Home » What You Catch

What You Catch

Although, it’s mainly trout an angler catches in the river’s of Jackson County, NC anglers can also catch other popular game fish. Some of the more common gamefish other than trout that reside in Jackson County are Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, and Crappie.

Rainbow Trout


Rainbow trout are native to the Pacific drainages of western North America but have been introduced throughout mountain streams in North Carolina. As with other trout, rainbows inhabit streams, rivers, ponds and lakes with good water quality and temperatures that rarely exceed 70 F. They have a tendency to hang out in faster currents, such as riffles and swift runs, more so than brook or brown trout.

Brook Trout


Brook trout are native to the eastern United States and Canada. Two strains of brook trout exist, and both are now found in North Carolina. The southern strain, although identical in appearance to the northern strain, is genetically unique and is native to North Carolina.

Brown Trout


Native to Europe and western Asia, brown trout were introduced to North America in the late 1800s. Brown trout are often reclusive, hanging out close to underwater structure, such as fallen trees and undercut banks. Larger specimens are often caught near dark and after rain storms that result in dingy water.

Smallmouth Bass


Smallmouth bass are native to the upper and middle Mississippi River drainage and have been introduced throughout North America. In North Carolina, smallmouth bass often inhabit coolwater streams, lakes and reservoirs in the western part of the state. Smallmouth bass are often regarded as one of the sportiest freshwater fish and are known for their stamina and fighting ability.

Largemouth Bass


In North Carolina, largemouth bass are found statewide in lakes, ponds and sluggish streams and rivers. They prefer locations with lots of structure, such as submerged vegetation, brush piles, stumps, boat docks and standing timber. Underwater points, humps, drop-offs, bridge pilings and old road beds are also favored haunts, particularly in reservoirs.

Tenkara Fishing


Tenkara fishing has recently become wildly popular across the United States.  It is not a new technique…in fact it is one of the oldest forms of fly fishing originating in Japan.  There are many things about Tenkara fishing that make it so attractive, but as a seasoned fly fishing guide I am going to give you a short run-down on why it is attractive to me, and where it fits in to my role as a fishing guide as well as recreational fun for myself and my family. Learn more.


Muskellunge prefer coolwater rivers and lakes with abundant woody debris, vegetation and rocky habitat. As a top predator, they feed on a variety of fishes, particularly suckers, as well as salamanders, small mammals and other large food items. Muskellunge are not easy to catch, partly because their numbers can be very sparse.

2019 WNC Fly Fishing Trail Map