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Thursday, 23 July 2015 19:12

WNC Fly Fishing Trail

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All of Western North Carolina is renowned for its flyfishing, and the world championships were recently held in Cherokee. Visitor centers and fly shops in any of the towns can help you find the best places, as can several websites.

Jackson County, however, holds the distinction for being the first to create a map for what it calls the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. Encompassing big rivers, small streams, easy access and backcountry hike-ins, the 15-spot trail was the first of its kind in the United States. For more information, click on www.flyfishingtrail.com. 

Here’s some of the featured waterways:

 

SCOTTS CREEK

The Stretch: Roughly 10 miles from headwaters near Balsam down to Sylva

Access Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-off areas along U.S. 23/74

Type of Water: Hatchery supported

Available Fish: Brown, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Stretch also includes North Fork Scott Creek and Buff Creek, which are very scenic

 

SMALL STREAMS

Moses Creek, Mull Creek, Rough Butt Creek, Chastine Creek, Piney Mountain Creek

The Stretch: Collection of small streams in eastern Jackson County, below Blue Ridge Parkway

Access Point(s): Via Moses Creek Rd (SR 1740) and Caney Fork Rd (SR 1737), avoid posted land

Type of Water: Wild Trout

Available Fish: Brook, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Mountainous terrain, includes several large waterfalls

 

CANEY FORK

The Stretch: Roughly 10 miles from East Laporte Park to headwaters at fork of Mull Creek and Piney Mountain Creek

Access Point(s): Access via Caney Fork Road (SR 1737), avoid posted land

Type of Water: Undesignated

Available Fish: Rainbow, Brown, occasional Brook

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Respect private landowners

 

TANASEE CREEK

The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from Tanasee Creek bridge up to headwaters

Access Point(s): Parking and access available at bridge on Tanasee Creek Road (SR 1762)

Type of Water: Wild Trout

Available Fish: Brown

Numbers or Size?: Both

Noteworthy: Very scenic stretch in the Nantahala National Forest

 

PANTHERTOWN CREEK

The Stretch: Entire stream, roughly 3 miles

Access Point(s): Parking and access at end of Breedlove Rd (SR 1121), with 2-mile walk to creek

Type of Water: Catch and release single hook artificial lure

Available Fish: Brook

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Located in Panthertown Valley, which is known as the “Yosemite of the East” because of its bowl shape and rocky bluffs

 

RAVEN FORK

The Stretch: Starts at Blue Ridge Parkway bridge near Cherokee and goes north for 2.2 miles

Access Point(s): Parking and access via several pull-off areas along Big Cove Road; paths run along stream

Type of Water: Catch and release fly fishing only

Available Fish: Golden, Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Donaldson 

Numbers or Size?: Both

Noteworthy: This stretch is also called Cherokee Trophy Water and fish of 20-30 inches are common; Cherokee annual permit and daily permit required

 

WHITEWATER RIVER

The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from N.C. 107 down to the South Carolina state line

Access Point(s): Parking and access along N.C. 107, a few miles south of Cashiers

Type of Water: Wild Trout

Available Fish: Brook, Brown, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Flows into Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi

 

SCOTSMAN and FOWLER CREEKS into CHATTOOGA RIVER

The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles of each stream flowing down into the Chattooga River

Access Point(s): Access available via Whiteside Cove Rd (SR 1107) or Bullpen Rd (SR 1100) in Nantahala National Forest

Type of Water: Wild Trout with Natural Bait

Available Fish: Brown, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Numbers (creeks), Size (Chattooga)

Noteworthy: The film “Deliverance” was shot on the Chattooga River

 

WEST FORK TUCKASEGEE RIVER

The Stretch: From small reservoir at Thorpe Power House upstream several hundred yards

Access Point(s): Parking and access available both sides of N.C. 107 near Thorpe Power House

Type of Water: Hatchery supported

Available Fish: Brown, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Although hatchery supported, this has nice concentration of stream-raised fish

 

TUCKASEGEE RIVER (East Laporte Park to N.C. 107 Bridge)

The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from park to bridge

Access Point(s): Parking and access available at East Laporte Park and pull-off areas along Old Cullowhee Road

Type of Water: Hatchery supported

Available Fish: Rainbow, Brook, Brown

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: East Laporte Park has picnic tables and public restrooms

 

SAVANNAH CREEK

The Stretch: About 10 miles from headwaters in Pumpkintown into Tuckasegee River

Access Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-offs along U.S. 23/441

Type of Water: Hatchery supported

Available Fish: Rainbow, Brown

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Access limited the closer you get to the Tuckasegee River
 

TUCKASEGEE RIVER (N.C. 107 Bridge to Dillsboro park)

The Stretch: Roughly 4-5 mile stretch from bridge to the riverside park in Dillsboro

Access Point(s): Parking and access available via numerous pull-offs along North River Road

Type of Water: Delayed harvest

Available Fish: Brook, Brown, Rainbow

Numbers or Size?: Both

Noteworthy: Best place to achieve the Tuckasegee Slam (catch all three species in one spot)

 

GREENS CREEK

The Stretch: About 3-4 miles from Macon County line to Savannah Creek

Access Point(s): Various places along Greens Creek Road (SR 1370)

Types of Water: Wild Trout, undesignated, hatchery supported

Available Fish: Rainbow, some Brown

Numbers or Size?: Numbers

Noteworthy: Portion of the creek flows through the Nantahala National Forest

 

TUCKASEGEE RIVER (in Dillsboro)

The Stretch: About 1 mile from Dillsboro park through town

Access Point(s): Various places between park and Best Western River Escape Inn

Type of Water: Hatchery supported

Available Fish: Rainbow, Brown

Numbers or Size?: Size

Noteworthy: Includes two lodging options: Best Western River Escape Inn and Dillsboro Inn

 

LOWER TUCKASEGEE RIVER (Barker’s Creek Bridge to Whittier)

The Stretch: Roughly 8-10 miles from bridge to Whittier

Access Point(s): Parking and access via pull-offs and businesses along U.S. 19/74 freeway

Type of Water: Hatchery supported, undesignated

Available Fish: Rainbow, Brown

Numbers or Size?: Size

Noteworthy: The stretch is also home to smallmouth bass

 

Other WNC fly fishing spots

FERGUSON’S TROUT POND – CLYDE

Catch an unlimited number of trout (the only fish stocked in the pond). Fishing poles and equipment available. Call for current pricing and hours: 828.627.6404

11571 Betsy’s Gap Road, Clyde

SOCO GAP TROUT PONDS – MAGGIE VALLEY

Everything is supplied. No limit on the amount of fish caught. Rainbow trout available. Call for current hours and pricing: 828.926.3635

43 Rena Drive, Maggie Valley

SORRELL’S CREEK TROUT FARM – MAGGIE VALLEY

Visit the Cold Mountain Trout Company’s Fishing Park. Full of quality trout. No license required and no limit. Picnic areas (and grills for the fresh catch) alongside the catch-out ponds. Equipment available for rent. Reservations accepted for group events, from birthday parties and reunions to family get-togethers and church activities. Call for current hours and pricing: 828.648.9903

443 Sorrell’s Creek Road, Canton