Copyright 2009 James Marsh
Little River (West Prong) GSMNP
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. It has one main tributary, Laurel
Creek, which is also a decent small stream fishery itself.

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 headwaters.

The season is open year-round.
Spring is the best time to fly fish the West Prong.
The upper headwaters fish well during the summer.
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.

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.

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.

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.
(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

Additional Information:
Fly Fishing Smoky Mountains
Little River Tennessee
(West Prong) GSMNP
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography