30 Miles of Well-Stocked Trout Streams
CHEROKEE TRIBAL WATERS
Each year, the EBCI Fish and Wildlife Management division stocks nearly 400,000 trout in the tribal waters, a stream system connecting 30 miles of freestone streams that include secluded forest settings, suburban road side areas as well as the center of the town of Cherokee.
Tribal waters (PDF map). No license is required to fish in Reservation waters, however a tribal permit is required.
• One-day permit: $10 (creel limit of ten)
• Two-day permit: $17
• Three-day permit: $27
• Five-day permit: $47
• Single season permit: $250
A permit is not required for children under 12, if accompanied by a permitted adult.
There is a catch-and-release section for flyfishing only. A Tribal Special Use Permit allows use of this area, designated on the Raven Fork. An additional $75 annual permit is required in this section.
Fishing in the “Trophy Waters”catch-and-release section of Ravens Fork requires an additional special use permit. Details, including information on multi-day and special use permits, can be found here.
The tribe offers three handicapped fishing piers that accommodate wheelchairs. One is located at the fishing ponds in Big Cove and two are along the Oconaluftee River in downtown Cherokee.
NATIONAL PARK WATERS
To fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you must have either a valid North Carolina or Tennessee fishing license. You can purchase a basic North Carolina license at locations throughout the area.
NC License (Residents)
• Ten-day : $9
• One-year: $22
NC License (Non-residents)
• Ten-day : $20
• One-year: $38
OTHER TROUT STREAMS
If you plan to fish for trout outside the National Park or Cherokee Reservation, an additional “trout stamp” is required at a cost of $15. Some of the trout streams are strictly catch-and-release. Information on Trout Fishing in North Carolina from NC Fish & Wildlife.
There are several marinas at Fontana Lake for boat rentals as well as several public boat ramps. Guide services are also available.
Cherokee’s Trout Fishing Tournaments
In 2011, the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship was held in Cherokee’s Tribal Waters — the first time the National event had been held in the Southeast. For more information on fishing tournaments, visit Fish Cherokee, a website devoted exclusively to Tribal fishing events.
Fishing & Boating