There’s not a bad spot to fish on the trail but there are 15 prime spots to reel in some trout. Because the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission annually stocks the waters of Jackson County with around 100,000 trout, beginner and expert anglers will have no problem finding the location, water and fish that match their skill level.
Those serious about fly fishing will want to try smaller, lesser-known spots like Panthertown Creek (three miles of stream to fish), which is known as the “Yosemite of the East” because of the craggy rock formations around it. There’s a two-mile hike to the creek, but it’s worth it. Other spots experts will want to fish include the Chattooga River (approximately six miles of waters to fish), Whitewater River (two to three miles of fishing) and Tanasee Creek (two to three miles of fishing). You’ll find stockers and wild trout in these streams and you can catch brown, brook and rainbow here.
If it’s your first time holding a fly rod, you may like fishing any of the five spots along the Tuckasegee River (nearly 20 miles of waters to fish). While you’re there, try to complete the Tuckasegee Slam by catching brook, brown and rainbow trout all in the same spot. Your best chance of completing the Slam is a beautiful stretch near Dillsboro.
Panthertown Creek offers a more solitary, wilderness experience for anglers, and the numerous feeder streams – Moses Creek, Mull Creek, Rough Butt Creek, Chastine Creek and Piney Mountain Creek (20 plus miles to fish in total) – give you a good shot at catching beautiful wild brook and rainbow trout. The mountainous terrain here opens up occasionally to stunning waterfalls, so bring your camera along with your fly rod.
Caney Fork, Scott Creek, Green’s Creek and Savannah Creek all offer beautiful scenery and more than 30 miles of waters to fish, and with easier access and higher numbers of fish, your chances of catching a keeper are higher here.
"Welcome to the first and only fly fishing trail in the United States!
The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, situated in Jackson County, features some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains." WNC Fly Fishing Trail
Visit the WNC Fly Fishing Trail for more information including finding guided tours of the trail!
Maps of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail are available online on this web site, or through the Jackson County Travel & Tourism Authority website or visitor center. The map provides detailed information on access points, waterway designations and regulations, as well as the species of fish available and other information relevant to anglers. For a full list of mountain trout fishing regulations, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Content: Jason Frye/ VisitNC.Com
Anglers and Appetite on screen stars and crew filmed another episode in May for the show.
Phil Proctor and David Zelski were fishing and eating all around the Cashiers Plateau.
In this image, Phil is with Chef Micheal Moore of High Hampton Inn. Image courtesy High Hampton Inn. May 2016