View Full Version : First Trip

08-21-2013, 02:44 PM
Well it seems as if I'm following a trend here lately. I'll be making a trip to the park in October. I'll be arriving in Gatlinburg on the 16th and have the 17th and 18th to fish. This trip will be a first for me trout fishing as well as first time fishing in the park. I'm a horrible caster that's self taught and have spent most of my time fishing still water (ponds/lakes). However, this will be the first of an annual trip from here on out and I was hoping I could get some pointers on some locations that are well suited for beginners. I know I'll be fighting the tourists but any and all help will be appreciated. And as any trip to that area, I'll be making a stop at LRO.

08-22-2013, 10:39 AM

If staying on the TN side and just getting started with learning the smokies I would recommend researching two areas. Elkmont & Tremont water sheds.

Both these locations allow you to get off the main roads but very close and easy to locate from the Gatlinburg area. Both hold great fishing opportunities, allow for plenty of room to cast your fly and there is enough water that you can fish all week and move upstream and away from other fisherman until your heart is content.

easy to locate, lots of water to fish, plenty of room, and plenty of fish. :smile:

08-22-2013, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the response Mac. Those sound like the kind of places I need to get my feet wet.

Speaking of that, I need to purchase some sort of wading boot/shoe for this trip. I'm looking to keep cost around $100 and I'm trying to decide if I want to opt for a boot or shoe style. Most of my wading will be wet wading done in rivers in west and middle tn (mainly gravel, very little slick stones) with at least an annual trip to the park. I'm looking at the Chota Abrams Creek as well as the Chota Middle Fork shoes and the Korkers shoes. Anyone have any insight? Any other gear tips would be appreciated as well.

08-22-2013, 10:58 AM

As you already pointed out I think LRO will be able to help you with all your fly fishing gear needs. You might want to give them a phone call before hand and see that they have your sizes and models your interested in. They will be able to give you some ideas of other equipment to think about before your visit.

One other good thing is if your staying in Gatlinburg and visiting LRO you will be driving right past the Elkmont area. This is where I would start. You could easily spend a week in this area.

The Principal
08-22-2013, 12:51 PM
That is why Elkmont is my favorate campground. Centrally located to lots of good streams.

08-22-2013, 01:41 PM
Personally, I would go with boots for the ankle protection. A person can get hurt wading streams.

AL trout bum
08-22-2013, 01:47 PM
I like Korkers personally. I bought the redside model for under $100 and have had them for 2 years now. I have put them through some tough wading, and they have held up relatively well. The real selling point for me is it's only one boot, but I can change out the soles as the need arises. Hike in rubber soles, then switch to felt on the stream. Like someone else said, I would definitely get wading boots over shoes. You will want the added ankle support.

08-22-2013, 01:57 PM
I don't have any experience with the Korkers other than picking them up and looking at them but I've went through 2 pair of Chota Abrams Creek and decided to upgrade a little this year to the Chota STL. After 3 trips I think they're very comfortable, well made, and dry quicker and the "Quicklace" system is a lot better.

08-22-2013, 02:27 PM
I hate to be contradictory to almost everything posted so far, but here it goes.

I own both the Korker boots and shoes. I wear the shoes over the boots 10 to 1. I like the smaller profile and weight of the shoes. I also backpack in running shoes, so I'm not the typical person in the woods. I like the idea of switching soles with the Korkers and that is why I buy them, but in all honesty, I never change them out. Once I put in the felt, they stay in until they wear out, then I just buy a replacement sole.

Stick with smaller streams. It's much easier to read the current and flows of a smaller stream than it will be with some of the larger streams. WPLR, Anthony's Creek, Jakes Creek, Roaring Fork, about any brookie stream.

Tremont is a beautiful stream, but don't go there expecting to have a stellar day. It gets a lot of notice on these boards and gets pounded by tourists. Basically, its about as technical of a stream as you can get in the Smoky's. As a beginner, you need dumb fish.

