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Thread: First timer to smoky mountain area

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

    Default First timer to smoky mountain area

    I have a question about fishing in the smoky mountains.

    I am a first time angler to the smokys, and I just need to know where the best place for me to camp and catch some trout would be.

    I was thinking about camping in the Cherokee national forest in North Carolina, because I heard it was cheaper to fish over there for an out-of-state fisherman. Is that true?

    Any help with campsites and fishing spots will be greatly appreciated, as I know very little about the area.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
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    938

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    The licenses are indeed cheaper in North Carolina; however, you don't have to restrict yourself to the National Forests (BTW - Cherokee Nat'l Forest is on the Tennessee side - it would be Pisgah and Nantahala on the N.C. side). A North Carolina license is valid throughout GSMNP as well...on both sides. I fish with a yearly nonresident N.C. license (which is about to expire...need to renew it), but I fish on both sides of the border because I stay in the park. Now, if I wanted to fish the little stream that flows near my property in Cosby, I would have to get a Tennessee license, since it is outside of the park (and in the Cherokee Nat'l Forest)...I have to drive a half-mile away, into the park, to legally fish.

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
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    I get a Tennessee license every year because we also go to Norris Lake and some of the other streams in Tenn. Otherwise, I'd save a buck or two and get the NC license.

    As for where to go, I think that depends on when and where. I'd check with Little River Outfitters upon entering the area to see what's working and where to head out to. Camping in the park is a good way to go if you're the campig kind. Elkmont campground is going to put you right in the middle of some pretty good water.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ijsouth View Post
    The licenses are indeed cheaper in North Carolina; however, you don't have to restrict yourself to the National Forests (BTW - Cherokee Nat'l Forest is on the Tennessee side - it would be Pisgah and Nantahala on the N.C. side). A North Carolina license is valid throughout GSMNP as well...on both sides. I fish with a yearly nonresident N.C. license (which is about to expire...need to renew it), but I fish on both sides of the border because I stay in the park. Now, if I wanted to fish the little stream that flows near my property in Cosby, I would have to get a Tennessee license, since it is outside of the park (and in the Cherokee Nat'l Forest)...I have to drive a half-mile away, into the park, to legally fish.
    So you suggest to buy a N.C. license to fish in the GSMNP? How much does that cost? What about creel limits and regulations?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffnles1 View Post
    I get a Tennessee license every year because we also go to Norris Lake and some of the other streams in Tenn. Otherwise, I'd save a buck or two and get the NC license.

    As for where to go, I think that depends on when and where. I'd check with Little River Outfitters upon entering the area to see what's working and where to head out to. Camping in the park is a good way to go if you're the campig kind. Elkmont campground is going to put you right in the middle of some pretty good water.

    Jeff
    Thank you for the suggestion. Are there shower facilities at the camp site?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
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    I think a yearly license costs $36...you can buy them online:

    http://www.ncwildlife.org/fs_index_01_license.htm

    If you fish in the park, the regulations are the same everywhere...7 inch minimum, 5 fish per day (that covers all trout species and smallmouth bass), artificial-only, single-hook. As far as outside the park in North Carolina - that's where things get a bit confusing. North Carolina has a variety of different regulations, depending on the stream classification - some allow bait, some are delayed harvest, some are designated wild, artificial only, etc.

    As far as where to go to camp and fish in the park....there are a ton of choices. A lot depends on the time of year, and what species you are interested in targeting. To start, I would get the National Geographic map of the park - it shows all the trails and campsites, etc. Also, are you talking about camping in a developed area, or in the backcountry?

    UPDATE TO LICENSE COST: I just checked the N.C. site, and it is $30 for a basic annual freshwater license...it is an additional $10 to be able to fish designated "Mountain Trout" waters - I don't think you'll need that if you stick to the park. They also sell licenses for shorter terms - I get the annual because I come up to the park an average of 10 times a year.
    Last edited by ijsouth; 03-31-2008 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Update

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    I am planning on coming the 2nd week of May.

    It really doesn't matter to me where I camp, as long as it is fairly close to some decent fishing and I am able to locate some sort of shower facility in the area.

    Do you have any suggestions for that time of year?

    All I want to do is have a good time, catch a few fish for the campfire, and relax.

    Thank you so much for your help so far. If there is any other info you can give me, bring it on. I am listening appreciatively.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Covington, Louisiana/Cosby, TN
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    The shower situation got me thinking...this is from the park's web site, the section on "frontcountry" camping:

    "Each campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets, but there are no showers or electrical or water hookups in the park. Shower facilities are available in the communities surrounding the national park. Please inquire about the nearest facilities when you check-in at the campground. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table."

    http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisi...ry-camping.htm

    I hadn't thought of it before, but I realized that I hadn't seen any shower facilities at Cosby, where I fish quite often.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    The Glades
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    all GSMNP campgrounds are primitive...no showers and no electricity.
    I started with nothing, and I have most of it left.
    www.angelfire.com/film/samsfotosafari

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    4

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    Ok, it looks like the Elkmont campground will be where I am planning on staying.

    Like I said, I am coming down the 2nd week in May, so what works that time of year?

    Also, what types of lures should I bring to use with my spinning rod? I know it is single-hook only, so what do you suggest I try if I can't catch them on the fly rod?

    Please feel free to give me any suggestions, and am a new-b at all of this and the area as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Maryville
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    Check out just one or two threads down. Someone has asked the same questions about using a spinning rod and some good answers were given. Stop by Little River Outfitters when you get here. They will be able to hook you up with some spinners and some flies that you can fish benieth a float. Good luck with your trip.
    My posts are worthless without pictures

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