• Experience Fly Fishing at its Finest In North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains

  • Western North Carolina

    has some of the finest trout fishing in the USA!

    Rainbow Trout • Brown Trout • Brook Trout

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Ed Hudon, your guide to trout fishing in The Great Smoky Mountains

Ed Hudon, Your Guide

I was born and raised in Connecticut and started my fly fishing on the famous Housatonic and Farmington Rivers. Moved to Florida in 1989 and began salt water fly fishing for Snook and Tarpon. While in Florida, I bought a cabin in Western North Carolina in 2005. From there I fished all the top trout waters in the area, the Tuckaseegee, Nantahala, Big Snowbird, West Fork of the Pigeon, and the Cherokee waters. I never had anyone show me or teach me how to fly fish. I had to learn on my own, that's why I decided to teach others, and make friends, and to continue what I love to do. Let me get you started in this sport. It’s easier than you think!

Blue Chip Fly Fishing is fully licensed and insured, and has Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service and US Forest Service.

Ed has been certified in Adult First Aid/CPR/AED by the American Red Cross.

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Here are several of my favorite spots:

Tuckaseegee River

Tuckaseegee River

The “Tuck” River flows entirely within Western NC. It begins its course in Jackson County above Cullowee at the confluence of Panthertown and Greenland Creeks. It ends in Fontana Lake. The Tuck is an exhilarating way to experience fly fishing in the Southern Appalachians. This is the most heavily-stocked river in Western North Carolina. On the right day, you can catch 15-30 trout, whether a beginner or experienced fly fisher. I have taught many first-timers on this river. Plenty of room to cast and lots of fish!

Nantahala River

Nantahala River

This river is in Western North Carolina within the Nantahala National Forest.  The two-lane highway (19/74) was once part of the Trail of Tears. It runs along the river with picnic areas dotting that stretch. The “lower” half of the Nantahala is used for white water rafting and kayaking. It is also a Hatchery Supported section, getting stocked several times a year. There are a lot of wild trout in these waters. The “upper” Nanny is a Delayed Harvest section. This stretch gets stocked with rainbow, brook, and brown trout five times a year. (March, April, May, October, November)

West Fork - Pigeon River

West Fork of the Pigeon

This river is located in Haywood County. The Delayed Harvest section begins at the triple arch bridge on Hwy 215 to Champion International property line. This is one of my favorite rivers to fish. The water is gin clear and very wadable. You can use streamers, nymphs or dry flies here. Besides catching hatchery fish from 10”-14”, there also are Monsters in the 18”-24” range.

Cherokee Catch & Release

Cherokee Catch & Release

Cherokee has more than 33 miles of rivers flowing through its land. They stock it every week. However, there is a 2.2 mile stretch of water that is Catch & Release-Trophy section. You can expect to catch rainbow or some browns that exceed 20”, some measuring up to the 24”-28” range. You don’t need a NC fishing license, but you need a permit from the Cherokee Indians. Easy to get. Some of my most memorable trips have been here: spotting a black bear across the river or the time a herd of elk that walked through my fishing spot. Breathtaking!

Big Snowbird Creek

Big Snowbird

Big Snowbird is in Graham County and is considered by many trout anglers to be the best trout waters in Western NC. Big Snowbird has a lot to offer to both novice and highly skilled. The scenery is not easily forgotten. Only 14 miles from Robbinsville, the river begins with a Hatchery Support section, with many pull-offs for camping. Then at Chestnut Flats Bridge, the Delayed Harvest section starts and ends 2.8 miles to the end of the gravel road. From there, you can hike up to 5 miles and fish for native brook trout.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular national park in the country. We have over 10 million visitors annually. It is also famous for its magical smoky haze. Fishing in the park is quite the experience. With all its wildlife and waterfalls, you will enjoy a stress-free day. The fishing is also excellent. Nothing prettier than a wild rainbow, brook or brown trout!

"There are always new places to go fishing. For any fisherman, there’s always a new place, always a new horizon."

— Jack Nicklaus

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