Outdoors Briefs

Fishing updates

Go fishing

Learn to fly fish this month with lessons and expeditions offered by Haywood County Recreation.

out flyfishing

Tommy Thomas will teach a two-day beginner’s course on casting 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, July 14 and 21, on Richland Creek in the Waynesville Recreation Park. At 5:30 p.m. Mondays, July 10 and 17, Ray Sugg will lead fly fishing expeditions for participants with basic skills at Mary Rathbone Park in Maggie Valley.

For the casting course, no fishing license is required and loaner rods are available. For the expedition, a fishing license is required and participants must bring their own rod and flies.

Registration for either program is $10. Sign up at haywoodcountync.gov/recreation

Fish for free on Independence Day

Free Fishing Day will return to North Carolina’s public waters on Tuesday, July 4, with anybody regardless of age or residency allowed to fish without a license on that day.

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Free fishing begins at midnight and ends at 11:59 p.m. While licenses will not be required during that time, all other fishing regulations such as length and possession limits as well as bait and tackle restrictions still apply. On all other days of the year, a fishing license is required for people age 16 and older.

Authorized by the N.C. General Assembly in 1994 and sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina’s annual free fishing day, which always falls on July 4, was created to promote the sport of fishing.

Fish for cash

A two-day fishing tournament will offer $10,000 in prizes, Saturday, July 8, through Sunday, July 9.

The Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament — named for a longtime trout hatchery employee who passed away too soon — will take place in rivers all across the Qualla Boundary, except for 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters, with anglers hoping to catch some of the fish specially tagged for the event.

Fishing will start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day, with prize redemption open 2-4 p.m. each tournament day. Register anywhere Cherokee fishing licenses are sold. 828.369.6110.

Fish with the family

A series of family fishing events is planned for Waynesville this summer. Events will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, June 3, July 8 and July 29 at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, with all ages and skill levels welcome to fish the pond.

Bait and equipment will be provided. The event is free, with pre-registration required with Tanya Poole at 828.329.3472 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Delayed Harvest waters open soon 

On Saturday, June 3, 34 trout streams and two lakes in North Carolina will reopen to trout harvest through Sept. 30.

out flyfisherman

An angler casts a line in Western North Carolina. NCWRC photo

From 6 a.m. to noon on opening day, these Delayed Harvest waters will be open only to youth under 18 years old. The water will then open to all anglers.

Anglers can keep up to seven trout per day with no gear or bait restrictions and no minimum size limits. Delayed Harvest waters are posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs.

Anglers can help prevent spread of nuisance species like gill lice, whirling disease and didymo by cleaning all equipment of plants, animals and mud; draining water from boats, live wells and equipment; drying equipment thoroughly; and never moving organisms from one body of water to another.

A list of Delayed Harvest waters, regulation information and trout maps are available at ncwildlife.org/trout.

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