raven fork river
The Ravens Fork is located in Cherokee, NC bordering the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The Eastern Band of Cherokee has designated as “trophy” water approximately 5 miles of this beautiful river. You will need a special fishing license (acquired on the reservation) to fish here. If you are looking for big fish and are willing to think outside the box to accommodate the pressure on these fish and want to test the 7 lbs 7 oz Brook Trout state record caught here, most will agree that its worth paying a bit extra for the license. Brookings Anglers
how do i get there?
Google Maps will not only provide driving directions but will show you where to park at the Big Cove Road bridge to to begin exploring the Raven Fork. Fish Cherokee will provide great detail on what to expect as you plan your visit and is an easy way to purchase your special license to fish on the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
fishing the raven fork and other cherokee waters
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians maintains approximately 30 miles of privately stocked rivers and streams. Please explore below for more detailed information about fishing in the WNC region in general but specifically visit Fish Cherokee for a very deailed description of the special regulations and the very special fishing on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Remember, your North Carolina Fishing License will not work here. Pleaese respect the special nature of fishing in such a well-managed habitat and be sure to purchase your special license. A Brookings Guide will show you everything you need to know about the nuances of the one-of-a-kind river system in Cherokee but if you want to learn more about where you are going before you arrive or if you want to plan your own day on the water for yourself or your group, you will find just about anything you could want plus a little more right here on this page.
Current fishing reports are difficult to maintain but your best bet is to reach out to our Partners
where should i fish?
Take advantage of this printable map of the region highlighting the different Managed Waters. Ask questions and plan your day.
what other waters are in the area?
The North Carolina Resources Commission maintains a highly detailed map of Managed trout water across the state. This map can be a little unwieldy so here is a simpler version that also can be printed.
do i need a north carolina fishing license?
Probably, yes. Learn about the regulations, requirements and costs and purchase your license. And, here, you will need a special license.
what flies will i need?
Your Guides will have everything you need but if you want to plan your trip or be prepared with your own favorites, NC Wildlife and Trout Unlimited offer a Hatch Chart to help you with the insects that will be looking to imitate. If your shop at home does not have the right flies, Brookings Anglers, Davidson River Outfitters and Headwaters Outfitters all have impressive selections of local patterns.
are these wild trout or stocked trout?
Yes. While there are hundreds of miles of Wild Trout waters, NC generously stocks Hatchery Supported waters and Delayed Harvest waters.
trout regulations – know your signs!
There are some very specific rules about where and when trout are stocked and where and when you are permitted for fish for them. A reminder, there are limited opportunities to harvest a fish but BlueLines Fly Fishing encourages Catch and Release.
what about water flows?
Western North Carolina has a number of Tailwaters and Freestone rivers. The water levels on the Tailwaters are controlled by dam releases and the Freestones by Mother Nature herself. The USGS measures and reports on many - not all - rivers across the state and there are independent groups that monitor water flows as well but knowing the amount of water currently flowing down your favorite river and if it is increasing or decreasing will make or break your day. Imagine driving up to the East Outlet of the Kennebec River to fish a section that was shin deep last month to find that it is now over your head. PAY ATTENTION because water levels can change quickly.
what fishing gear and clothing will i need?
Your Guides will have rods, reels and flies and, with some advanced planning, waders. However, if you prefer your own equipment, please see What to Bring for suggestions. They will not, however, provide you with clothing to keep warm though they would be happy to sell it to you and with more of that advanced planning, will even bring it to you when you meet for the day or will have it waiting for you at the Greystone. Please explore Gear for specific recommendations for fishing and Clothing to make sure that you will be prepared for Winter in WNC.
Do I really care about venturing out under the full moon? First, a full moon rising in the Western North Carolina mountains is not to be missed. Yes, those are two trout rings in that reflection.
Also, mousing at night is an experience to be seized if the conditions are right.
it will be winter here. is it winter there?
Of course. However, with an average January high of 47 degrees and average low of 29, it is nothing like a New England winter. It DOES get cold and anchor ice DOES form on occasion so be prepared with your Gear and check the Brevard Weather Forecasts knowing that it is only 2,231 feet above sea level and it get colder the higher you climb.
sunrise and sunset
Why would I really care about the sunrise and sunset? In winter, the days are deceptively short so be prepared. During April and May, the nymphing might be strong in the morning but a hatch might occur in the evening. Know when to be out there!