Gatlinburg Fishing Forecast:

By Chad Williams

May 26th will be the 30th anniversary of the opening of Smoky Mountain Angler. We just want to thank all of you guys for making that happen. Come see us here at our shop on May 26th for our Anniversary Event. I hope we can serve you for many more years!

Great Smoky Mountain National Park – Tennessee side

The weather has been almost perfect lately! It has really warmed up which usually means dry flies; but so far, nymphs have produced the most fish. Fishing in the park is entering its prime. The weather is hot, but the water is cool. However, the water levels are excellent. This means you do not need to be as stealthy when you’re walking up to your holes. If you do cross the stream, try to cross where the water is loudest.

Nymphs like Frenchies, Hot Spot Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears, and Waltz Worms are producing most of the fish. Small Blue Quill, Blue Wing Olive, and Tiny Black Stone hatches occur, which usually means we would be catching most of the fish on these dries, but we’ve been catching more on attractor patterns instead. Try using Parachute Adams, or any color Stimulator, with a dropper underneath. If you are going to run a dry dropper, separate the nymph and dry between 16 and 20 inches. Some of the most productive rivers are the Little River near Metcalf Bottoms, the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River around Chimney Tops, and the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River. Try to fish in the afternoon, when rising water temps will trigger an aggressive fish bite.


Gatlinburg stocked waters are fishing well, as always. There are still some big ones in there from the trout tournament a couple of weeks back. Just last week, we had our shop manager catch 3 rainbows over 20 inches…he caught more than two dozen fish that day. Bright fly patterns work best. Mop Flies and worm patterns are killing it. If you prefer spin fishing, use anything scented, like Salmon Eggs or Gulp baits. Live bait works well too. Once school gets out, bring the kids (12 and under) to Herbert Holt Park, or Mynatt Park, to catch their own Rainbow Trout!

State Stocked Water

The state trout stocking program is in full force. The Lower Little River and the Middle and West prongs of the Little Pigeon receive stockings every two weeks. It gives us great opportunities to be on lots of water in short amounts of time.

If you have any questions about fishing in our area give us a call at (865)436-8746. No matter where you’re fishing or what style you prefer, just get out and fish! It’s beautiful weather and a beautiful area!

Chad Williams is from Newport Tennessee. He’s guided for “Spooky Trout” in the Smokies for over 15 years. He is an expert fly tier and enjoys teaching new nymphing techniques to anglers. Give him a call at Smoky Mountain Angler (423) 237-1107.