Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Middle Prong of the Little River - Thunderhead Prong:
by: Craig Lancaster

Thunderhead Prong is a tributary that along with its sister stream Lynn Camp
Prong form the Middle Prong of the Little River. It is accessed by going to the end of
Tremont Road and parking at the trailhead, where you will then take the trail to the
right up the stream. The trail is not maintained by the park and is actually an old
manway so it is small in most places, more often than not just big enough for one
person. The trail goes up Thunderhead Prong for a little over a mile until Sams
Creek comes in from the left, at which point the trail follows Sams Creek. The trail
crosses the stream three times, only one of which is made via an actual bridge.
Upstream from Sams Creek, the only access is by in stream wading.

The stream is your typical Smoky Mountain headwater stream in that it has a fairly
steep gradient and consists of plunge pools and some deep runs. All of the fish
encountered up to the confluence of Sams Creek will be rainbows in the 6”-8”
range. Although small, these fish will usually aggressively hit a fly if a good
presentation is made. The nature of the stream ensures that there are bigger fish
to be had in some of the deeper pools. You will almost always have the stream to
yourself if you decide to fish Thunderhead Prong as neighboring Lynn Camp Prong
receives considerably more pressure.     
                            Copyright 2008 Craig Lancaster
Copyright 2008 James Marsh
Large Rainbow Trout taken
on trip.
Tributary Stream
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