Fly Fishing Tuckaseegee River

Fishing Guide Tuckaseegee River
Tuckaseegee River Trout

Fly Fishing Guide Tuckasegee River: We put you on the fish!

A guided fishing trip on the Tuckasegee River, one of North Carolina’s most popular fisheries and the most popular on the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, is a good one for the novice or expert.

Scheduled Tuckaseegee Releases:

Stream Flow and Height Data, Tuckaseegee River, Webster:

Stream Flow and Height Data, Tuckaseegee River, Bryson City

Tuckasegee River Generation and flow Schedules: 

When on this Generation and Flow page click “Nantahala” and scroll down the page to see Webster or Whittier for the two Delayed Harvest sections.A

There are sections that are Hatchery Supported (stocked periodically and the season is April 1 – last day in February. Catch and Keep) and sections that are Delayed Harvest (the season  is October 1- first Saturday in June. Catch and Release).  The Delayed Harvest section of the Tuckaseegee River is* from Highway 107, Sylva to the top of the falls about 100 yards upstream of US441, Dillsboro. Caution for those fishing at the downstream end of the river: There is no clear line that separates the Delayed Harvest from the Hatchery Supported  section. If you are in the wrong section at the wrong time of the year or keeping fish in the Delayed Harvest section at the wrong time of the year it will cost you dearly.  It is a favorite spot check spot for NC Wild Life officers who are always friendly and simply doing their job to preserve the fishery.  When in doubt, just go way up stream from the top of the falls. *The NC Fish and Game have added a Delayed Harvest section of the Tuck in Bryson City as well.

The Tuckasegee River is very accessible  and easy to wade in most places. Your Tuckaseegee River fly fishing guide will put you on pocket water, broken water and runs and ledges and pools..a literal text book stream for learning to fly fish for trout.  Your guide will catch fewer trees and bushes on the Tuckasegee River than most anyplace you have fished. We catch many many fish in the season, but don’t be fooled; these stocked fish are not stupid. After being introduced to the river from the hatchery, they are dumb and hungry for a few days.  By about a week later they are not so dumb.  They can challenge to the most experienced fly fisherman who may be experienced with the streams “out west”. Come joins us at to book your guided trip to the Tuckasegee River.

The Tuckasegee River is a tail water to several lakes upstream.  There are two generators controlled by Duke Power; an East Generator and West Generator.

When no generators are running many places are ankle deep but when both generators are running get out of the water or get a boat.  As in any moving body of water you should be using a wading staff $10-$120.  Get one! I supply one. 

Guideline for wading the Tuckaseegee River: No Generators running: ankle to calf deep is easy for anyone. West Fork Generator running: calf deep plus or minus. Most anyone can wade. East Fork Generator running: calf deep to waist deep plus or minus. Only an  experienced wader should be in the water. Tall people rule!  Age and/or any physical issues might preclude a trip with the East Fork running. East and West Fork Generators running: Stay out of the water or get a boat! The above guideline is not a hard fast rule ( the only hard fast rule in fly fishing is: Safety First). The wader  must take his/her physical condition in to consideration and also the flows do vary per condition.  


As a rule of thumb it takes the water about 6 hours from the time it leaves the generator until it reaches highway 107 Sylva.  Later, of course, for fishing sites further downstream. You can plan your day accordingly.  Sometimes Duke has to generate in contradiction to their published schedule, so be careful. They have to generate electricity without notice and they will.River

How to tell the faster water is coming from the generators:  Your Tuckasegee River fly fishing guide will keep an eye out for change in the rivers flow.  With or without a guide first always mark a stationary object in the water that you can use as a water height gauge….Great Blue Herons don’t count.  When you move to a different spot, ALWAYS, find another marker.  When you begin to see sticks, leaves and such coming downstream that weren’t coming downstream before, begin exercising caution and start getting closer to the shore.  You will also begin to see more bubbles on the surface that you didn’t see before.  You will notice a higher level of babbling coming from the stream due to the increased flow. Not paying attention to this issue can cause loss of gear, a minor injury, major injury or death. If you are fishing with guide ask him/her to help you notice the changes in the water.  I always go over this before we get in the water as a safety measure.  So far no real close encounters… far.

Fishing gear for the Tuckasegee River: Your Tuckaseegee River fly fishing guide will supply all of your equipment. 8 1/2 to 9 ft 4 weight rod is the go to rod.  I often use a 10′ rod and sometimes a 3 wt 8 1/2 ft when fishing on my own. The 10 ft rod gives you a bit more reach when dead drifting.  You can get fairly close to the fish on the Tuckaseegee River without spooking them. You will catch more fish within a range of about 30′.  The closer the better for faster strike indication and hook set.

Tuckasegee River (Bass/Bream): The sections above and below the delayed harvest section are a good fishery for Small Mouth Bass and Bream.  This is so all the way to Lake Fontana.  Trout are also found in those areas but not as abundant as in the Delayed Harvest Section.  The state publishes the stocking schedule for both Hatchery Supported and Delayed Harvest.  The easily accessible areas on the Hatchery Supported sections are fished pretty hard from the day they are stocked, which typically accounts for fewer fish available.

Tuckasegee River (Spin Cast): Your Tuckaseegee River Fly Fishing Guide will take you spin fishing.  Each year I guide some spin casters who are successful at catching our trout on single hook spinners and lures. Note: expect me to encourage you to give fly fishing a try.  Some spin fishermen have started fly fishing from our experience together.

Book a trip today for your guided fly fishing trip on the Tuckaseegee River:   828.226.3833

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