Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Oconaluftee River GSMNP
North Carolina
The Oconaluftee River is a small to medium size trout stream. In terms of other streams in
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is a large stream. The trout are mostly small
rainbows that average about six inches long but go up to twelve; brown trout that may
average slightly larger but can get up to over twenty-six inches long; and small native brook
trout that live in the headwaters of the stream. They are all wild or native trout that challenge
any anglers skills. The gear you need greatly depends on the species you are targeting and
just how much chance you want to take in hooking a big one.

Fly Line:
If you fish the headwater streams strictly for small brook trout, you probably want to use a
light fly line. An ideal fly line size for that would be a 4 weight, floating fly line. There would be
nothing wrong with a lighter 3 weight line.

If you fish the middle to lower sections you would probably want a 5 or 6 weight fly line for
your dry fly fishing. You could get by using a 5 weight floating fly line for everything. Many
anglers that fish heavy nymphs and streamers would want a 6 weight fly line but it would not
be absolutely necessary.

Fly Rod:
Assuming you would be fishing for the brook trout in the headwaters, then I would suggest a
rod for each the 4, 5 and 6 weight lines.  The length of the rods should be nine feet. We
think a moderately fast to fast action would be best.

Fly Reel:
The reel for the 4, 5 and 6 weight fly lines should be light and have decent drags. They  
should be smooth. A disc drag that adjust in fine increments would be best.

You should probably be using at least a 7 and half foot leader anywhere you fish the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park There are situation where you would want to go up to 9 feet.
I would suggest having them in sizes ranging from 1X for streamers, up to 6X for small dry
flies and midges, in both the 7 and half and 9 foot lengths.

You should have extra tippet in sizes ranging from 1X to 6X.

Waders are necessary for the Oconaluftee River unless the water is warm enough for you to
wet wade.  We prefer the breathable type.

Wading Boots:
Much of the bottom in either gravel, sand or rock, mostly rock. You would not want cleats.
Felt soles are the best. We are testing the new rubber soles out and have no comment
about them yet.

Landing Net:
A landing net is optional but recommended.

Wading Staff:
A wading staff is recommended if the water is high.

Trout Flies:
We recommend our "Perfect Flies". We think they are the best flies you can purchase. They
have been tested in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than anywhere. You
should have flies for the insects our hatch charts call for during the time you are fishing.
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River, North Carolina
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 $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.