No Shortage of Options

Summer fishing is excellent in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP)! The best in years, no less!

These days, we’ve been wading in Deep Creek and Straight Fork where the streams remain cool, especially at higher elevations. A couple miles up Deep Creek, we fished less-pressured water using a variety of dry-dropper rigs and caught monster browns measuring 17 to 19 inches, along with assorted brookies and an 18-inch rainbow—the Great Smokies’ Trinity! We also used conventional gear and single-hook Rooster Tails to land plenty of rainbows. Given Deep Creek’s popularity with tubers, this stream gets pretty crowded during afternoon hours; if you plan on fishing, hit the water early, wear neutral colors and keep moving!

In warmer waters, we’ve had a blast pursuing smallmouth bass! Floats on the Little Tennessee River yielded over fifty fish per trip that averaged 10 to 12 inches with occasional two- to three-pounders rounding out the catch. Top-water plugs worked best with spinning gear while streamers were most effective for fly rods. During the early-morning hours on Fingerlake, near Almond, we reeled in 6 largemouths with topwater spinning gear and caught over 30 bluegill on dry-droppers.

Mark your calendars! On August 26 and 27, the Qualla Country Trout Tournament takes place in Cherokee where $20,000 worth of tagged fish will be redeemable for cash prizes. A tournament spot requires a $15 entry fee and a $17 two-day fishing permit.

Be sure to check out Go Outdoors North Carolina, a brand-new app from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission! With this free application, you can use your phone to store your licenses and report big-game harvests, in addition to retrieving real-time hunting and fishing information.

Have amazing weekends!
Patrick Ambrose

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