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Wednesday, 05 July 2017 19:12

WNC Fly Fishing Trail

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All of Western North Carolina is renowned for its fly fishing, and its reputation continues to grow. Jackson County has developed the first official, mapped fly fishing trail, and that has been emulated by Swain County. And of course there are plenty of outfitters and guides ready to take visitors to the best fishing holes in the mountains.

Below are just a few of the stops on Jackson County’s Fly Fishing Trail. For more information, visit

Scott 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

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

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

• 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

• 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

• 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

• Noteworthy: Cherokee Trophy Water; 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

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

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

• 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

• 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

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

Tuckasegee River

(NC 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

• 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)

• Type of Water: Wild Trout, undesignated, hatchery supported

• 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

• 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

• Noteworthy: The stretch is also home to smallmouth bass