Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River
The Middle Prong of Little Pigeon River is called Greenbier by some anglers. It exits the
Great Smoky Mountains National Park about five miles north of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It is
one of the park's most beautiful streams. It provides excellent rainbow trout and brook trout
A road closely follows the first five miles of the stream from the entrance to the park.
The lower portion of the stream (the first mile or two) gets a little too warm for the trout
during the hot summer months. During the summer fishing is usually better starting two or
three miles upstream from the park boundary. The stream is stocked by the state of
Tennessee outside the park and it is possible that some of the trout may swim up into
the stream inside the park. The road ends at the Ramsey Prong Trailhead. You can catch
brook trout anywhere upstream from that point.
From the Ramsey Prong Trailhead downstream, the Middle Prong is fairly easy to fish.
Ample casting room can be found in most places. Upstream of the Ramsey Prong Trailhead,
accessing the stream is more difficult but still fairly reasonable. Casting room naturally
declines in the headwater areas.
The Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River has several tributaries. One major one is Porters
Creek. The main stream becomes much larger below the Porters Creek confluence. Porters
Creek is the first major tributary stream that enters the Middle Prong from its exit at the
park's boundary. Porters Creek also provides some good fishing. About a mile of it is
accessible from a gravel road that runs along side it. From the end of the gravel road
upstream, you can access it from a trail but it is fairly tough getting to the stream from the
trail in most places. Cannon Creek is a very small tributary stream of Porters Creek with
small rainbow trout. It is accessible from Porters Creek.
Ramsey Prong is another tributary of the Middle Fork of Little Pigeon. It can be accessed
from the Ramsey Cascades Trail. Most all the trout in the Ramsey Prong tributary will be
brook trout. Buck Fork is a very small brook trout stream that is a tributary of Ramsey Prong.
Chapman Prong and Lost Creek form the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Little Pigeon
River. It is a very small brook trout stream that is difficult to access. Eagle Rock Creek is
another very small brook trout stream that contains brook trout but it is very tough to get to.
There are no well established trails.
Most all the water in the Middle Prong is fast flowing pocket water. The best way to fish the
river is to make lots of short, upstream cast. Much of the time the rainbows and brook trout
can be taken on dry flies, but you will need to fish nymphs at times. The method locals call
"high stickin" works great in this stream. It is a short-line method of fishing nymphs whereas
you hold the tip of your rod up high and maintain direct contact with the fly. The very short
presentation is made up and across and the fly is allowed to swing around directly under the
tip of the rod to the downstream position. There are many runs in the Middle Prong where
this method of fishing works great.
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Middle Prong Little
Pigeon River (GSMNP)