Nantahala River

Cherokee, North Carolina

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Kayaks and rafts own the river, but not until the sun’s well on the water. Reach this stunning North Carolina tailwater after 10 A.M. on a summer’s day, and you’ll see scores of lavender and yellow kayaks and dozens of fat rubber rafts bobbing through the rapids. The kayakers are serious on this championship water. They ride the reverse eddies to have another run through the chutes. Rafters are the opposite. They shriek as their elongated donuts tip precariously over roostertails and splash each other where the water is dull and flat. It’s enough to send a dedicated trouter to the relative sanity of a fish-for-fee pond, but don’t let yourself be turned off. The trout aren’t; why should you be? The ‘bows and browns of the lower eight miles of this 20-mile tailwater have seen it all and on every summer day. They’re used to people. And that’s the first of the Nantahala’s big secrets. Species: Rainbow, brown. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing.
America's 100 Best Trout Streams

DESCRIPTION FROM:

America's 100 Best Trout Streams

by John Ross (Falcon Guides)

Kayaks and rafts own the river, but not until the sun’s well on the water. Reach this stunning North Carolina tailwater after 10 A.M. on a summer’s day, and you’ll see scores of lavender and yellow kayaks and dozens of fat rubber rafts bobbing through the rapids. The kayakers are serious on this championship water. They ride the reverse eddies to have another run through the chutes.

Rafters are the opposite. They shriek as their elongated donuts tip precariously over roostertails and splash each other where the water is dull and flat. It’s enough to send a dedicated trouter to the relative sanity of a fish-for-fee pond, but don’t let yourself be turned off. The trout aren’t; why should you be? The ‘bows and browns of the lower eight miles of this 20-mile tailwater have seen it all and on every summer day. They’re used to people. And that’s the first of the Nantahala’s big secrets. Species: Rainbow, brown. Angling methods: spin, and fly-fishing.

©  John Ross/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Fly-Fishing
Nearby City: Cherokee
Access: Easy
Season & Limits: Year-round
Local Maps: North Carolina DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer
Driving Directions: Directions to Nantahala River

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Apr 2018