Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies for the Middle Prong of Little
River GSMNP Tennessee
The Middle Prong of the Little River is a small stream with ideal flows, easy to wade and fairly
easy to fish. The trout are almost all small rainbows that average about six inches long but
go up to twelve. They are all wild trout that provide a good challenge for such a small fish.
The headwater streams, one of which is currently closed to fishing, provide more rainbow
trout and in the case of Sams Creek, a tributary of Thunderhead Prong, provides excellent
brook trout fishing. You do not need anything other than light, small stream gear.

Fly Line:
If you fish the headwater streams for small brook trout, you probably enjoy using a light fly
line to catch them. Certainly you will be using small and most likely, dry flies for the brook
trout. We would say the ideal fly line size would be a 3 weight, floating fly line. There would
be nothing wrong with a lighter 2 weight line.

If you fish the lower part of the river, you would probably want a 4 weight fly line for most of
your dry fly fishing. You could even get by with a lighter line.
If you fish nymphs and small streamers, I would say a 5 weight fly line would deliver most of
those flies better. I don't really see the need for any line size beyond a 5 weight in the middle

Fly Rod:
Assuming you would be fishing for both the rainbows and the brook trout in the headwaters,
then I would suggest at least a rod for each the 3 weight line and the 4 weight line. The
length of the 3 weight rod could be anywhere from six and a half feet up to eight in length
We think a slow to moderate action would be best for this one.

The four weight rod should be between eight and nine feet in length, a medium to
moderately fast action would be best in our opinion. This would make the rod more versatile.

If you are fishing nymphs and small streamers, a five weight fly rod that is a little on the stiff
side would handle the nymphs and streamers fine. It should be eight and a half to nine foot
in length in a medium to a medium fast action.

Fly Reel:
The reel for the light line, the 3 weight, isn't important as long as it is light. The reel for the
four weight rod should have a decent drag. It should be smooth. A disc drag wouldn't be
necessary but I would want it to adjust to fine increments. The reel for the 5 weight line
should fit the same description as the 5 weight. You are not going to catch a rainbow that will
line your reel although I guess it is possible to hang a brown in the lower part.

You should probably be using at least a 7 and half foot leader anywhere you fish the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park Theres situations where you would want to go up to 9 feet. I
would suggest having them in sizes ranging from 3X for streamers, up to 7X for small dry
flies, in both the 7 and a half and 9 foot lengths.

Don't forget to carry extra tippet in sizes ranging from 3X to 7X.

Waders are not absolutely necessary for the Middle Prong of Little River but we would
recommend them. You can wet wade the stream during the summer, even in the higher
elevations, and wouldn't need them at that time. You can reach most all of the water from the
banks, but tree limbs make that difficult in places.

Wading Boots:
Much of the bottom in either gravel, sand or rock. You wouldn't 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 purely an optional item.

Trout Flies:
Naturally we recommend our own "Perfect Flies". Thats not only because we sell them, its
also because we think they are the best flies you can purchase. They have been tested in
the Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than anywhere.
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Photo Courtesy of David Knapp Photography
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.

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