TRAVEL GUIDE TO BRYSON CITY AND THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS
THINGS TO DO IN THE SMOKIES
Swain County's Mountain Lake, Rivers & Streams are a Fisherman's Paradise
Whether you are fly fishing for native brook trout in a cold mountain stream, smallmouth or largemouth bass in beautiful Fontana Lake or rainbow or brown trout in one of the many stocked streams or rivers, Swain County hosts one of the most diverse fishing habitats in the world.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala National Forest offer hundreds of miles of spectacularly clear streams. Just a few minutes from Bryson City, the sparkling waters of Deep Creek are ripe for fly fishing, and many anglers enjoy the Nantahala River just west of town, particularly the section above the powerhouse on Wayah Road (pictured).
The Little Tennessee River just west of Bryson City off the Needmore Road is a wide, cold, boulder-strewn river - perfect for smallmouth bass, brim, rock bass and muskie.
The Cherokee Indian Reservation also offers a variety of fishing opportunities for the trout fisherman with regularly stocked streams, trophy waters and three trout ponds. Cherokee holds 4 tagged fish tournaments, a fly-fishing tournament in the trophy waters and a trout derby for children every year. More info
Fontana Lake webcam
If you prefer flat water fishing, Fontana Lake boasts one of the most diverse fish populations anywhere in the country. With depths of over 400 feet, many northern fish such as walleye, muskie and smallmouth bass are among favorites of local fishermen.
For boating information, including public boating access and marinas with boat rentals, as well as the Old 288 handicap accessible fishing pier, visit the Boating page of this web site. There's also more information about Fontana Lake.
Below Fontana Dam on Highway 28, the Lewellyn Branch handicap accessible bank fishing pier and boat launch ramp facility offer fishermen access to Cheoah Lake on the Little Tennessee River.
Printable Bryson City Fishing Guide (pdf).
Fishing in the smokies
Steve Claxton and Hazel Creek Featured on The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel came to Swain County for a travel segment on fishing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. They followed local fishing guide Steve Claxton up Hazel Creek on a rewardng quest for wild mountain trout. The two-minute segment aired on June 12. View the video.
website links below will open in a new window.
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111 Main Street, Bryson City NC 28713
Simonds Bait and Tackle
1085 Main Street, Bryson City NC 28713
Great Smoky Mountain Bait & Tackle
4470 US 19/74 West, Bryson City NC 28713
Almond Boat & RV Park
1165 Almond Boat Park Road, Bryson City NC 28713
Endless River Adventures
14157 US 19/74 West, Bryson City NC 28713
Fontana Village Resort
40 Fontana Dam Road, Fontana Dam NC 28733
You can purchase a basic North Carolina license – or a non-resident license – for a period of ten days or one year; there is an additional charge if you fish hatchery-supported trout waters.
The ten-day cost for basic fishing for a NC resident is $7 (non-residents pay $12). The addiitonal trout charge for everyone is $10 (for one year). A NC resident may purchase a one-year license for $22, which includes both basic fishing and trout waters (non-residents pay $42).
For more information about North Carolina fishing, go to NC Fish & Wildlife's Online Fishing Regulations.
To fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you must possess a valid fishing license or permit from either North Carolina or Tennessee.
Regular Permit — No license is required to fish in Cherokee Reservation waters, however a tribal permit is required for each person 12 years of age and over, for streams and ponds. No other fishing permit or license is accepted. Children under 12 are allowed to fish when accompanied by a permitted adult. The cost is $10 per day; $17 for 2-day, $27 for 3-day, $47 for 5-day. A single season's permit is available for $250.
Catch-and-Release Special Use Permit for Trophy Waters — $25 for a 1-3 day permit, or $75 per year, with the purchase of a general tribal fishing permit. The Special Use Permit allows use of the catch-and-release area designated on Raven Fork. All general fishing regulations apply to this permit, as do the following Special Use Regulations within the catch-and-release area:
• Tackle is limited to fly rods, reels, and line with a maximum of 18 feet of leader material or monofilament line attached.
• Only artificial flies and streamers constructed of natural or synthetic material on a single, barbless hook are permitted.
Only one single-hook fly per line is permitted.
Fishing with multiple flies attached to a single line (droppers) is permitted.
Click here for more information or to purchase a permit online.
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Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce
210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713
Karen Proctor Wilmot