NC Trout Fishing | Cherokee, NC

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Trout Fishing in North Carolina

Discover a Hidden Treasure: Trout Fishing in Cherokee, NC

Cherokee, NC is not just one of the best places in the state to find excellent fishing waters, it is one of the best in the country. Want to plan a trout fishing trip to the mountains of NC? Come fish the crystal clear waters of Cherokee, brimming with brook, large browns, and rainbow trout. Renowned for 18-inch and above record-size trout Cherokee’s 30 miles of accessible fishing water is the single largest managed trout fishery in the eastern states.

Enjoy Cherokee Trout Fishing Every Season of the Year

From beginners to experts, anglers of all skill levels will love trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Clear streams and rivers run through the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management stocks these clean mountain waters with nearly 400,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout annually. Unlike in many other areas, Cherokee trout fishing is permitted throughout the year.

Best Trout Fishing Areas

So what makes a city, town, or region the best trout fishing? Here are a few of the reasons Cherokee offers some of the best trout fishing:

  1. Diversity – Sometimes you want to hike deep into the woods to find the perfect, secluded trout fishing spots, but other times you want to drive down to the river, lake, or stream for the afternoon and get your “fish” on! The places with the best trout fishing have options for people of all ages, physical capabilities, and preferences.
  2. Abundance – The best trout fishing regions have natural trout, as well as stocked trout.
  3. Affordability – Most anglers want fishing opportunities at an affordable price. Choose a place with great trout fishing and fishing permits that are easy to get and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
  4. Conservation – It is important to spend time and money in places where caring for the forests, waterways, and wildlife through conservation and eco-friendly, sustainable practices and maintenance. The best fishing can be found in regions where a love and care for the outdoors is prevalent.
  5. Gear and Supplies – The cities and towns with the best trout fishing also have bait, tackle, gear, and supplies available that are key to the success of your fishing endeavors. Plan ahead when you can, but if you forget something you want it to be easy to stop somewhere and stick up on all of your fishing needs.

Permits for Trout Fishing

The permits required for trout fishing in North Carolina do not cover fishing in Cherokee. To fish in Enterprise waters you must purchase an Eastern Band Sport Fishing License from the Cherokee tribe. This license gives you trout fishing access to all the ponds and streams open to the general public on lands owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. You may catch up to ten trout per day, per permit. Buy your permit online or from one of many stores in Cherokee.

  1. A $10.00 tribal permit is required for anyone over 11 years old.
  2. Permits are needed to fish in both streams and ponds.
  3. Kids under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult with a tribal fishing permit.
  4. Permits can be purchased for 2, 3, or 5 day permits.
  5. Season’s permits are also available and cost approximately $250.00

Trout fishing season in Cherokee is open year round, but the last Saturday in March is the official opening day of the season.

Don’t forget to also purchase the additional special use permit that gives you access to The Haven, a section of the Raven Fork set aside for catch and release only. Raven Fork is a pristine freestone stream that flows directly from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is your chance to enjoy some of the best trout fishing North Carolina offers.

Trout Fishing Tournaments in Cherokee

There are many trout fishing tournaments in Cherokee every year and Cherokee has become a hot spot for competitive fishing. Compete in one of the many Cherokee trout fishing tournaments that take place throughout the year. Thousands of dollars in cash prizes are up for grabs! Cherokee trout fishing events range from tagged fishing contests suitable for all ages to a challenging competition using modified FIPS-Mouche rules.

Additional Info

If you are searching for the best information on trout fishing in Cherokee then visit Fish Cherokee, a great resource for staying up to date on upcoming tournaments. Learn more about the Rumble in the Rhododendron, which features two-person fly fishing teams and a $10,000 cash prize. You can also get involved in many tagged fishing competitions where over $10,000 of tagged fish are stocked and fisherman compete to see who can catch the most. Tagged fish tournaments happen all throughout the year. Bring yourself, your friends, or even the whole family and explore the awesome experience of trout fishing in NC.

Sample Trips