Swain County's Mountain Lake, Rivers & Streams are a Fisherman's Paradise

Scroll down to Fishing Guides, Outfitters, Fly Shops, Bait & Tackle, and Trout Ponds

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).

Delayed Harvest - Wildlife Resources Commission designated 2.2 miles of the Tuckasegee River in downtown Bryson City as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. DH Map and regulations The DH Waters are from the US 19 bridge (at Darnell Farms) to the Slope Street bridge in town. Learn more

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 several tagged fish tournaments, a fly-fishing tournament in the trophy waters and a trout derby for children every year. More info

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.

Lake information

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.

Boating info

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.

More fun activities on the water near Bryson City.


Fishing Guides, Outfitters, Fly Shops, Bait & Tackle, and Trout Ponds

Nantahala On The Fly

Contact: Dakota Rogers


12121 Hwy 19 West

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-736-0784

Phone 828-361-9386

TF 800-468-7238

Specializing in fishing the waters of Western North Carolina. We offer fly fishing trips for the beginner to the expert level fisherman on all the most popular streams. Wade or float trips are offered for full or half day with lunch included. Let us help you plan the trip of your dreams. All equipment provided. Camping Cabins available. Nantahala On The Fly is a Carolina Outfitters, Inc. Company licensed by the US Forest Service.

Tumbling Waters Campground & Trout Pond


1612 Panther Creek Rd

Almond, NC 28702

Phone 828-479-3814

Located on Panther Creek, 1-1/2 miles off NC 28, between Bryson City and Fontana Dam. Trout farm. Free pole, bait and cleaning! Trout $3.00 per pound. Open March 16th to November 30th. Also a campground.

Simonds Bait & Tackle Shop

Contact: Ann Parton


1085 Main St

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-6854

Located on the Tuckasegee River. Live bait: shinners, trout fingerlings (seasonally), nightcrawlers, wax worms, meal worms, and crickets. Complete line of tackle for lake, river, and fly fishing. Locally hand tied flies. Single hook lures for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.Fishing license. On site taxidermy (fish only). Open year round.

Rivers Edge Outfitters

Contact: Joey Walraven


61 Big Cove Road

Cherokee, NC 28719

View Additional Addresses

Phone 828-497-9300

Mobile 770-546-0406

Full service fly fishing shop fully stocked with all your fly fishing essentials, basic spinner fishing gear and bait, and hiking and camping gear. Also offering fulliy guided fishing and hiking trips throughout Cherokee, Bryson City, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Convenient location with onsite parking near the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Tuckaseegee Fly Shop

Contact: Dale Collins


3 Depot Street

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-3333

Bryson City NC's only full service fly shop! We are your headquarters for local fly patterns, fly fishing gear, guided trips, and fly fishing advice. We carry products from many well known vendors such as Redington, Rio, Catch Fly Fishing, Montana Fly Company, Scientific Angler, Umpqua, TFO Fly Rods, Chota, Brodin Nets, Simms Logo Apparel, and our very own Tuckaseegee Fly Shop logo hats and shirts. We welcome all locals and travelers to stop in and say hi!

Great Smoky Mountain Bait & Tackle

Contact: Joanne Parton


4740 Hwy 19W

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-8920

Fax 828-488-0545

Fully stocked with all of your fishing needs. Great Smoky Mountain Bait & Tackle has everything you would need for a fishing excursion except the boat. We have a large stock of rods and reels and are a fully stocked bait shop. North Carolina annual and day pass fishing license sold here. Lake Fontana maps available.

Mac Brown Fly Fish

Contact: Mac Brown

Local 828-736-1469

Fly fishing outfitter for guide and float trips, schools and casting instruction since 1987.

Fontana Guide Service - Fishing

Contact: Kyle Fronrath


1102 North River Rd.

Sylva, NC 28779

Mobile 828-736-2318

Fontana Guide Service - Fishing

We'll show you the best fishing in the rivers & lakes of the Smoky Mountains. Fish with International Game Fish Association Professional Guides. Half day & full day trips. Pontoon boat, kayak & paddle board, wade & walk, and night fishing trips offered year round. Choose fly fishing or spinning tackle with top of the line gear. We provide everything. We have a trip for any skill level or budget. HD photos & videos of your trip available upon request. Ask about our lodging packages.

