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Fall fishing in Tennessee

Posted: October 13th, 2017 by Bill Dance

The mountains are vibrant with fall color in Tennessee, the perfect backdrop for fly fishing. As water temperatures cool and days get shorter, brown and brook trout begin their annual spawning ritual in many East Tennessee streams.

The majority of wild trout habitat occurs in the Blue Ridge region of East Tennessee and anglers have more than 850 miles of streams to pursue trout. Most of these streams are on public land in the Cherokee National Forest or Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Fall fishing can be productive for catching trout, especially larger brown trout, as fish are moving about to spawn. Anglers wanting to catch brook trout, Tennessee’s only native trout, will find themselves in some of the most scenic streams the state has to offer in pursuit of this spectacular fish.

Some of the better streams in East Tennessee to pursue fall brown and rainbow trout are Beaver Dam and Laurel Creeks in Johnson County, Little River in Blount and Sevier counties, Tellico River in Monroe. Brook trout can be found in several higher elevation streams in East Tennessee. Notable brook trout streams are Left Prong Hampton Creek in Carter County, Rocky Fork in Unicoi County, Sycamore Creek in Monroe County and Road Prong in Sevier County.

Dry fly action is still a very viable option this time of year with elk hair caddis, thunderheads, and stimulators being good choices for fishing on top. Tellico nymphs and yellow palmer wet flies are traditional Southern Appalachian sub-surface offerings.

Whether you are wishing to get away from the crowds in a high elevation stream setting or simply fish several locations by road, opportunities abound in East Tennessee.
Be sure to check out TWRA’s wild trout web page to get more information about wild trout and fishing opportunities.

’Til next time, catch one for me in Tennessee.

Bill Dance



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