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Fly Fishing Trail Now Includes Trophy Water Option

SYLVA, N.C. – The WNC Fly Fishing Trail has added an exciting new destination for anglers - the Raven Fork trophy water on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Raven Fork is a 2.2-mile stretch of water northward from the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge outside Cherokee. The water is regularly stocked with large rainbow, brown and golden trout. It's common to catch fish 20 inches or longer, and there are a number of trout that exceed 30 inches. The scenic Raven Fork replaces the Horsepasture River as spot No. 6 on the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. Public access to the Horsepasture River is becoming increasingly limited. Anglers wishing to fish Raven Fork need to purchase a $20 special use permit and a $7 daily permit from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Raven Fork is designated by the Cherokee as catch & release fly fishing only. "The Raven Fork trophy water enhances the trail's overall experience because it provides a type of fishing not found anywhere else," said Julie Spiro of the Jackson Country Tourism Authority, which created the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. "It's thrilling to catch fish on that stream. There are a lot of large trout in there." Local guide Alex Bell, who helped create the trail, has worked with several anglers who have eagerly requested a trip to Raven Fork.

"Cherokee wants to be a destination east of the Mississippi River that every fly fisherman knows," Bell said. "They have different strains of trout coming in and have great vision for their fishing program. I think it's going to keep getting better and better, which will help the trail."

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