Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the West Prong of Little River GSMNP
In places, access is difficult. You must do some crawling over large rocks and wading up the
streambed to progress upstream in places. There are some angler made trials In the lower
part where the stream first leaves the road. The stream isn't any easier to fish there than it is
far upstream where you access it via the West Prong Trail. We first though this area
received far less pressure since it take a short hike to get there but we have actually yet to
see the first angler on the lower section along the road. We think anglers just assume that it
isn't any good, for some reason. If you just want to test the fly fishing in the West Prong, you
can do that easily by fishing the lower part of the stream anywhere along the road. Its small
rainbows are usually very aggressive and fairly easy to catch. We would suggest the lower
part except from the middle of May to the middle of October.
The stream is heavily covered with tree limbs and bushes. There is a canopy of cover over
the stream just about its entire length except along the road. Casting can be a problem but
this is typical of all the small stream in the Smokies, especially the small brook trout streams.
As with all the streams in the Smokies, when you are fishing dry flies, short upstream cast
are best. Usually, if you can find some deeper runs, the "high stickin" method of nymph
fishing works best.
Even though the trout feed highly opportunistic in this little stream and even though attractor
flies will work, you are far better off fishing specific imitations of something that hatches or is
about to hatch. If nothing is hatching or about to hatch, fishing imitation of the aquatic
insects and other food that is most likely available is more productive than generic or
The stream in the image directly above is as wide as it ever gets. Most of it is much smaller,
more like the image on your above right. Even though it is small, it seems to be full of willing
rainbow trout. We have caught as many as twenty or thirty within two or three hours on this
stream on a few occasions. It is a fun stream to fish because you can usually catch several
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography