TN Fly Fishing: The Ultimate Guide to Fly Fishing in Tennessee

tn fly fishing

Tennessee is a great place to visit if you’re a fly-fishing enthusiast. The state is home to many rivers, lakes, and streams that provide plenty of fishing opportunities. Tennessee offers a variety of fishing opportunities, from small streams to large river systems. This guide will tell you everything you need about TN fly-fishing, from the best places for you to fish to what gear you should bring.

Fly Fishing in Tennessee

Tennessee is home to many beautiful and abundant rivers and streams. However, some areas are more fish-rich and attract a greater number of anglers. Here are some of Tennessee’s best fishing spots:

Little River

Little River, located in the Smoky Mountain range, is one of Tennessee’s most popular fly-fishing destinations. The river is home to brown and rainbow trout. It is also open all year.

Clinch River

Clinch River offers a variety of fishing opportunities. The river is known for its trophy brown trout. The river can be difficult to navigate and it’s best to hire a guide to help you if you don’t know the area.

Watauga River

The Watauga is one of the most popular tailwater fishing spots in the Southeast. The river is home to a variety of trout species, including rainbow, brown and brook trout. Fishing is excellent below the Wilbur dam, and the best season to fish is between March and November.

What to bring on TN Fly Fishing

You should ensure that you are equipped with all the necessary equipment before you embark on a fly-fishing trip in Tennessee. Here are some must-haves for TN fly fishing.

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Rod and Reel

Fly rods and reels are the most important equipment to bring on a fishing trip. The rod and reel you choose should be matched to the weight of line that you plan to use on a specific body of water. A 4-6 wt fly rod is usually suitable for TN fly-fishing.

Fly Line and Leader

Fly line and leaders are also required when you go TN fly fishing. Weight forward floating lines are a good option for most situations.

Flies and Tippet

Carry a variety of flies including streamers, nymphs and dry flies. Bring tippets in different sizes to match the fly you choose and the fish that you are targeting.

Fishing Vests and Waders

A fishing vest is necessary to carry all your flies and other equipment. Waders can be used to cross rivers and fish in cold water.

Fly Fishing Techniques Tennessee

You can try these fly fishing techniques in Tennessee.

Dry Fly Fishing

In Tennessee, dry fly fishing is popular for catching trout. Dry fly fishing is a popular technique in Tennessee for targeting trout.


A nymph is a subsurface fly used in a fishing technique called Nymphing. The technique is best used in slower-moving waters and deeper pools.


Streamers are large flies that imitate baitfish and other prey like crayfish. This technique is perfect for catching larger fish in deeper pools or riffles.

Fly Fishing Tips for Tennessee

Here are some tips for a great fishing experience in Tennessee:

Hire a guide

Hiring a guide to enhance your fly fishing experience in Tennessee is a great idea if you are unfamiliar with a river or stream. Guides are familiar with the best spots and techniques for a specific body of water.

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Check water levels

Check the water level before casting your line. The water levels can have a significant impact on your fishing productivity. The water levels in most TN rivers and streams can change due to heavy rain or snowmelt. You can check online the levels before you travel.

Be stealthy

Stealth is key when fishing for trout. Always be aware of your shadow when casting and always approach the water quietly. Avoid making unnecessary noises when wading.

Final Thoughts

Here is the ultimate guide to TN Fly Fishing. Tennessee has some of the best fly-fishing spots in the Southeast. We hope this guide helped you plan your next trip. Enjoy your fishing trip and remember to bring all the necessary equipment.

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