Fishing


Fishing has been a part of the historic use of Great Smoky Mountains National Park since its creation. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fishing. Another fishing source can be found at Trout Unlimited.
The native brook trout was originally present in most streams above 2000 feet elevation. Extensive logging operations in the early 1900's caused contamination of over 160 miles of clear mountain streams eliminating the brook trout from about 50% of its original range.
Most of the streams in the area are home of the native Brook Trout and have been supplemented by the Brown and Rainbow trout.

Local ponds and lakes are also home to the smallmouth and rock bass. A great local book on trout fishing is Smoky Mountains Trout Fishing Guide by Don Kirk 1985 Menasha Ridge Press, Route 3 Box 450, Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278. Check out Books on Trout fishing and other trout fishing books can be found here.
Individuals 16 and older are required to have a valid fishing license, $20 per year for N.C. residents. Non-residents may purchase a one-day license for $10, a three-day license for $15 or an annual license for $30. Trout stamps, an additional $10, are required for both residents and non-residents to fish on any state-supported streams.

Local Trout fishing can be found at:

A Source for Fishing "Fee" Ponds in Smokies

Trout "Fee" -Fishing Ponds In Western North Carolina Trout fishing in the rugged mountains of North Carolina may not be practical for elderly anglers, physically impaired anglers, or families with young children. For these trout enthusiasts, "fee-fishing ponds" or "catch-out ponds" provide anglers easy access to trout and a virtual guarantee that anglers won't go home empty-handed. Fee-fishing trout ponds are commercially operated sites heavily stocked with trout where anglers pay for the fish they catch by the pound. Most fee-fishing trout ponds require anglers to keep and pay for all of the fish they catch. The ponds are usually stocked with rainbow trout and prices generally range from $2.50 to $3.50 per pound.
919-733-7125

Bill's Trout Ponds

This place also does not require a license, since it has privately stocked ponds. They charge $3.00 per pound. They can be contacted at: Bill's Fish Ponds, Route 2, Box 270, Waynesville, NC
828-926-0501

Cherokee Indian Reservation Trout Fishing

Fish the streams of the Indian reservation. Children under 12 do not require a license when with an adult who has a fishing tribal permit. No license is required, only a $7 daily tribal permit. Contact local outfitters for expert guide service in hooking the county’s river trout. You can get info from a toll free number.
800-438-1601

Cooper Creek Trout Farm

Between Cherokee & Bryson City, Cherokee is 20 miles away. Although you fish from their ponds, they do not require a license. They charge $2.75 per pound of fish you catch.
828-488-6836

Fishing The National Forests of North Carolina

The National Forests in North Carolina go from the mountains to the Atlantic Ocean with over 5,700 miles of streams and 38,000 acres of lakes offering both warmwater and coldwater fishing. Some waters are stocked, while others support wild fish populations. Some of the best trout fishing in the state can be found on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout are ready to test your fishing skills! If you prefer lake fishing, there are numerous lakes and ponds available for going after largemouth bass and bream.

Hillside Services

828-452-0382

NC Hunting and Fishing Regulations

Official North Carolina web site.