WNC Fly Fishing Trail
Here is our weekly Fly Fishing Report. Please feel free to download.
Jackson County features some of the best trout waters anywhere and is home to the nation’s first fly fishing trail - the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail.
The Trail maps out 15 prime spots to catch brown, rainbow and brook trout in the crystal-clear streams of the Great Smoky Mountains. Visitors had long recognized Jackson County as a premier destination for fly fishing, but often times weren’t exactly sure where to cast a line. So, the Trail was created in 2009 to guide anglers to our best fishing locations.
Whether you’re looking for wide-open rivers or secluded mountain streams, the WNC Fly Fishing Trail has you covered. The trail website – www.FlyFishingTrail.com – provides a map for download, descriptions and GPS coordinates for all 15 spots, plus a gallery for users to upload photos of their catches. It also includes a weekly fishing report.
The centerpiece of the trail, and of Jackson County fishing in general, is the Tuckaseigee River. It is the county’s largest body of water, flowing some 40 miles from southeast to northwest. It has been referred to as “Western North Carolina’s best trout stream for fly anglers,” by The Charlotte Observer.
Need guide service? Click here to see a list of members that provide quality service!
NC Trout Capital
Photo courtesy of www.fishcherokee.com
In 2016, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce spearheaded an effort to become the official Trout Capital of N.C.
In April of 2016, the Jackson County Commissioners approved a resolution recommending that N.C. State Legislators recognize Jackson County at the N.C. Trout Capital. In June of 2016, legislators on both the N.C. House and Senate floors approved a resolution recognizing Jackson County as the Premier Fishing Destination in the state. The effort was led by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Joe Sam Queen, and Senator Jim Davis. An official designation recognizing Jackson County as the N.C. Trout Capital could come as early as Jan. of 2017.
Jackson County contains 4,600 miles of trout streams and receives an annual stocking of 92,800 trout, which is the most of any county in the state. It also features the state's longest contiguous stretch of N.C. Mountain Heritage Trout Waters. Jackson County is the home of the state record for the largest rainbow trout ever caught.
Jackson has 31 public access points for fishing; supports fishing classes for children, is home to the nation’s largest river cleanup day in the country; and plays host to its own chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Mountain Heritage Trout Waters
In 2013, NC Fish & Wildlife designated Sylva, Dillsboro and Webster as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters.The program encourages trout fishing as a heritage tourism activity and allows anglers to fish the waters by purchasing a three-day license for just $5.
Jackson County has the longest contiguous stretch of designated waters in the state, making up 25% of the North Carolina's Mountain Heritage Trout Waters. The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce has complimentary detailed maps for each of three towns. Feel free to stop by the Chamber of Commerce, located at 773 West Main Street, for free Mountain Heritage Trout Water maps.
To obtain a Mountain Heritage Trout Waters license for $5.00, visit: http://www.ncwildlife.org/
Fishing/LearnResources/ Programs/ MountainHeritageTroutWatersPro gram.aspx
Those who already have a valid N.C. fishing license and trout privilege license do not need to purchase the three-day license.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Warren Bielenberg Photo
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Fishing has been a part of the historic use of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since its creation. The native brook trout was originally present in most streams above 2000 feet elevation. Extensive logging operations in the early 1900s caused contamination of over 160 miles of clear mountain streams, eliminating the brook trout from about 50% of its original range.
Persons possessing a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license may fish all open park waters. A license is required of all persons age 16 or older. Persons under age 16 are entitled to the daily adult bag and possession limit, and are subject to all regulations. Senior citizen licensing is available. The Park does not sell fishing licenses. Licenses are obtainble in surrounding communities, outside the park or click HERE.
Fishing is permitted year-around in open waters.
Fishing is allowed from one half hour before official sunrise to one half hour after official sunset.
Daily Possession Limits
Limit: daily limit is 10 trout per permit holder (includes catch of children fishing under a supervising adult's permit).
North Carolina License Requirements
Residents and nonresidents age 16 and older need a license. Residents age 70 and older may obtain a special license from the state. Buy a license from the state government of North Carolina.
Persons under 16 in North Carolina and under 13 in Tennessee are entitled to the adult daily bag and possession limits and are subject to all other regulations.
Fishing is permitted year-round in open waters.
Fishing is allowed from a half hour before official sunrise to a half hour after official sunset.
Daily Possession Limits
Five (5) brook, rainbow or brown trout, smallmouth bass, or a combination of these, each day or in possession, regardless of whether they are fresh, stored in an ice chest, or otherwise preserved. The combined total must not exceed five fish.
Twenty rock bass may be kept in addition to the above limit.
A person must stop fishing immediately after obtaining the limit.
For detailed information about size limits, bait, and regulations, click HERE or call (865) 436-1200.
Fishing in Cherokee
Photo courtesy of www.fishcherokee.com
Cherokee Indian Reservation
You can choose from hundreds of fishing spots from secluded to easy access trout ponds on the Cherokee Reservation in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Qualla Boundary has more than 30 miles of clear trout streams and three easily accessible ponds that are stocked twice each week with rainbow, brook and brown trout. One quarter million are stocked annually, including thousands of trophy size trout.
Cherokee Tribal Hatchery
The trout are produced at the Cherokee Tribal Trout Hatchery, located on Straight Fork in the Big Cove Community. Visitors are welcome from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
$10 per day- Tribal Permit for each person, 12 years of age and over, for streams and ponds. No other fishing permit or license is accepted. Two, three and five day permits are available. $17 for two-day, $27 for three-day, and $47 for five day. A single annual permit is available for $250.
For complete fishing information or to purchase a fishing permit online visit www.fishcherokee.com. Call 828-359-6110.