Start your fishing adventure!
Fishing is a competitive sport and amateur pastime that’s embraced year-round in Western North Carolina. Start your fishing adventure at the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Bryson City. Then head to Sylva to fish along the renowned Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail for Rainbow and Brown Trout on the Tuckasegee River — the same Tuckasegee that the Cherokee lived along for centuries. Fish for brookies, smallmouth bass and sunfish in the Pigeon River in nearby Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Some of the best mountain river Fly Fishing on the east coast is on tribal waters inside the Cherokee Qualla Boundary where you can fish year-round and from time to time enjoy grazing Eastern Elk along its banks. These waters are well managed by the tribe. Daily permits are required and are available throughout the Cherokee, N.C. Reservation. For adventurous mountain lake fishing spend the day on the Upper Tuckasegee River system on Bear Creek Lake, Wolf Creek Lake, Ceder Cliff Lake or the other famous mountain lakes like Lake Glenville and Lake Fontana all filled with trout, large and smallmouth bass, brim and few walleyes. For Mountain Lake fishing that’s a little closer to town try your luck at Lake Junaluska. In Asheville, try your hand at reeling in brim, catfish, sunfish and bass at Lake Julian, which even stocks the lake with tilapia. And some of the best family fishing takes place outside of Hot Springs on one of the world’s oldest waterways — the French Broad River. Catch brown, brook and rainbow trout in one of more than 100 miles of creeks, rivers and streams in these old mountains. You’ll even find Donaldson and golden trout under the thick canopied cover in the Nantahala National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains where these fish breed. No matter what your level, you’ll enjoy fishing these pristine mountain waters.