It’s a mid-April weekend in Cullowhee and the Tuckasegee River has been stocked with different types of trout, bass and crappie. Along with the fish, the river is filled with fly-fisherman trying to catch them, one of them is Jordan Grant. With sunglasses and a visor covering his face, he stands out in the water as he fly-fishes.
Grant is a 21-year-old junior at Western Carolina University and an experienced fisherman. Having tried the waters from the coast to the ponds of his hometown in High Point, N.C., he says the mountains of Western North Carolina are by far his favorite place to cast his reel.
“I love fishing in the mountains. I’ve fished in several different places but the mountains have beautiful scenery and the fact that I can fish just off campus makes it even better,” Grant said.
At 3-years-old, Grant’s father introduced him to fishing.
“My dad got me involved pretty early and it’s something that we did together,” said Grant.
When Grant was 9-years-old his dad passed away from colon cancer. He was a Battalion Chief of High Point Fire Department at the time of his death.
“When I go fishing, it’s a way for me to still feel a connection with him.”
Grant is just one of many students and local residents who enjoy the quiet fishing environment that the North Carolina Mountains provide. Brown, Brook, and Rainbow trout can be found in almost any of the waters of Western North Carolina. The Tuckasegee River begins in the North Carolina Mountains from several tributary streams. The popular delayed harvest section is roughly five miles long in the small towns of Sylva and Dillsboro, N.C.
The delayed harvest season is from Oct. 1 through June 5 and fishing on the water is only allowed under certain regulations. A trout fishing license must be present while fishing, only artificial lures may be used, no bait is allowed, and catch and release fishing only. “While the spring is great fishing weather, the fall is the best time to fish the Tuckasegee,” says Grant.
Check out this video for the steps Grant takes before and while he fly-fishes.
For general fishing information in North Carolina visit the website of the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission
Fishing in Jackson County visit the website of Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.