The Smoky Mountains or the “Great Smoky Mountains”, is the mountain range located on the Tennessee – North Carolina border in the southeastern part of the United States. It is also simply referred to as “the Smokies”. The Smoky Mountains are best known for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which protects most of the mountain range. This scenic national park features numerous beautiful, mountain streams and has become a very popular fishing destination!
The Great Smoky Mountain Nation Park boasts over 2100 miles of mountain streams, with almost 67 different species of fish swimming in the cool mountain water there! Although there is a wide variety of fish, the most common species among them is Brook Trout. Here are a few of the different types of fish found in the streams of the Smoky Mountains:
Mountain Brook Lamprey – The Lamprey is a type of fish that is believed to be the descendant of the oldest fish. They lack bones, jaws, scales, and even paired fins. Their mouths are circular in nature and have notched dorsal fin and coarse teeth. Lampreys are usually 7 inches long and are a gray or brown color.
Whitetail Shiner – The Whitetail Shiner usually has a slender body, small eyes, and can be up to 6 inches long. Their caudal fins have 2 markings that are distinct. The males who breed are of a blue-black color, and have a slight red color near the anal fin.
Flame Chub – The Flame Chub received its name from its chubby head. They usually grow up to 3 inches and have round eyes. Along the backside they have dark stripes, while on the upper side they have light stripes. And the male fish have red near the bottom part of their body.
Warpaint Shiner – These fish grow up to 5 and a half inches and have caudal fins and a black band in the dorsal region.
Big eye Chub – These fish grow up to 3 and a half inches and are olive in color with silver stripes.
Shorthead Redrose – Shorthead Redrose are a member of the Sucker family and are usually differentiated by their large thick lips and toothless appearance. They are approximately 20 inches in length and are a golden color.
Yellow Bullhead – These fish are approximately 12 inches, and have four pairs of barbels, stout spines and no scales. They are a yellow olive color with fading yellow sides.
Rainbow Trout – Rainbow Trout grow up to 45 inches long and are usually a greenish silver shade with black spots.
Brown Trout – This type of trout grows up to 40 inches and is a yellowish brown color with red and black spots on the head and body.
Brook Trout – These fish grow up to 27 inches and have light green wavy lines and blotches on their back.
Brook Silversides – These are silver fish, grow about 5 inches long, and have a beaklike snout. They have silver sides and are pale green on top.
Smallmouth Bass – the Smallmouth Bass belongs to the Sunfish family and is approximately 20 inches long. It is usually a dark brown color, with a white or yellowish belly.
The National Park allows fishing throughout the year from 30 minutes before the sunrise till 30 minutes after sunset. Here are a few helpful tips to consider when planning your fishing trip to Smoky Mountain National Park:
- You must possess a valid fishing license from either Tennessee or from North Carolina.
- Check the Fish Limit – one must stop fishing once the limit is reached.
- There is also a size limit – When catching Rainbow trout, Brook and Brown trout, Smallmouth Bass, there is a 7-inch minimum; there is no minimum size when catching Rockbass.
- Fishing is allowed only by one hand-held rod.
- Artificial flies, lures or dropper flies attached to a single hook can be used.
- Use of fish bait, liquid scent, double, treble or gang hooks is strictly prohibited. Types of baits that are prohibited include minnows, worms, corns, salmon eggs, bread, cheese, pork rinds etc.
- Fishing tackle instruments will be inspected by the fishing authority.
To sum it up, fishing in the Smoky Mountains is a wonderful experience! Not only does it provide a beautiful, scenic mountain setting, but it also features a wide variety of fish at your fingertips! Get ready to add this destination to your list of “fishing favorites”!
After a full day of outdoor fun, it is important to have a comfortable place to relax & unwind! Creekside Lodge is just such a place! Creekside Lodge offers a warm, friendly atmosphere in a convenient location. Call us today at (800) 621-1260 to reserve your dates! We look forward to serving you!