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River - GSMNP

Large-size freestone river in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Location Upstream from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance on US 441, north along Newfound Gap Road. Easy to high difficulty of access depending on elevation and location.

Species Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout

License Requirements NC or TN fishing license 

The Oconaluftee River is a large stream by Smokies’ standards with diverse water types, great roadside access, and great fishing. The headwaters are near Newfound Gap, elevation 5,048 ft., in the National Park. The river flows rapidly, dropping elevation quickly and picking up numerous tributaries along the way to the confluence with Raven Fork in Cherokee. The Oconaluftee River is known for holding large brown trout in the lower elevations along with many aggressive rainbow trout. Once upriver into the Beech Flats section you will find Southern Appalachian strain brook trout.