Don't worry about how ugly your casting is. You could be the most graceful caster in the world, and after fishing a week in the Smokies, your cast will soon be as ugly as mine. Your whole goal just needs to be to get the fly out of the trees and in the water somewhere in front of you.

Good luck and have fun

08-22-2013, 03:42 PM
buzz - How does the size run on the Korkers shoes? I've found a great deal on a pair.

Thanks again everyone for the help. Looking forward to spending some time in the park fishing.

08-22-2013, 04:11 PM
I have a size 11 foot typically. My Korkers's boots are an 11 and I wear them with waders and they fit fine, when I wear them with wading socks, they are a bit loose, but still fine. My shoes are a 10 and I wear them with a pair of smartwool footies. They fit good.

08-22-2013, 04:12 PM
Elkmont is great. Fishing is good and the scenery is hard to beat.

I can't think of the name of the river but, just past the Sugarland Visitor Center, on Newfound Gap road, there are some "quiet walkways" that lead down to the river. I have caught alot of fish there and have never seen any one else. Great thing is, it is only a few minutes from Gatlinburg.

David Knapp
08-22-2013, 07:21 PM
I would add a recommendation that hiring a guide, even if it is just for a half day, would be extremely helpful to your success rate in catching fish. If this is your first trip or you have limited experience in the mountains, a guide will drastically shorten the learning curve.

08-23-2013, 12:33 PM
Are there any good maps online that show the roads and stream names? I've tried looking at the GSMNP map on the NPS website and it's not very detailed.

Thanks for all the tips. Money will be a little tight since I have to stock up on some extra gear for this trip but I've looked in to possibly a half day trip with a guide. I'll give more thought to that.

08-23-2013, 03:17 PM

This gentleman is looking for some stream maps of the smokes, do you know anyone that could help. :rolleyes:


You might want to check out LRO forum user JoeFred, Mr. Fred Turner at SmokyStreams.com (http://www.smokystreams.com/). I think everyone from this forum is familiar his maps. Would not be surprised if LRO sells them as well.

Personally, for what you need I could not think of a better fly fishing, trail map of the smokes. :cool:

10-09-2013, 11:14 AM
Looks like my trip is nearing, maybe the park will be more easily accessed next Thursday/Friday. What are some recommendations for things I need to make sure and bring with me? Thanks in advance.

10-09-2013, 12:03 PM
They tend to run a size smaller, meaning that you need a size larger. For example, I usually wear a size 9, but found a size ten was necessary in the Korker's Konvertable boots.


PS: Depending on this "showdown" and Park closure, if still closed, I'd suggest fishing either in Townsend or out of Gatlinburg. Folks are being allowed to walk into the park, but only being able to walk, limits one's potential destinations for fishing (unless they hike in and camp).

10-09-2013, 12:13 PM
I would agree with Pmike. I wear a size 9.5 and got the size 10 Korkers. They are fine when I wear them without waders. But with waders it starts to hurt my toes after a while.

10-09-2013, 12:33 PM
I went ahead and bought the Korkers wading shoes. I've tried them out on the Buffalo River here in Middle/West TN and I'm pretty happy with them. Will I need a net? I know to keep my hands wet when handling the fish and things like that but is a net necessary? I don't have one and don't have much use for one here in West TN. Clothing still need to be drab colors/camo? Any other useful tips would be much appreciated.

10-09-2013, 02:06 PM
Need a net? Not at all. I've got one that I never carry in the park. The only time I carry it is when I expect to hook into large fish that I want to be able to land without completely wearing them out. OTOH if you're planning on keeping fish a net might help get a few more to the frying pan. I'm usually happy when they free themselves at my feet and save me the effort.

10-11-2013, 03:07 PM
Thanks everyone. I have a guide lined up for Thursday and then I'll try my own luck Friday. Thursday's destination is a toss up. How far is the S. Holston from Gatlinburg?