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Straight Fork


MEDIUM-size freestone CREEK in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Location Tributary to Raven Fork, located above the Tribal Fish Hatchery, where Big Cove Road enters the National Park as Straight Fork Road. Easy to moderately difficult access (see below).

Species Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout

License Requirements NC or TN fishing license 

Straight Fork is known for good access and solitude. The stretch from the Tribal Fish Hatchery to Round Bottom Camp offers great fishing for rainbow trout. What the trout here lack in size is easily made up in colors. The upper reaches beyond the Million Dollar Bridge are full of small rainbow and Southern Appalachian strain brook trout. There is a maintained trail that parallels the creek for a short distance above the bridge; once the trail ends the adventure begins. Straight Fork has many tributaries that span through a vast watershed.

Be aware of the weather forecast before fishing here; flash flooding is common because of the steep backcountry terrain. Never fish this creek alone, and always let someone know where you are going.