The Restaurant That Lets You Catch Your Own Fish in the Smoky Mountains

me fishing at english mountain trout farm

English Mountain Trout Farm allows you to catch your own fish and have it artfully prepared by their team (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

English Mountain Trout Farm is an off-the-beaten-path restaurant that lets you catch your own fish in the Smoky Mountains

While I grew up in the mountains I’ve always been a city girl at heart. Sure, I’ve tried all the various “outdoor” activities. Hiking, camping and of course, fishing. While I appreciate the kind of person these sorts of activities appeal to, I remain an indoor enthusiast. So when my husband wanted to go to English Mountain Trout Farm in the Smoky Mountains – a restaurant that lets guests catch their meal – I was intrigued but I also had questions. Questions like …

  • Am I going to make a fool out of myself?
  • Will I get my hands dirty?
  • What happens if I can’t catch anything?

Regardless, we set out on our mini journey. And reader, I have to say, English Mountain Trout Farm not only impressed me, but it is now at the top of my must-do list for the Smoky Mountains. It’s fishing on easy mode that ends with one of the best trout meals you’ll ever experience in your life.

English Mountain Trout Farm is an off-the-beaten-path restaurant that lets you catch your fish in the Smoky Mountains. They provide the fishing gear. No fishing license is required.

me at the english mountain trout farm
If you’re in the mood for an authentic country experience you will also enjoy the scenic drive in the mountains to get to the English Mountain Trout Farm (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What is English Mountain Trout Farm?

English Mountain Trout Farm is a family-owned and operated restaurant in the Smoky Mountains. Guests are invited to – but don’t have to – catch their meal using a primitive rod in a pond full of active rainbow trout.

The experience is designed for both avid fishermen and novices like myself, who, in the real world, stand a higher chance of hooking a low-hanging tree branch than a fish. The tiny pond is full of trout that are, and I mean this quite literally, jumping out of the pond. The failure rate for this activity is seemingly quite low if non-existent.

Guests are then given the option to either take their bounty home (with a per-pound charge) or have it skillfully prepared for an on-site meal ($24.99 per trout at the time of this writing). I opted for the latter. And I have to say, to date, it is the best trout I’ve ever had in my entire life.

No fishing license or fishing gear is required. Everything you need is supplied on-site. However, if you simply prefer to bring your rod and reel, that is perfectly allowed as well.

me with my trout on the line
I am terrible at fishing and I was still able to catch a trout fairly quickly (photo by James Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What else is on the menu?

While the trout dinner with its grilled or fried trout, two sides and two hushpuppies is the star of the show, there are other menu options available. But again, I highly recommend when in Rome, or when at a trout farm, you’re probably better off eating the trout.

But if you have a picky non-seafood eater in tow there are also catfish and chicken platters available as well as a variety of appetizers and sides including fried green tomatoes, onion rings, mac and cheese, cole slaw, apple sauce and French fries.

Fun fact, English Mountain Trout Farm also provides their trout to area restaurants including Pinchy’s, The Old Mill, Chesapeake’s and the Cherokee Grill.

lemon pepper grilled trout with sides
I opted to have my trout grilled with lemon pepper seasoning (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Do you have to be good at fishing?

Heck no, I am quite possibly the worst fisher(wo)man that ever existed and I was able to hook a trout in only 2-3 minutes. A staffer unhooked the fish from my rod and sent it away to the kitchen when I was done. I didn’t even get my hands dirty. My inner-city girl was pleased. Also, my Southern food-loving self was thrilled with the meal. However, there are a couple of things to note about the fishing part of this experience.

  1. Catch and release is not allowed. Prepare to either take home or eat, everything you catch.
  2. You can catch as many fish as you’d like, but again, you’re on the hook for them. Pun entirely intended.
fish jumping out of the pond
There are loads of active rainbow trout in the private pond at English Mountain Trout Farm (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Hours and location

Entrees at English Mountain Trout Farm range from $10.99-$24.99. There is an additional charge of $5 per person to fish. Trout is charged by the pound if you choose to take it home. And PLEASE NOTE: This is a cash-only establishment.

At the time of this writing they are currently open from 11 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday and are closed on Sundays. Always confirm the exact hours before you go via their Google listing or by phone at 865-429-5553 as this is a weather-dependent attraction. Free parking is available on-site. They are located at 291 Blowing Cave Rd, Sevierville, TN 37876.

Do you like the idea of catching your own meal? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to check out our coupons page for area discounts.

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Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.