Our friendship began in the mid-1950s. Day after day as a teenager consumed by fly fishing, I passed an older angler on Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At some point polite “Howdy” or “Any luck?” gave way to conversation. Read more

Good Reads

North Carolina mountain town ranked one of the best small towns for adventure. Read more


Abingdon Trout Stream

Bruce Ingram photo

Quality trout streams are common in the Smoky Mountain Region. Indeed, this part of the country is nationally known for its cold water fisheries. Read more

Mountain Explorer

From boonies to boomtown and back again, the Hazel Creek community’s complicated history comes to life in a new book from the Great Smoky Mountains Association. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Sam Hunnicutt introduces his book by stating, “I claim to be a perfect hunter and fisherman for game fish; I know the best kinds of hunting outfit to use, I know the best kind of gun to use for killing game and also the best dogs to use for hunting.” Read more

Good Reads 1 Comments

A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

A few weeks earlier, learning to fly fish seemed like a great idea on the eve of turning 40. Something new and adventurous, something novel and romantic. But now I’m doubtful. My vision of whipping S-curves through the air suddenly seems far-fetched. Read more

Mountain Explorer

A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

More than 1 million visitors a year pass through the hallowed halls of the Biltmore House, a show-stopper of colossal proportions, draped in brilliant architecture, laced with captivating history and adorned with lavish antiquities. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Queens Creek Lake catch

Golman Passmore photo

Grandpa Mason used a cane pole without a reel to fish Queens Creek Lake in the early days. One day he landed a 6-pound rainbow trout. The word got around about that whopper of a fish. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Learn the Constellations

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

With a new year comes new resolutions. Whether you hope to hike more or stress less, eat better or give back, Smoky Mountain Living offers an only-in-Southern-Appalachia guide to making 2017 your best year yet. Read more

, , , , , , , Features

Made In The Smokies

Kathryn Ray photo

Whether toiling in tucked-away mountain workshops or bustling tourist studios, the region’s best artisans carry on traditions that have been passed down through the generations—oftentimes in their own families. Read more


The trout and the bedpan

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

It is late fall in North Georgia, and the cool waters of mountain trout streams provide relief for anglers seeking a respite after the summer’s heat. Read more

Good Reads

Clingmans secret tunnel

Deb Campbell

Hikers, outdoorsmen, photographers, and locals reveal their favorite treasures of “the back of beyond”—from secluded trails and fishing streams to quiet overlooks and picnic spots. Read more

, , Features

Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park photo

How’s this for a new angle? For the first time since the 1934 establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, all park streams are now open to fishing. Read more

Mountain Explorer 1 Comments

Casters of all ages

Donated photo

Springtime is near, and with budding green and showy blooms comes the beginning of derby season. Not the derbies of fleet-footed horses and fancy hats; not the derbies of cars crunching and colliding in fields of smoke and mud, either. Read more


Never doubt a trout

Lee Whitehead photo

The majority of fly fishermen out on the river don’t take the time to think from a trout’s perspective. They are too determined to catch the fish and therefore completely overlook a very important process of fly-fishing — thinking like a trout. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Cherokee fish weir

Becky Johnson photo

Paddlers, fishermen, or those who have enjoyed a cool swimming hole, have probably seen a fish weir—though they may not have recognized it. Fish weirs are structures built within a stream or river that are designed to route and ultimately trap fish. Read more


Josh Stephens

Photo courtesy of the WNC Fly Fishing Trail

Expert angler and Sylva, N.C., native Josh Stephens earned a silver medal in team competition during the 2012 National Fly Fishing Championship in Bend, Oregon. Read more


Drawing flies all year

Jeff Kennedy illustration

Fish tales have been recorded since at least 200 A.D. when the Roman author Claudius Aelianus penned On the Nature of Animals. Aelianus describes what he calls the Macedonian way of catching fish. It is, perhaps, the first account of fly-fishing. Read more


In the Smokies with Dad

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

Saturdays, when it was rainy, Dad and I would “run errands.” We’d go to hardware stores and automotive stores and paint stores and lumber stores. Everybody seemed to know Dad, and he always had a challenge for the men behind the counters. Read more

Good Reads