Tellico Trout Festival
The Tellico River and its tributaries have long been known as one of Tennessee’s most productive trout fisheries - ranking also among the best watersheds in all of Southern Appalachia to catch both wild and stocked fish.
So local angling enthusiasts and Tellico Plains business promoters and civic leaders have decided it is high time to set aside a day celebrating Monroe County’s rich history and culture as a prime fishing destination.
Make plans to drift on over to Tellico Plains on Saturday, May 1 for the inaugural celebration of the Tellico Trout Festival.
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, the historic downtown of Tellico Plains will feature live music, food trucks, an assortment of outdoor vendors and an array of family friendly activities oriented toward highlighting the area’s clean running streams, abundant trout and wealth of outdoor recreation resources.
“This event gathers fishermen, river sports enthusiasts, and families to Tellico Plains for fun, education, food, entertainment and outfitter services while increasing the public's knowledge of trout,” the Tellico Trout Festival's organizers promise. “Included will be local fishing guides, conservation information, lodging services, home decor, activities, and gifts.”
Located less than an hour from Knoxville or Chattanooga, Tellico Plains is easily accessible from Interstate 75 or Highway 411.
Bands and musicians scheduled to perform at the Tellico Trout Festival include Jacob & Jody Stewart, the Poplar Bluff Praise Team, Sarah Williams & Michael Cass, the Ellis Family Band, Our Family Tree and Micah Howard.
Among the activities planned are fly tying and casting demonstrations, talks about trout fishing techniques and stream-health conservation efforts and strategies. The festival will also feature a wildlife-themed art show and sale. So whether you’re an expert angler or have never set foot in a mountain creek on a fishing expedition -- or you just want to come spend what's currently forecast to be a lovely spring day in a delightful little Appalachian mountain town -- you’re sure to learn something and have a good time at the Tellico Trout Festival.
The idea of the festival is to “let people know what we’re about,” said Tellico Plains Mayor Marilyn Parker.
“We want to invite people into our home and into our backyard here — to come and play with us,” she said. “The Lord has given us the mountains and the river and we are wanting to make use of them.”
Mayor Parker said around 50 vendors are scheduled to participate in the TTF — about ten of them craft artisans.
The festival will also serve to advance local efforts to revitalize the historic downtown. “We have a lot of new businesses that have moved in, so the Tellico Trout Festival will be an event to help showcase them, for people to see what is happening in our town," she said.
Parker said Monroe County last year experienced "an explosion of visitors wanting to get outdoors and camp and hike and fish.”
“COVID just proved to us that more and more people are wanting to do things outside -- they are looking for activities that they can do together with their families,” she said. “So we are just really wanting to be good hosts and hostesses and invite people into our part of the world. We have a ton of things to do around here and we want people to come up here and see it all for themselves."