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Fishing Licenses

A fishing license from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is required to fish the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. The kind of license you need depends on the type of fishing that you plan to do and also if you live in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina Residents

North Carolina Non-Residents

Mountain Heritage Fishing License

Licenses are also available at several local fly & tackle shops.

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Mountain Heritage Fishing License

The Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program is a cooperative effort between the N.C. Wildlife Commission and local government to encourage trout fishing as a tourism activity in western North Carolina cities that are designated as “Mountain Heritage Trout Water City,” according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission.

Sylva, Dillsboro, and Webster N.C. in Jackson County participate in the program which provides public access to a trout stream that runs through or adjacent to the city or town in our case.  Non-residents as well as residents may fish these designated sections of stream with a Mountain Heritage Trout License.  The license is only valid on the areas designated as N.C. Mountain Heritage Waters.  You will need to purchase a N.C Trout Stamp and N.C. Fishing License if you plan to fish outside the designated Mountain Heritage Waters section.

The N.C. Heritage License is valid for 3-days and only cost $8.  You can purchase the license online at or by calling 1(888) 248-6834.  The license is not available for purchase at N.C. Wildlife Agency locations.

The most important thing to remember is that you must be fishing within the designated boundary area.  For example, Scott Creek in Sylva from Hometown Place Road to Hospital Road is designated as Mountain Heritage Trout Water.  Scott Creek roughly runs 10 miles from its headwaters near Balsam to Sylva but the Mountain Heritage Section only cover 3.25 miles, however; it offers an opportunity for anyone to try a stretch of water with good access that hold trout on our Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail.

Sections of Scott Creek and the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro, a section of Scott Creek in Sylva, and a section of the Tuckasegee River in Webster are designated N.C. Mountain Heritage Waters and can be fished with a valid N.C. Mountain Heritage License.  All of these steams are on the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail in Jackson County.

Before you head off to the water do some research and select the sections of water you want to fish and have the proper license.  If you are looking at fishing one of the designate Mountain Heritage Trout Waters section the N.C. Heritage Fishing License is for you.

Author: Shannon Messer, Blackrock Outdoor Company, Sylva, NC.

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