5 Best Trout Streams in the Eastern United States

With spring now upon us, here are five of the best trout streams in the eastern United States to go fishing. 

This time of year is one of my favorites. It's the start of so many seasons. Spring has commenced, turkey season is open, and the trout are biting.

This time of year is hard to beat.

Whether you enjoy catching a limit with a spinning reel or a fly rod, we've outlined some of the best trout streams in the eastern United States.

1. Chattahoochee River

best trout streams

Located in Georgia, there are prime trout fishing waters just north of the town of Helen near the Chattahoochee National Forest. These headwaters of the Chattahoochee are not but 10 or 12 feet across, but you can catch stocked rainbow trout for days this time of year.

It's not ideal for long casts with a fly rod in most spots (thanks to an abundance of mountain laurel blooming on the banks), but flipping a dry fly into pools throughout the river proves to work just fine.

2. Oconaluftee River

best trout streams

Located primarily in the heart of The Smoky Mountains, Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, North Carolina is some of the best trout fishing in the southeastern U.S.

Trout thrive in these cold waters, and they stock browns, rainbows, and brookies. The river offers both catch-and-release and put-and-take waters with a bag limit. A stamp or pass is required when fishing on the indigenous Cherokee-owned land.

3. Smith River

The Smith River located in southwest Virginia is home to several stocked and native trout that dwell in the cold waters that flow from the Philpott Dam. There are special regulations for fishing below the dam, so anglers need to read VDGIF regulations before they decide to go after trout in that section.

It offers about 31 miles of trout waters below the dam for anglers to capitalize on Virginia trout. Additionally, the Smith River is home to other fish species such as smallmouth bass, rock bass, and sunfish.

4. Taccoa River

Georgia provides great fishing opportunities and trout fishing is allowed year-round in designated trout waters. Located in north Georgia, the Taccoa River is another hot spot for catching a limit.

With several spots for public access, the Taccoa is arguably one of the best fly fishing locations in the whole state.

5. Watauga River

Anglers flock to the Watauga River in Tennessee to catch self-sustaining brown trout. Browns were once stocked in the river, but now they reproduce at a rate where stocking is not as necessary.

Trout hold over well during the summer because the cold water flows through the Wilburn Dam from Watauga Lake and Wilburn Lake. Rainbow trout are stocked in the river, giving anglers the added bonus of targeting both species.

All images except top, featured image via whitetailguruhunting.

Like what you see here? Read more hunting articles by Nathan Unger at whitetailguruhunting.com. Nathan is also the host of the Whitetail Guru Hunting Podcast.