A few searches on the internet, and I had a campsite reserved on the North Carolina side of the park, in the Oconaluftee watershed. I emailed my dad to tell him about the trip, and invited him, my brother, and my cousin to come with me. My dad was immediately on board. My cousin confirmed his attendance a few weeks ago. Last night, I got the call from my brother that he'd be able to come along.
This trip is a tribute to the fly fishing trips I took with my dad, brother, and cousin when we were younger. We learned how to fly fish in Northern Pennsylvania, cutting our teeth on streams like the Little Kettle. We'll be leaving around 3am the second Thursday of October, arriving in North Carolina around noon that day. We'll have two and a half days to hike, fish, and enjoy the park before packing up and coming back to PA that Sunday. Apart from fishing the Oconaluftee, we're planning on hiking up Bradley Fork, fishing several of it tribs.
You can expect a large photo dump and post from this trip, and hopefully that photo dump includes lots of fish, black bears, elk, and other "exotic" wild life. If anyone is interested in doing a trip to the GSMNP, it really is quite affordable. Our campsite is around $20 a night, and it's stream side. A 10 day NC non-residential license is around $10, and as long as you're in the national park, no trout stamp is required. The NC license allows you to fish both the TN and NC side, and I would recommend Little River Outfitters in Townsend TN as a great source of information. Their online forum has bee incredibly helpful in planning this trip. It's a month out, but the excitement is unbearable.