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Great Trout Fishing In Tennessee

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Guide to fishing for rainbow, cutthroat, brook, brown and lake trout in local lakes and streams.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Trout fishing in Tennessee

Tennessee offers fantastic opportunities for trout fishing, with a variety of trout species and abundant fishing locations throughout the state. Anglers can enjoy pursuing rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout in Tennessee's lakes and rivers, with each species providing its unique angling experience. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state.

Rainbow trout are one of the most popular trout species in Tennessee. These vibrant fish can be found in numerous lakes and rivers, including the Caney Fork River, the Clinch River, and the Hiwassee River. Rainbow trout are known for their acrobatic fights and willingness to strike a variety of baits and lures. Tennessee's stocked rainbow trout fisheries provide ample opportunities for anglers to land these beautiful fish, with spring and fall being prime seasons for trout fishing.

Brown trout are another prized trout species found in Tennessee. These fish are known for their elusive nature and can be challenging to catch, making them a favorite among seasoned anglers. Tennessee's cold-water rivers and streams, such as the South Holston River and the Watauga River, offer excellent habitats for brown trout. These fisheries require anglers to employ stealthy approaches and precise presentations to entice these wary fish. Brown trout fishing is particularly productive in the early morning or late evening hours.

Brook trout, the only native trout species to Tennessee, can be found in select streams and high-elevation areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These fish inhabit remote and pristine waters, providing anglers with a unique angling experience in a picturesque setting. Pursuing brook trout requires anglers to hike and explore the beautiful mountain streams of the park, making it a memorable adventure for trout fishing enthusiasts.

Tennessee holds several state records for trout, reflecting the impressive fish that have been caught throughout the state. These records demonstrate the potential for trophy-sized catches and highlight the quality of Tennessee's trout fishing. Anglers have the opportunity to pursue trout of substantial size and challenge themselves to land a true trophy fish.

Whether casting a line in Tennessee's scenic rivers or fishing in its stocked lakes, trout anglers will find a variety of species and fishing opportunities. Tennessee's commitment to trout stocking programs and the natural beauty of its waterways make it a premier destination for trout fishing enthusiasts. Anglers can enjoy the thrill of hooking into these elusive fish while surrounded by the serene landscapes that make Tennessee a trout fishing paradise.

Trout Waters

Boone Lake, Calderwood Reservoir, Center Hill Lake, Chilhowee Lake, Cordell Hull Lake, Dale Hollow Reservoir, Fort Patrick Henry Reservoir, Norris Lake, Ocoee Lake, Parksville Reservoir, South Holston Lake, Tellico Reservoir and Watauga Lake are major lakes in Tennessee with quality populations of trout. Other smaller lakes, rivers and ponds are stocked with trout or have small sustained populations of trout as well.

Fishing Boats For Rent In TN

Trout Species In The State

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 8 oz

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat trout

World record: 41 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 0 lbs 6 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 12 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 28 lbs 12 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 22 lbs 2 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Select the best trout lures and baits

Trout spinners, crankbaits and jerkbaits work well for shallow, reasonably active fish. Salmon eggs, worms and prepared baits will work at virtually all depths.

Tennessee Record Trout

The state record rainbow trout was taken from a pond in Polk County.

The Obey River was home to the state record cutthroat trout.

The Caney Fork River turned out the state record brook trout.

The state record brown trout was pulled out of the Clinch River.

The state record lake trout came out of Watauga Reservoir.

Brown Trout
Brown trout being released.

The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.

Visit the Tennessee Wildlife Resources website for information on trout stockings in Tennessee.

Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.

Additional trout information

Trout Conservation
Trout Unlimited


Trout locations and info, by state.

AK Trout Fishing AL Trout Fishing AR Trout Fishing AZ Trout Fishing CA Trout Fishing CO Trout Fishing CT Trout Fishing DE Trout Fishing GA Trout Fishing HI Trout Fishing IA Trout Fishing ID Trout Fishing
IL Trout Fishing IN Trout Fishing KS Trout Fishing KY Trout Fishing MA Trout Fishing MD Trout Fishing ME Trout Fishing MI Trout Fishing MN Trout Fishing MO Trout Fishing MS Trout Fishing MT Trout Fishing
NC Trout Fishing ND Trout Fishing NE Trout Fishing NH Trout Fishing NJ Trout Fishing NM Trout Fishing NV Trout Fishing NY Trout Fishing OH Trout Fishing OK Trout Fishing OR Trout Fishing PA Trout Fishing
RI Trout Fishing SC Trout Fishing SD Trout Fishing TN Trout Fishing TX Trout Fishing UT Trout Fishing VA Trout Fishing VT Trout Fishing WA Trout Fishing WI Trout Fishing WV Trout Fishing WY Trout Fishing

Learn the habits of trout

Trout are considered some of the most difficult fish to fool. Once you locate Tennessee waters with a population of trout, the challenge becomes identifying trout flies and lures that will trigger strikes. Visit the trout fishing page to learn more about the habitat each of the trouts prefer.