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Great Smoky Mountains Advice needed

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I'm making my first trip to The Smokies next week and seeking advice on camping and fishing preferably some place off the beaten path. I've done some research and will check out the popular areas...Abrams Creek, Little Tenn River, etc. I am probably entering at Gatlinburg just because I am meeting friends near there next weekend, but I plan to take several days to explore and sightsee after friends leave on Sunday. I sure would love to have a couple "secret" camp spots on a stream with good wade fishing. Feel free to PM me. Thanks in advance.

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Not sure about camp spots but the Little River runs near Gatlinburg.  Upper waters are mostly trout but there is some phenomenal smallmouth fishing on it closer to Knoxville.   I love that river.   Tons of great wading spots.  

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Just got back from GSMNP in late September.  Water is very low in the park, but fishing was still really good.  Not many secret camping spots, but a couple campgrounds near the creeks that give easy access and more fishing pressure  Plenty of places to stop and fish right from the road and I saw very few people fishing TBH. I would focus my efforts away from road access points if at all possible though.  I fly fished and threw terrestrials and caddis imitations (neversink caddis, ants, spiders, greeny weeny's) and caught lots of fish, but the biggest was about 13", which is a decent sized fish for the park.  Lots of slingshot and tenkara type casts  Hit up the high elevation areas if you want brookies, lots of aggressive browns and rainbows in the lower elevations.    PM me for the better areas.  LOTS of bears in the park, I slid off of a large boulder while wading and nearly landed on top of one!  Wading/boulder climbing can be interesting in some areas.

 

 

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I was out there in July for family vacation and had an experience very similar to Siusaluki.  The park is so big and there are so many creeks to choose from that you really need to have a focused gameplan based on the amount of time you will have and what it is that you really want to accomplish.  The camp spots within the park need to be reserved in advance, which I reserved one but didn't end up using.  

I bought a book (see below) that had very good maps and descriptions of all the streams both inside and outside the park as well as camping spots.  This book really helped me be a little more realistic, because you can spend a full day or two just hiking to get to some of these spots.  I didn't have that kind of time because the family wanted to do touristy stuff . . . . so I just decided to fish some creeks along the main road that goes up to Newfoundland Gap and over to Cherokee.  I fished Walker Camp Prong and Road Prong on the Tennessee side, not more than 2 miles down from the Gap.  I was determined to get a native brookie, but I really had to work for it.  They are lightning quick in their takes, but what a blast it was to catch a couple of them in that tiny water.  Skinned both my knees in pursuit.

On the NC side, I fished the upper Oconaluftee and caught a bunch of small rainbows.

There are so many good places to fish its a bit overwhelming.  Every access I hit, I never saw another fisherman, and I felt like i was totally in the wilderness even though I was just a 20 minute hike back to my car along the road.  As SIU said, there are bears everywhere, so keep your head on a swivel!

Would be happy to mail this book to you if you would like to borrow it.  Just PM me your address.  

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I fished the park in July. I focused on the Little river and its creeks and had good luck. These guys summed up everything very well. Lots of miles of fishable water to explore which can become overwhelming, so a game plan is important. And definitely bring a wading staff, my knee took a good blow.

Only thing I'd add is if you're in Townsend, be sure to stop by the Little River Outfitters Fly Shop. Let them know what your goals are and they will gladly point you in the right direction, where to go, and whats been working lately. I regret not hiring one of their guides since it was my first time, and will be doing so on my next trip there. 

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Thanks guys!! SInce this is my first time, I will want to do some sight seeing, so I think I will wing it and pull over when I see an enticing place,  I sure hope to find a nice campsite on a wadeable stream. Not making reservations as I am travelling on the fly.

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