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
Mountain trout regulations include Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, Wild Trout Waters and Special Regulated Trout Waters such as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters (PDF).
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.
Weekly Fishing Report
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:
- Balsam Lake
- Bear Creek Lake
- Buff Creek– SR1457 Bridge to Scott Creek
- Cullowhee Creek-Tilley creek to Tuckasegee River
- Green’s Creek– Green’s Creek Baptist Church on SR1370 to Savannah Creek
- Savannah Creek– Headwaters to Bradley’s Packing House on NC 116
- Scott Creek, Dark Ridge Creek – Jones to Scott Creek
- Tuckasegee River – From confluence with West Fork Tuckasegee to NC 107 bridge at Love Field & former Dillsboro Dam to SR 1392 bridge at Wilmot
- Tanasee Creek Lake
- West Fork Tuckasegee River
- Wolf Creek Lake
- Tuckasegee River (NC 107 bridge at Love Field to NC 116 bridge at Webster)
- Chattooga River
- Gage Creek
- Needle Creek
- North Fork Scott Creek
- Sols Creek
- Tanasee Creek
- Whitewater River-Down from Silver Run creek to S.C. line
- Wolf Creek – Except Balsam Lake
Catch and Release Artificial Lures Only:
Guides and Outfitters
Check out these videos to learn more about fishing in Jackson County:
Anglers & Appetites, Season 3, Episode 305