There are dozens of cool, charming small towns in western North Carolina, but Highlands is second-to-none. The town was founded in 1875 on a high elevation plateau in Macon and Jackson counties. It is one of the highest incorporated towns east of the Mississippi River. Despite being just a few miles from the South Carolina border, the average high in July is only 78-degrees. That is 12-degrees cooler than the average high just an hour away in Seneca. However, the area’s average snowfall is about a foot annually, which is much less than places at comparable elevations like Banner Elk and Boone.
While there are only about 1,100 permanent residents, there are a host of things to do in town that attract tens of thousands of visitors every year.
Whether you are an experienced angler, or you are ready to finally get your feet wet for the first time, the Highlands area is the perfect place to go on a fly fishing adventure. Our guides can help you have a great day on the Cullasaja River, or one of many other wild trout streams nearby.
Fly Fishing Highlands, NC | The Cullasaja River
Among the most picturesque rivers in the South, the Cullasaja flows from Highlands to Franklin, NC. From Lake Sequoyah on the northwestern side of town, the river carves a deep and beautiful gorge on its 23-mile trek through Macon County before it joins the Little Tennessee River.
We recommend this river for experienced anglers, as the terrain and elevation can prove very tricky. The water can be flowing quite quickly, so it is a good idea to get a sense of where exactly to go before you wade into the Cullasaja. It is best not to go alone. You want to trust your trout fishing experience to expert guides.
The river can be fished any time except for March, when it's restocked. You will find a solid population of wild brown and rainbow trout. While, again, we do not recommend this river for beginners, if you have some experience, you can snag some great fish here between Highlands and Franklin.
If you want to find some real trophies, you are going to have to get off the beaten path, know where to look, and really put your time in on the water to reveal the true trophies that this water contains. No fly fishing guides have as much knowledge of the Cullasaja as the team at Turning Stone's Fly Fishing. This river practically flows right through our backyard. Turning Stone's is based in Franklin, NC.
Our guides have fished some of the best trout waters in the world, but we all choose to call southwest North Carolina home.
It is our goal to make each day on the river one that you will remember forever. We want you to have stories to tell others. After all, a good fishing story is always a favorite. A fly fishing adventure on the Cullasaja River near Highlands will certainly result in some great tales to share.
Contact Turning Stone's Fly Fishing for more information about how to have the best trout fishing experience possible. Hurry and book your guided tour before our schedules get full. We can't wait to take you for a true adventure near Highlands.