The headwaters of the East Fork of the Tuckaseigee River and twenty miles of native brook trout streams, including Panthertown, Greenland, and Flat Creeks, wind through Panthertown Valley, making it ideal for catch-and-release fishing. The streams are stained brown with tannic acid from leaves that fall into the water. Primitive overnight camping is permitted and anglers come from around the world to visit these prized waters.
All waters in Panthertown are designated as Catch and Release, Artificial Lures Only Waters by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission.
A fishing license from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is required to fish in Panthertown Valley.
You may catch the fish but you must release them back and you can only use artificial lures in doing so. Here is a breakdown of the Catch and Release, Artificial Lures Regulations:
- Season is open year-round
- No trout may be harvested or possessed
- Only artificial lures having one single hook may be used
- It is unlawful to possess natural bait on your person while fishing
- It is unlawful to use more than one line per person
- It is unlawful to fish from one-half hour after sunset, to one-half hour before sunrise on any Catch and Release stream located on Game Lands
- It is unlawful to take fish bait or bait fish from “Catch and Release Waters”
- It is unlawful to move wild fish from one stream to another on game lands without prior written authorization from the NCWRC
Panthertown Creek is on the Western North Carolina Fly-Fishing Trail, the first and only fly fishing trail in the United States, featuring some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Download a free WNC Fly-Fishing Trail map (PDF format) or you may contact the Jackson County Travel & Tourism Authority at (800) 962-1911 or request one to be mailed to you.
Everyone using the WNC Fly Fishing Trail is asked to make the following pledge:
“As a true sportsman, I pledge to never litter and to avoid trespassing on private lands. I will respect the rights of property owners, and always leave the streams in better condition than I found them.”
Suggested fishing related links:
The Tuckaseigee Chapter of Trout Unlimited serves the western North Carolina counties of Jackson, Macon and Swain.
Their mission is the preservation and conservation of coldwater fisheries throughout western North Carolina. One of the best ways to preserve our fisheries for future generations is through education and communication.
Article: Panthertown Valley: Fishing at its Finest
Published by The Wandering Fisher
Article: Fly fishing in Western North Carolina – A Cherokee Legacy
Published by Southeast Discovery
If you enjoy fishing in Panthertown Valley and would like to protect this spectacular natural resource, we ask that you become a Friend of our organization by volunteering at one of our upcoming trail work days, or by making a tax-deductible donation.
For more information call us at (828) 269-HIKE (4453)