Middle Prong of the Little River (Tremont):
|Fly Fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Middle Prong of the Little River is locally referred to as "Tremont". It's a
beautiful, small to medium size trout stream. The stream is formed by the
confluence of two small tributary streams, Thunderhead Prong and Lynn Camp
Prong. Both of these streams can be accessed from the trailhead located at the
end of the road that follows the Middle Prong for its entire length. The Middle Prong
consist of the run - riffle - pool type water mixed with broken pocket water.
The Middle Prong in comparison to the other streams in the park is a small to
medium size stream, depending on where you are taking a measurement.
The lower portion is followed by a paved road for the first couple of miles. It
changes to a dirt road after that and continues to follow the stream closely for the
next two miles. During the warmer parts of the year, the portion of the stream above
the paved section of road offers the best trout fishing. We recommend you select
another destination during the hottest part of the summer because the entire
Middle Prong is situated at a relative low elevation.
Most years, the Middle Prong has a very good population of rainbows and some
brown trout. Like many of the park's streams, the uppermost portion of its
headwaters are inhibited by brook trout. The lower part of the stream contains most
of the brown trout population. The farther upstream you go, the less likely it is you
will catch a brown. This is predominately a rainbow trout stream.
Average Fish Size:
Rainbows are as large in the Middle Prong as they are in most of the park's
streams. Rather large browns have been caught in the lower part of the stream, so
be aware of that it's possible to hook a trout much larger than you may think exist in
this small stream. Rather large smallmouth bass have also been caught in the
lower part of the stream.
This stream is heavily fished during the peak fishing season or we should say
during the most popular times of the season. The peak fishing season is not
always the most popular fishing season. The reason that the fly fishing is popular
in the Middle Prong is two fold. One, the stream is located very near Townsend,
Tennessee and easily accessed. Two, you will rarely see a tuber on the Middle
Prong. The nearby main part of Little River or the East Prong, is much more popular
This medium size stream is not especially difficult to fish. Much of the stream has
tree limbs that completely overhang the water and casting can be difficult, so
fly-fishing can be tough in that regard. The gradient of the stream is average or low
to medium when compared to other streams making it fairly easy to move around
in the stream. In the upper portions of the stream, or its tributaries (above the road)
the gradients increase considerably.
Headed upstream, Spruce Flats Branch is the first tributary stream of the Middle
Prong. Two main tributary streams, Thunderhead Prong and Lynn Camp Prong,
form the Middle Prong of the Little River. They join just above the parking area at the
end of the road.
Spruce Flats Branch:
Spruce Flats Branch is a very small tributary that enters the Middle Prong about
three and a half miles upstream. It's accessible from the Spruce Flats Branch trail
which starts near its confluence with the Middle Prong.
The Thunderhead Prong is one of the two tributary streams that form the Middle
Prong. Most of the trout in Thunderhead Prong are rainbows. Access the stream is
from a trail that follows the small stream closely for the first mile. At that point the
stream is joined by Sam's Creek and the trail follows Sam's from there on. Above
Sam's Creek you will have fish by wading upstream. Most of the trout are rainbows.
Sam's Creek is a very small tributary of the Thunderhead Prong. It's located almost
a mile above the confluence of Thunderhead Prong and the Lynn Camp Prong. The
stream can be accessed from the trail that follows it. Sam's Creek has been
restored by the park and is now inhibited by only brook trout.
Lynn Camp Prong:
Lynn Camp Prong is a small stream that together with Thunderhead Prong forms
the Middle Prong of Little River. Most of its trout were previously rainbows and are
now all brook trout. Lynn Camp Prong is accessible from the Middle Prong Trail. It
and its tributaries are currently closed to fishing from the confluence of
Thunderhead Prong upstream for brook trout restoration.
Indian Flats Prong:
Indian Flats Prong is a very small tributary stream of Lynn Camp Prong. It's
accessible from the Middle Prong trail where it joins Lynn Camp Prong about two
and a half miles above the trailhead. It's currently closed to fishing for restoration
Panther Creek is a very small tributary stream of Lynn Camp Prong that's located
several miles upstream. It's also closed.
The Middle Prong is a very popular fly fishing destination in the park for several
good reasons. It's a beautiful stream that can be accessed very easy and it
provides excellent fishing even though the pressure is as great as anywhere in the
Copyright 2011 James Marsh
The Middle Prong can be tough
to cast in. The stream depends
on the trees to keep its water
cool because much of the
stream is in the lower elevations
Long runs provide he perfect
ambush point for trout because
they channels all of the food into
a narrow lane.
The Middle Prong is closely
bordered by a road making
access very easy. This makes it
a very popular stream with
anglers. You must hike in to fish
the tributaries of the stream.
Another nice rainbow trout for
the Middle Prong.
A larger rainbow trout taken
from the Middle Prong during
the Quill Gordon hatch.
This is probably the average
size rainbow for this stream.
Rainbows are the main
attraction of the Middle Prong.
Fishing an upper tributary
stream of the Middle Prong.
This is the best place to be after
the month of May.
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