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Kephart Prong


Small-size freestone creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Location Upstream from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance on US 441 in Cherokee NC, 10.5 miles north along Newfound Gap Road. Tributary to the Oconaluftee River in the Beech Flats section. High difficulty of access; the stream and trail have a steeper gradient, the water is mostly brushy plunge pools.

Species Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout

License Requirements NC or TN fishing license 

Kephart Prong was named in honor of Horace Kephart, an author who lived in Bryson City and penned Our Southern Highlanders and Camping & Woodcraft. He was instrumental in helping establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Kephart Prong is a great small stream that represents some of the traditional small brushy Smokies streams. You can expect minimal fishing pressure for the rainbow and brook trout that are eager to hit dry flies.

Old remnants of the logging community on Kephart Prong are still visible. You can see remnants of a bygone era – signs of old homesteads and a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp, as well as items left behind from the small gauge railroads used in logging years ago.