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Family and I are heading to the mountains for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

Anyone familiar with that area and have anything to share?

I'll pack the 5wt and would be up for DIY or guide recommendations.

Especially any good shops in that area I should visit?
 

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I fish the Southeast area around Tellico Plains a couple of times a year (about 2 hours from that area). It is all National Forest, offers stocked and wild fish, with Brookies, Rainbows and Browns all available. Tellico Outfitters ( https://www.tellicooutfitters.com ) Cody is the owner and he has never steered me wrong. This area will likely be less pressured than Gatlinburg and it is easily accessible as most of it is on public access land.
 

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Was just up there last week and I fished for trout in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (GSMNP). If you fish the streams in Gatlinburg you will need to get a Gatlinburg fishing/trout license in addition to your Tennessee license. In the park all you need is either a NC or TN license, one license is all you need in the Park whether you are in NC or TN. I got the 10 day NC license at $30 verses the TN 10 day license which cost $60. I found the populations of rainbows and brook trout to be good in GSMNP. I caught all my trout on nymphs and I would imagine in December that would be a good bet too. As far as finding fish unless you are willing to hike to blue lines off of trails is to park in one of the pull outs along the road between Gatlinburg and Cherokee (441). Within 100 yards of the pull outs the areas are pretty well fished or have very smart fish. Past 100 yards it is easier to find cooperative fish. If you find an easy path to the water it will most likely to have seen a lot of pressure. The best spots I found were areas that I had to climb down too by holding onto rocks and trees (the harder to get too the better the fishing) In December I would look for the fish to be in deeper pools along the stream. An area close to Gatlinburg that does have good fishing is the last half of the roaring fork trail (Cherokee Orchard road). Unfortunately I think they close this road in the winter but if the weather is mild it might be open. Hope you have a great trip!
 

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I was there last week. I also stopped at Little River Outfitters. They weren't every forthcoming in helping with spots. Even after I bought a pair of waders. Every year, I stop in Smoky Mountain Anglers in Gatlinburg and they are very helpful. This year was no exception. As mentioned above, fishing in the park is good. And the farther away you can get from the pull outs, the better, The fish can be very spooky. This was the first year I decided to get a Gatlinburg permit to fish the rivers and creeks in town. It is only $3 a day. They stock the rivers ever Thursday. I had a blast.

Those fish aren't as spooky. It is definitely worth a try. I took my 2, 4, 5 & 6wt and caught fish on all of them. That was my goal. I used by 2wt (6') on the small creeks for Brookies and rainbows. Used my 6wt On the Oconaluftee.
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Thanks for the info guys.

It looks like we settled on a cabin in the Sevierville area. So a little north of Pigeon Forge.
 
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