Wade & Walk Fly Fishing Trips
Western North Carolina has many wade fishing opportunities for targeting trout and smallmouth bass on the fly. We offer half day (4hr), 3/4 day (6hr), and full day (8hr) guided wade and walk Fly Fishing Trips year round in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
We primarily target rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and smallmouth bass on the fly. We provide all the essential gear you need to have a great experience in the river. All you need to bring is fishing licenses and anything you wish to eat or drink. We furnish all the wading gear, flies, tippet, rods and reels. 100% catch and release all the time.
We offer guided fly fishing trips on the Tuckasegee River Delayed Harvest tail-water, Cherokee water including the Oconaluftee River & Raven Fork Trophy Section on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, the lower Tuckasegee River & Little Tennessee River for smallmouth bass & trout, and countless back-country freestone streams for wild trout & native Southern Appalachian brook trout inside the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Depending on your needs, experience level, and physical capabilities, we will use our expansive knowledge to help you make the right trip choice, and have a fly fishing experience you will never forget!
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has about 2,900 miles of streams within its boundaries, and protects one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. There are remote headwater streams that require a hike or boat ride across Fontana Lake to reach and those that are easier to reach with ample road-side access. The fly fishing opportunities are as diverse as the landscape itself. Most Great Smoky Mountain trout streams average 10 to 30 feet in width, running clear and swift. In the higher elevations the streams are steep and strewn with boulders. Lower elevation streams are characterized by large pools and deep runs.
In addition to the wild rainbow trout, brown trout, and native southern Appalachian brook trout, this range is home to a huge amount of wildlife, beautiful foliage, and some spectacular mountain scenery. It is not uncommon for our clients to see elk, black bear, turkey, deer, and other wildlife while enjoying their guided fly fishing trip with us inside the boundaries of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Hazel Creek, Noland Creek, Forney Creek, Deep Creek, & the Oconaluftee River are some of our most popular guided trip locations inside the GSMNP. Fly fishing here can be enjoyed year round!
Tuckasegee River Delayed Harvest
The Tuckasegee, known as the “Tuck,” originates in Cashiers and runs through Sylva, Dillsboro and Bryson City on its way to Fontana Lake. It combines into two forks, the East and West, each of which is
hydroelectric dammed. The cold water discharges combine into one river that provides an ideal habitat for trout for most of the year.
The popular Delayed Harvest section is approximately 5 miles long and located between the towns of Dillsboro and Sylva, NC. Between the months of October and June we primarily guide our wade and walk fly fishing trips on the Delayed Harvest portion of the Tuckasegee River for rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. Our clients can expect opportunities to catch the Tuck Trout Slam of all three trout species and have chances at trophy size fish above 18 inches in length. This portion of the Tuckasegee River is the centerpiece of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail and receives nearly 50,000 stocked trout each year.
The Tuck was one of the first North Carolina streams to be put under Delayed Harvest regulations and it has become widely popular. We are the only guide service in the region with a private riverside access point, ensuring our clients can beat the crowds when needed and successfully target fish when rivers flows are high. The best time of year to wade fish the Tuckasegee River and target trout is October through June. The best time to target smallmouth bass in mid April through October.
Cherokee: Oconaluftee River & Raven Fork
The Cherokee Indian Reservation features 30 miles of privately stocked, beautiful freestone mountain streams connected to one another. We offer guided fly fishing wade trips on Straight Fork, Raven Fork, and the Oconaluftee River as they flow out of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park boundaries. The Tribal Fisheries and Hatchery program stocks over 250,000 trout per year to an existing population of wild and hold over fish swimming in the crystal clear waters, making it some of the most heavily stocked trout water in the country. Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and the occasional palomino trout are regularly stocked for anglers to enjoy in pristine water flowing through secluded forests, suburban roadside areas, and eventually downtown Cherokee.
Tribal Enterprise Waters are a precious natural resource. Included in the 30 miles of freestone streams is 2.2 miles of year round, fly-fishing only, catch & release trophy water on the the Raven’s Fork. The water that forms the Raven’s Fork, a tributary of the Oconaluftee River, flows out of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This pristine trout water can be technical at times due to pressure, but offers anglers chances at truly trophy sized trout of a lifetime in the 20 to 30 inch range. In addition to the great fly fishing, It is not uncommon for our clients to see elk, black bear, turkey, deer, and other wildlife while enjoying their guided fly fishing trip with us inside the Cherokee boundaries.
Western North Carolina rivers may be be best known for trout, but during the warmer months of the year there is exceptional smallmouth bass fishing. We target smallmouth bass on our wade and walk fishing trips between the months of April and October on the Tuckasegee River and Little Tennessee River. Smallmouth bass are widely regarded as one the hardest fighting game fish in freshwater. Their reputation is built on stamina, acrobatic fights, and aggressive top water strikes. Smallmouth bass fishing in our rivers can be productive and challenging. In our Western North Carolina population, fish average between 10 to 12 inches, but trophy fish exceeding the 18 inch mark are not uncommon. Fish reaching over 20 inches in length are rare, and are considered a once in a lifetime smallmouth bass in our rivers.