Casting A Line In Jackson County

Anglers travel from across the country to experience Jackson County’s pristine rivers and streams that are teeming with brown, rainbow and brook trout.

Jackson County is home of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, which maps out 15 prime spots to catch brown, rainbow and brook trout in the crystal-clear streams of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you’re looking for wide-open rivers or secluded mountain streams, the Fly Fishing Trail® has you covered.

The heart of the trail, the Tuckasegee River, is the county’s largest body of water, flowing some 50 miles. The “Tuck” as it’s called by locals, is also one of the most accessible rivers you’ll find anywhere.

With 92,800 fish stocked in its waters annually, it’s no wonder Jackson County is recognized as the North Carolina Trout Capital®. In June of 2016, legislators on both the N.C. House and Senate floors approved a resolution recognizing Jackson County as the Premier Fishing Destination in the state. The effort was led by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Director Julie Spiro, Rep. Joe Sam Queen, and Senator Jim Davis.

In addition to the streams and The Tuck, Jackson County also has several lakes that are great for catching largemouth bass.

Fishing Season and Limits

Regulations for Mountain Trout (PDF)

Mountain trout regulations include Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, Wild Trout Waters and Special Regulated Trout Waters such as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters (PDF).


Fishing License

North Carolina Residents

North Carolina Non-Residents

Mountain Heritage Trout Waters – Jackson County has the state’s longest contiguous stretch of Mountain Heritage Trout Waters. Through the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program, fishermen can receive a $5, three-day fishing permit for select stretches of water in Sylva, Dillsboro and Webster.

Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Weekly Fishing Report


View/download the WNC Fly Fishing Trail map. Request a free printed copy here.

View/download a mileage chart of the river.

View/download a map of the Tuckasegee river access points by Duke Energy.

View an interactive map of all river access points in Jackson County.

View the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission map of fishing areas

Hatchery Supported Locations:

Delayed Harvest:

Wild Trout:

Catch and Release Artificial Lures Only:

Guides and Outfitters



Check out these videos to learn more about fishing in Jackson County:
Flyfishing by Ben Aijian

Anglers & Appetites, Season 3, Episode 305

Anglers & Appetites, Season 3, Episode 304

Anglers & Appetites, Season 2

Anglers & Appetites, Season 1