One of the best things about Gatlinburg are the numerous mountain streams and rivers that converge and form the Little Pigeon River. With these bodies of water running through the city, it is no wonder that visitors and locals alike come to Gatlinburg to fish. The accessibility of the streams and the fact that Gatlinburg stocks the river along River Road make for good fishing for the expert or novice. Being able to walk from your hotel to the water, wade into the river, start casting and land that big trout, makes fishing in Gatlinburg something to be remembered for a lifetime.
Which is why not long ago Gatlinburg came up with its own trout tournament – now entering its twelfth year. This year, April 6-7, contestants will be able to compete for over $10,000 in cash a prizes. To get ready for the tournament, Gatlinburg has stocked over 20 miles in local streams with 10,000 trout.
Due to the fact that Gatlinburg has one of the best stocking programs in the area, you do need a special permit to fish inside the city limits as well as compete in the tournament. You can pick up one of those permits at the Welcome Center on 441 South, the ‘Spur,’ before you get to town or City Hall on East Parkway. Gatlinburg has their own trout farm that they use for stocking. The streams are stocked on Thursday so there is no fishing on Thursdays, but any other day of the week is fine. The Gatlinburg Trout License has different rules and regulations depending on whether you are a Tennessee resident or not and there are a few exempt classes that do not need the Gatlinburg permit. You should ask those questions when you get your permit at the Welcome Center or City Hall.
There are some rules and regulations when fishing in Gatlinburg. Fishing in Gatlinburg is allowed from thirty minutes before sunrise to thirty minutes after sunset. There are several children-only fishing areas in Gatlinburg: no one over twelve is allowed to fish in those areas. When fishing in Gatlinburg, you can only use one hand-held rod and you can only use a single hook. No multiple hook rigs are allowed. There are, of course, creel limits to the number of fish you can catch, so make sure that you ask about creel limits, type of bait and lures that can be used when you purchase your fishing permit.
With all of the fishing opportunities it offers, Gatlinburg is a sportsman’s paradise. If you are a fly fisherman from way back, this is a great place to spend some time looking for that big trout in a stocked stream. If you have never fly fished before than you have the chance to fish where the water is easy to get to and you know that there are trout in the water. Good times are to be had fishing in Gatlinburg.
For more information, or to register for the 13th Annual Gatlinburg Trout Tournament, visit rockytopoutfitter.com or call 865-661-FISH