With many mountainous areas across the United States, it seems unlikely that those beautiful mountaintops would be a likely place to fish. Locations such as the Rocky Mountains, the Appalachians, the Smoky Mountains, Sierra Nevada Mountains, to name a few. All of which have plenty of rivers, streams, lakes, and creeks running through them, full of catching opportunities.

Luckily, the mountain ranges across the U.S. are full of state parks that have plenty of natural and artificial lakes combined. With forests along the bottom and rivers that often cascade down them in a tumultuous journey are found among common features. There’s no end to the places that contain year-round sports fishing. To start with, here are five locations among many of these popular mountain ranges for fishing.

1. Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains – North Carolina 

green trees near body of water during daytime

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You’ll find that both the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains reside within the larger Appalachian Mountains.  To the east are the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the Blue Ridge Parkway and thousands of miles of lakes and streams. Here, it is well-known for its large populations of bass, trout, and bluegill in this region. You can start with the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail which holds 15 spots for catching brook, brown, and rainbow trout in Jackson County. 

One of the largest deepwater lakes; is Fontana Lake. A favorite among anglers for bass, whitefish, catfish, pike, bluegills, walleye, and muskie. This also leads to the Fontana Dam next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where many of these species are also available. More places throughout North Carolina to fish within the mountains include the Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Stone Mountain State Park, and South Mountains State Park.

2. Smoky Mountains – Tennessee

water falls in the middle of the forest

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Continuing a little further south into the Appalachian Mountains is the Smoky Mountains range in Tennessee. Here, you can start with Herbert Holt Park, located inside Gatlinburg, and also known for family fishing with the kids. Another family-friendly spot inside Gatlinburg is Mynatt Park, with streams available for fishing right along the side or off the local bridge. Next is LeConte Creek, just south of Gatlinburg, and a well-known spot for rainbow and brook trout. Budley Creek and Abrams Creek are a little away. But, are also great woodland spots for trout and bass fishing all year long. Finally, Douglas Lake is a popular spot in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains with a wide variety of fish including trout, bass, crappie, and bluegill.

3. Rocky Mountains – Colorado Fishing Spots

green trees near snow covered mountain during daytime

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One beloved spot for mountain fishing is among the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. It doubles as both a popular vacation spot and fishing destination. With many rivers, lakes, and mountain streams full of various species of trout. Consider starting at Gore Creek, connected to Gore Lake and Eagle River, though fairly small it is filled with large trout. There is also Spinney Mountain Reservoir, a beautiful location for visitors for fly-fishing, belly boating, and trolling for various species like trout, walleye, and salmon. Then, there is North Delaney Butte Lake; One of the three high Delaney Butte mountain lakes near Walden, Colorado. That is also filled with a bountiful trout population.

4. Additional Rocky Mountain – Montana and Beyond

green trees near body of water and mountain under white clouds and blue sky during daytime

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With hundreds of peaks and lakes available among the Rocky Mountains, you can find plentiful fishing all throughout with a quick search. Some additional states with a hearty trout population in their mountain state park lakes, streams, and other locations include Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Start with the Rock Creek that empties into the Clark Fork River, northeast of Missoula, Montana. This is a good spot for those seeking large brown trout counts. Furthermore, it’s an optimal trout fishing destination in the fall. So, contemplate coming up here at this time for catching them.

5. Uinta Mountains – Utah Fishing Spots

Uinta Mountains

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Nevertheless, fly-fishing is quite popular in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. This is primarily around the lakes and streams off the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. Many exploratory trails and pathways lead to good fishing and camping trips all around the Uinta Mountains. You may start with the Highline Trail, leading from one lake to another over 107 miles, east to west, or vice versa.

Another popular area is the West Fork Blacks Fork. Not for the faint of heart, this trail is often multi-day backpacking, camping, and fishing trail to Dead Horse Lake with other options. Additionally, there is Four-Lakes Basin, a popular 16-mile hike within the Highline Trail. Those who brave this trek will be rewarded with over 10 fishing spots for trout. It’s important to note that fishing is only permitted on the four included lakes. There is also the Dry Fork Trail that includes the Round, Sand Lake, and Fish Lakes over a hiking trip. Once here, you can catch grayling, brook trout, and cutthroat. Finally, there is the Naturalist Basin with a fairly short trail of about 17 miles while offering several lakes with many options for your catch of the day. 

In Closing

No matter what, there are plenty of locations throughout the mountains where you can hop right out of your car and spend a day in a line in the water. Cold water species such as trout are commonly found in these rocky regions. It shouldn’t go without saying that extra precautions like insulated gear and bug spray may be needed. Although some of these locations can be moderately difficult to access, you will be rewarded with your slice of paradise. On the other hand, if you have never fished in a lake or river among the peaks, perhaps it’s time to do so.