Landing the big one: National Fly Fishing Championship coming to Cherokee
Want to see some of the best fly-fishing imaginable? The 2011 U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship will be held May 19 through May 22. It will be headquartered in Cherokee with fishing held on several waterways in the region
The event is hosted by the N.C. Fly Fishing Team, in partnership with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Fish and Wildlife Management and the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.
This is the first time the event has been in the Southeast. The championship will see 60 of the top fly fishermen from around the U.S. Competitors for the 2011 National Fly Fishing Championships first had to qualify at regional competitions around the country.
Numerous businesses, organizations and volunteers have worked together to host the event here.
“There has been a true partnership with everyone doing what they can to help make the event successful,” said Matt Pegg, Executive Director of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, who is excited about the exposure the event will bring.
Catch some of the action
Spectators are welcome to watch the competition. Competitors are split into groups and dispatched to one of five rivers. They then rotate over the course of the competition. Each river is divided into sections, with anglers assigned a specific section so they won’t be bumping into each other.
• Lower Nantahala River from just above Little Wesser Falls to the double bridge at Winding Stair Road.
• Cherokee Trophy Waters of the Raven’s Fork River, from the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge to the pedestrian bridge at a campground.
• Tuckaseegee River, from the N.C. 116 bridge in Webster upstream to the N.C. 107 Bridge
• Upper Nantahala River from the confluence of generation canal just beside the Duke Energy Power Plant upstream to White Oak Creek.
• Calderwood Reservoir below the Cheoah Dam.
Anglers will be practicing on other area waters all week, but are barred from fishing on the competition sections until the competition day.