Endless River Adventures - Fishing

Contact: Ken Kastorff


14157 Hwy 19 W

Bryson City, NC 28713

Local 828-488-6199

TF 800-224-RAFT (7238)

Fax 828-488-2259

Endless River Adventures offers full and half-day fly fishing adventures for both beginning and experienced anglers. Options include float trips on the Nantahala River, as well as wade trips on the Upper Nantahala for trout; float and wade trips on the Tuckasegee River and Little Tennessee River for trout and small mouth bass. All equipment, rods, reels, waders and wading boots are included. Over 20 years experience in Western North Carolina. Licensed by the US Forest Service. Complete fly fishing shop.

Carolina Bound Adventures Fishing

Contact: Mark Van Osdal


P.O. Box 61

Almond, NC 28702

Phone 727-267-7232

Do you want to book adventures like Fishing plus multiple other Adventures while you’re here for vacation?  Save time making reservations and do it all at one website!  Our adventure planning and reservation concierge service consolidates your vacation research and planning in one place. Visit our website, choose your desired adventures like Fishing and we’ll make the reservations plus set up your itinerary!

Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited

Contact: Ronnie Parris


1012 E Alarka Rd

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-9711

Mobile 828-736-9471

Smoky Mountain Outdoors Unlimited We offer fly fishing, spin fishing and lake fishing. We specialize in catching Bass and Walleye on Fontana Lake and catching Rainbow and Brown Trout on Cheoah Lake. We also catch Steelhead Trout on Santeetlah Lake. All bait and equipment is furnished. A shore lunch is provided for full-day trips. Half day trips are also available. Open year round.

Smoky Mountain Adventures, Inc.

Contact: Steve Claxton

Phone 828-736-7501

With over 20 years in the guide industry, Smoky Mountain Adventures specializes in creating a memorable fishing experience. Whether it's backcountry camping & fishing for wild trout, or a day trip learning the art of fly fishing, we have the expertise & patience to give you a trip you will remember for a lifetime. We offer half-day, full-day, & multi-day trips on all area streams, rivers & lakes to fish for trout, walleye, smallmouth & largemouth. Let us customize an unforgettable trip for you!

AB's Fly Fishing Guide Service

Contact: Alex Bell


60 Bristol Drive

Sylva, NC 28779

Mobile 828-226-3833

A premier guide service located in the beautiful Smoky mountains of Western NC - the most picturesque trout waters east of the Mississippi River. We accommodate the serious angler as well as the beginner. Learn when and where to catch trout while taking in the soothing waters of Western NC. We are committed to making this your best experience on the water.

153 Charters

Contact: Cpt. James McManus


2013 East Fork Rd.

Sylva, NC 28779

Phone 828-421-8125

Complete fishing guide service. Specializing in area lakes for Bass, Walleye and Trout. Thirty years experience at Fontana Lake. Can take anyone from novice to expert. We provide all bait, tackle, lunch, drinks and snacks. Top of the line equipment, Lowrance Units, Minn Kota, Penn, Abu Garcia, 22' Panga CC w/145 Yamaha. USCG Licensed.

Cooper Creek Trout Farm & Catch-out Pond


3365 Cooper Creek Rd

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-2500

This full service trout farm offers all the amenities in a beautiful mountain setting that includes hiking trails, waterfalls, and picnic tables. No license required, no limit, and all fishing equipment is provided. Guided fishing tours are also available. Stay an hour or the entire day!

Fly Fishing the Smokies

Contact: Eugene Shuler


Po Box 291

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-488-7665

Mobile 828-421-0172

Fly Fishing the Smokies

Discover the majestic streams and mountains while enjoying a day of guided fly fishing with some of the Great Smoky Mountains best fly fishing guides. Since 1999, we have guided anglers of all ages and skill levels to some of the most beautiful trout streams in all of the southeastern United States. We offer wade trips, float trips, our signature beginner classes, backcountry camping and the option of half-day and full-day trips. We have something for everyone and for every budget.

Root Hog Fishing Guide Service

Contact: Dwight Pigman


PO Box 375

Bryson City, NC 28713

Phone 828-862-7958

We are a licensed fishing guide service with over 25 years of guide experience. We are available for 8, 6, and 4-hour fishing excursions for up to 4 people maximum per trip, 7 days a week, year-round. Call us for more information on available times and for reservations and scheduling information.

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 rewarding quest for wild mountain trout. The two-minute segment first aired in June 2014.

View longer 5 minute version