Regional Reports-South

Qualla Reservation

The Qualla Reservation of the Cherokee Indians in western North Carolina is the site of arguably the best pay-to-fish trout action in the nation. Some 60,000 permits are sold annually to anglers hoping to take a daily limit of 10 trout. A permit costs $7. Flyfishermen use a variety of dry flies, nymphs and streamers to score. Spin-anglers cast in-line spinners, small Rapalas and small spoons, and many fish with worms, corn and salmon eggs. Fall is a good time to wade the 33 miles of streams in search of trout that have escaped capture during the summer and to harvest some of the large breeders released this time of year. There is no size limit. The majority of trout taken are 8- to 12-inchers, but a 16-pound rainbow was caught in 2001. Contact: Cherokee Chamber of Commerce (800-438-1601).