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7 best national parks for fishing

By: Josh Lew on July 12, 2012, 3:05 p.m.
fishermen in stream

Photo: LakeMartinVoice/Flickr

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is another fly-fishing haven. Hundreds of miles of fishable waterways wind through the mountain forests, which stretch from North Carolina to Tennessee. Remote coldwater streams teem with trout, while larger streams are dominated by other species, such as smallmouth bass. Fishing is permitted year-round in the park (for anyone with a valid license from the state that they are fishing in). As with other parks on this list, some of the best fishing can be found in the less-visited corners of Great Smoky. These forest-shrouded headwaters can be best fished with a local guide. Some outfitters will even give novice fly-fishers a crash course in casting before they head out to hunt for trout. A handful of great fishing spots are accessible by trail. Great Smoky Mountain National Park is one of those places where reeling in your catch is only part of the experience of a fishing trip. The natural scenes that can be enjoyed streamside are as much a part of fishing here as the excitement that comes from having an oversized trout on the other side of your line.