the most beautiful, rugged, and remote streams and rivers available for fly fishing adventures. And if you are interested in catching trout, then the region offers multiple opportunities to do so.

If you wish to experience the excellent trout waters found in the Great Smoky Mountains, then book a trip with Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing today. For more information, contact us today.