Mountain Fishing, Fly Fishing, Trout, Bass, Rivers, Lakes, Trout Streams
Follow us on... Twitter Become a Fan... Highlander on Facebook Mountain Blogs... Highlander Blogs Mountain Events
& Festivals
Calendar of Events Sign up for
Highlander Newsletter
Messages from the Mountains

Fishing in Tennessee River Valley and Mountains

Cherokee National Forest Fishing

The Cherokee National Forest is well known for its trout fishing. Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout all thrive in forest streams. Some streams are stocked by TRWA and others are considered "wild" streams.

The most popular fishing streams on the southern districts include Big, Rough, Sylco, Beech, Big Lost, Tieskee and Citico creeks, and the Hiawassee, North Tellico and Bald rivers. Popular northern district Trout streams include Paint, North Indian, Jennings, Broad Shoal, Laurel Folk, Horse, Trail Fork of Big, Beaverdam, and Little Stoney Creeks.

Great Smoky National Park Fishing

Anglers 13 years and older (16 and older in NC) need a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license to fish in the Park.

The Park does not sell licenses. Check with local chambers of commerce for purchase information. No trout stamp is needed. Fishing is permitted year-round in open waters, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Stop by a park visitor center to get a full copy of the regulations.

State • Town • City • County • Guide

If you would like to know what towns are in which county,
use these printable pages to find out.

Tennessee River Valley and Mountain • City and Town Guide


Daily Possession Limits and Regulations

  • Any combination of Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass, totaling 5
  • 20 Rockbass
  • It is illegal to possess Brook Trout
  • A person must stop fishing once reaching the limits
  • Rainbow and Brown Trout: 7 inch minimum
  • Smallmouth Bass: 7 inch minimum
  • Rockbass: no minimum
  • All Brook Trout and any fish above the minimum must be
    immediately returned to the water

Lures, bait, and equipment

  • Only one handheld rod may be used
  • Single hook only
  • Bait must be fully artificial
  • Liquid scents are prohibited
  • All equipment is subject to inspection by authorized Park staff

A few words about Brook Trout and other fish

Brook Trout are the only trout native to the Smokies. Heavy logging during the early 1900s eliminated the fish from half its range. Brown trout and rainbow trout, stocked in the mid 1900s, out competed the Brook Trout, further limiting its range. Restoring the Brook Trout to its native range is a primary objective. The goal of the Brook Trout restoration program is to foster a self-sustaining natural population able to support angling pressure. Streams populated only by Brook Trout are closed to help this be a future reality. In total 40 species of fish including darters, dace, suckers, bass, shiners, and trout populate the Smokies' streams. Salamanders, Crayfish, aquatic insects, and algae are other important components of local aquatic ecosystems.

Looking for a Fishing Guide Service

Back to main Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Fishing Page

Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains
Sign up for the Blue Ridge Highlander Newsletter, Messages from the Mountains
to find out first about our new feature stories, road trips and special offers

Your e-mail addresses will not be sold or given away to anyone.

Highlander Privacy Policy

Let our visitors tell you about the Highlander...

Click the feathers to go to the Highlander site map...
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountain Highlander



designed, produced and hosted by
Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina

The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright ©
of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes. 1996 - 2017, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction,
downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.
If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.

Blue Ridge Smoky Mountain Highlander