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places to go fishing in Wears Valley

4 Secret Places to Go Fishing in Wears Valley

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the few places in the country where visitors can enjoy fly-fishing all year long? That’s right. Where in other parts of the country the water gets too cold or icy to have an enjoyable fishing experience, in the Smokies, Wears Valley in particular, anglers can enjoy a relaxing day well into the heart of the winter season.

That being said, there are a few places to go fishing in Wears Valley and the Smoky Mountains this time of year that are better than others. For a complete guide of all of our favorite winter fishing spots, read below!

Metcalf Bottoms

Located near the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area in Wears Valley, this secret fishing spot features deep pools, long runs and broken pocket water. It is also home to some of the largest brown trouts in the Smoky Mountains.

To get here, simply follow Little River Road until you see signs for the Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area. If you follow this route a little further, you will run into The Sinks.

The Sinks

children fishing in Wears ValleyWith deep pools of water and one of the largest waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Sinks is a perfect place to go fishing in Wears Valley for guests who are looking to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing day. That being said, please be careful of some of the jagged rocks located near the waterfall. Nothing ruins a day of fishing faster than slipping and falling into cold water.

Although this is one of the harder places to go fishing in Wears Valley, The Sinks can also be the most rewarding. One time, a local fisherman reported catching a record-breaking 29-inch brown trout!


Perfect for fly fishing, the gravel section of Tremont Road is one of the most beloved Wears Valley fishing sports for local anglers. There is a variety of fish that can be found here. Please keep in mind, this area does tend to get a little muddy when it rains due to the gravel road.

While you are here, you should also consider stopping by the Great Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont to learn more about all the amazing fish and wildlife that call the Smoky Mountains home.

Middle Prong/Little River

Considered one of the top 100 streams in the county for trout fishing, the Little River is great for both experienced and beginner anglers. More specifically, the Middle Prong is a smaller portion of the stream that is home to several lively rainbow trouts and other eager fish. Located just past the Townsend “Y”, this secret place to go fishing in Wears Valley is very easy to navigate to.

Rules and Regulations for Fishing in Wears Valley and the Smoky Mountains

  • fly fishing in Wears ValleyFishing is permitted from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after dusk daily
  • All visitors must possess a valid fishing license or permit
  • Daily limit of five brook, rainbow or brown trout, smallmouth bass (or any combination of these)
  • Daily Limit of 20 rock bass (in addition to the above limit)
  • All brook, rainbow and brown must be at least 7 inches long
  • All smallmouth bass must be at least 7 inches long
  • Only artificial flies or lures with a single hook may be used
  • All fishing rods must be hand-held rods, limit one per guest
  • Any use or possession of any fish bait or liquid scent outside of artificial lures prohibited
  • Moving or disturbing rocks is prohibited
  • All trout fishing is catch and release only
  • Trout fishing is prohibited December 1-March 31

Where to Get a Smoky Mountain Fishing License

There are several locations in the area where guests can purchase a Smoky Mountain fishing license. A few of the most-convenient include:

  • Gatlinburg City Hall
    • 1230 East Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • (865) 436-1400
  • Smoky Mountain Angler
    • 466 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
    • (865) 436-8746
  • Orvis
    • 136 Apple Valley Rd., Sevierville, TN 37862
    • (865) 774-4162
  • Bass Pro Shops
    • 3629 Outdoor Sportsman Pl, Kodak, TN 37764
    • (865) 932-5600

Visitors can also purchase a fishing license only by visiting the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s website, or by regular mail by sending their name, address, social security number, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, hair color and the correct fee to TWRA Sales Office, P.O. Box 41729, Nashville, TN 37204-1729.

If you would like to learn more about any of the secret places to go fishing in Wears Valley or the Smoky Mountains, be sure to check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park page on our website. There you will find a ton of information on all the fun outdoor adventures waiting to be discovered in the Smokies, including hiking, camping, auto tours, wildlife viewing and more.