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.
View a map of all access points in Jackson County.
With more than 4,600 miles of streams, 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. (Please refer to www.NCWildlife.org for up-to-date regulations and details.)
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. An official designation recognizing Jackson County as the N.C. Trout Capital could come as early as Jan. of 2017.
In addition to the streams and The Tuck, Jackson County also has several lakes that are great for catching largemouth bass.