Little River Rainbow Trout
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Little River (West Prong)
GSMNP Tennessee
The West Prong of the Little River is a small tributary
stream of East Prong of Little River, or the main river
which is usually just called Little River. It is one of the
most overlooked trout streams in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. One reason is that it is
probably just too small and accessible in its lower part to
be considered a good place to fish. It runs along Laurel
Creek Road which is the road to the popular "Cades
Cove" in the park.

The West Prong of Little River has one main tributary,
Laurel Creek, which is also a decent small stream
fishery itself. It can be easy accessed along the Cades
Cove Road.

This little stream is rarely over twenty feet in width and
usually about twelve feet or less. Short, upstream cast
are best. You do not get a good drag free drift. All the
trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are wild
and wise, so good presentations are essential.

The upper section of the West Prong is located off
Laurel Creek Road. It is accessible only by hiking in.
The West Prong Trail offers the easiest access. This
part of the stream provides the best fishing but the
portion of the stream along the road is also good and
not fished often.

The fish are almost all rainbow trout although there may
be a few browns in the lower part of the stream near the
Y. Like many streams in Great Smoky Mountains
National Park, there are brook trout present in Its

The season is open year-round.
Spring is the best time to fly fish the West Prong. That is
when most of the hatches occur and when the trout are
most active.
The upper headwaters fish well during the summer. We
would suggest you avoid the lower section.
Autumn is the second best season to fish the West
Prong. It is the most scenic time to fish for certain.
Winter can be a good time to fish the lower section of
the stream, especially on those warm days. We have
caught trout on this stream during January.  

Fly Fishing Guide to the West Prong of Little River:
Fly fishing the West Prong of Little River is strictly small
stream fishing. The stream is probably twenty feet wide
at its widest point and averages even less.
(Click here to continue)
Type of Stream

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Brook Trout


Great Smoky Mountains National

Nearest Towns
Knoxville, Tennessee
Townsend, Tennessee

Year - round


Special Regulations

Non-Resident License
Either the State of Tennessee or the
State of North Carolina

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Perfect Fly Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Guide

Hatches and Trout Flies

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies

Additional Information:
Fly Fishing Smoky Mountains
Little River Tennessee
(West Prong) GSMNP
Free Shipping Continental U. S.
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.