Posted by: panthertown | March 13, 2012

Fishing in Panthertown Valley

Fishing Panthertown Valley

Fishing in Panthertown Valley (photo credit: Southeast Discovery)

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.

Catch and Release, Artificial Lures Regulations

See a map of NCWRC classifications.

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

WNC Fly Fishing TrailPanthertown 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.

WNC Fly Fishing Trail MapDownload 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:

Tuckaseigee Chapter of Trout Unlimited

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

Friends of PanthertownIf you enjoy fishing in Panthertown Valley and would like to protect this spectacular natural resource, we ask that you become a supporting member of our organization by volunteering at one of our upcoming trail work days, or by becoming a member. Donations are tax-deductible and new volunteers and members are always welcome to join us.

For more information call us at (828) 269-HIKE (4453)


  1. […] Join us this weekend at the Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival May 17 & 18, 2013 at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center in Cullowhee. The festival will feature speakers, expert instruction, free fishing programs, a fly fishing film tour, exhibitors including equipment companies, fly fishing guide services, and environmental organizations, fly-tying demonstrations, a BBQ dinner, and much more. Friends of Panthertown will have a booth at the festival as Panthertown Valley protects the headwaters of the Tuckaseigee River and is part of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. Please stop by and say hello, join us or renew your membership, and learn more about fishing in Panthertown. […]

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