The Tellico River rises in the westernmost mountains of the U.S. state of North Carolina, but it flows mainly through Monroe County, Tennessee. With a length of 52.8 miles (85.0 km), it is a major tributary of the Little Tennessee River, and is one of the primary streams draining the Unicoi Mountains.
The Tellico River and its main tributaries are renowned for their brook, brown, and rainbow trout fishing. Upstream from Tellico Lake, above Tellico Plains, Tennessee, the Tellico is a premier trout stream. It meanders through a mountain gorge before reaching the broad plains downstream of Tellico Plains.