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cherokee nc

Looking for a Fly Fishing Excursion in Cherokee, NC

If you are looking to fly fish on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee reservation, you need to have a good fly fishing guide who can help you not only navigate the waters but help you with the correct permits.

If you are vacationing in and around Cherokee, NC, and want to spend a day on some of the top trout waters in western North Carolina, contact us today!

Raven Fork Oconaluftee River Turning Stones Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing Excursion in Cherokee, NC

The Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management manages the waters located within the Qualla Boundary (the Cherokee reservation). It encompasses most of the Raven Fork, Oconaluftee River, and Soco watersheds. 

These waters are some of the best and longest privately owned and stocked fishing waters east of the Mississippi. Cherokee has one of the best stocking programs, which started in 1964. They stock over 30 miles of water in the Qualla Boundary with almost 300,000 rainbow, and brook trout each year. They are also known for having one of the best hatcheries in the United States.

Oconaluftee River

The Oconaluftee River in Cherokee is a large-size freestone creek. It is stocked 1-2 times per week by the Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management hatchery and has an abundance of rainbow, and brook trout, and even an occasional palomino.

Raven Fork River

The Raven Fork, which runs through the Qualla Boundary, is stocked several times per year with rainbow, brook, and Donaldson trout, or “Super Trout,” and palomino trout. 

Some of the largest fish in the Smokies can be found in the Raven Fork/Trophy Trout Fly Fishing Only Section. Expect to catch browns and rainbows that are possibly larger than 20 inches. A good guide such as those from Turning Stone’s can help get you to the fish in this region where you can capture the trout of a lifetime. 

raven fork of the oconaluftee river

Fly-Fishing Permits and Regulations Cherokee, North Carolina 

Any angler or would-be angler can enjoy Cherokee fly fishing on any of their waters. The only permit required for fly fishing is a tribal fishing permit. This permit can be obtained in one of Eastern Band of the Cherokee Reservation's many stores or by ordering it in advance online

When Can I Fish?

On the tribal lands, you can fish one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, but you must first obtain a permit.

Cherokee Permit Costs

  • Permits can be bought online and printed at home, but keep it with you at all times.
  • Permits for streams and ponds cost $1 per day for anyone over 12. 
  • Children under the age of 12 are free when accompanied by an adult with a permit.
  • Multi-day permits are offered at a reduced charge of $17 for two days, $27 for three days, and $47 for five days.
  • A single-season permit will run you $250.

Discover the Natural Beauty of Western North Carolina Fly Fishing.

WNC is one of the top Trout Fly Fishing Destinations in the United States. Cherokee has trout-filled streams, creeks, and rivers. Every year, fly fishing anglers come to Cherokee to catch brookies, rainbows, and brown trout. While there are numerous other places you can fly fish in this area, none match the fishing in Cherokee, NC. It is only matched to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Book Your Fly Fishing Trip Today

Guided Beginner

Should I Hire a Fly Fishing Guide?

Regardless of your experience level, hiring a fly fishing guide to take you into the Qualla Boundary will be safer and make your experience more enjoyable. The best fly fishing trips begin with a guide who understands where to look for stunning palomino, rainbow, brook, brown, and super trout! 

The best fly fishing guide will know where the fish are biting, how to get there quickly, and how to keep you and your gear safe. Hiring a fly fishing guide is one of the most successful ways to hook a lot of fish.

Is Turning Stone's Fly Fishing Right for Me?

You won't find better guides than the folks at Turning Stone's Fly Fishing. If you want guides with tons of knowledge about the waters in and around the Cherokee NC, choose Turning Stone Fly Fishing.

I'm Booking With Turning Stone's - When Should I Reach Out?

You need to book your trip as soon as possible. While we are humbled by the outpouring of love and support from our clientele, our trips are popular and fill quickly. If you are planning a vacation in Cherokee, NC, and want to try your hand at fly fishing or would like to have a guide help get you to where the fish are, then contact us today to book a trip on the Oconaluftee River or Raven Fork.

Fly Fishing Cherokee, North Carolina               

Cherokee, North Carolina, is one of the state's most beautiful places to visit. Straddling the border between Jackson and Swain counties. It is also the gateway to Great Smoky National Park, welcoming millions of tourists annually. Just a brief summary of what attracts people to vacation in the area includes:

  • Spectacular mountain views surrounding the Oconaluftee Valley
  • Whitewater rafting and kayaking in the area rivers and creeks 
  • Hiking the hundreds of miles of trails in and around Great Smoky National Park
  • Catching a glimpse of North Carolina's only wild elk herd
  • Trying your luck at Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort 
  • Taking a ride on a steam engine from nearby Bryson City
  • Beginning a drive on the south entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Standing near or under Mingo Falls, or one of the many other waterfalls
  • Fly Fishing in The Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee River

Whether you are visiting the area for a family vacation or a quick getaway, you will thank yourself for adding fly fishing to your list of activities. If it were up to us, we recommend you spend the entire time fishing the Raven Fork of the Oconaluftee River.