Catch-and-keep and catch-and-release seasons are each part of one fishing season in Cherokee that lasts all year long, keeping you doing what you love. Check out this map so you can decide where to stay and see where the optimal fishing spots are.
The tribe’s Enterprise Waters, overseen by Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management, are legendary for large fish and a full-limit catch: limit is ten fish per day, per permit. Fishing styles include short rod/spin and bait fishing, handy for penetrating some of the heavily forested banks, and fly fishing, which is becoming a growing preference for fans of the catch-and-release lifestyle.
The Parkway Haven is a portion of Raven Fork set aside for catch-and-release fishing. This 2.2-mile stretch of water, which runs north from where the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses Raven Fork, offers deep, inviting pools alongside riffles, runs, and pocket waters.
Trout are delicate and likely to be weakened after a fight. Handle hooked fish gently with pre-wet hands, being careful not to remove the slick, protective outer coating. Remove the hook carefully, preferably using forceps, to avoid damage to the fish and minimize the time your fish is out of the water. After removing the hook, gently cradle the trout, facing upstream, giving it support until it regains enough stability and strength to swim away on its own power.