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North Carolina

You can purchase a basic North Carolina resident license – or a non-resident license – for a period of ten days or one year; there is an additional charge if you fish hatchery-supported trout waters.

The ten-day cost for basic fishing for a NC resident is $9 (non-residents pay $23). A NC resident may purchase a one-year comprehensive license for $25, (non-residents pay $45 for a one-year license; no comprehensive license available). The comprehensive license includes fishing in public mountain trout waters, fishing in water waters on game lands and fishing in joint waters. NC residents only may purchase a life-time license for $265.  A transaction fee may be added to your total order.

Children under 16 do not need licenses when a licensed adult is present.

For more information about North Carolina fishing, go to NC Fish & Wildlife's Online Fishing Regulations.


Hatchery-supported waters are closed to fishing one hour after sunset on the last day of February and reopen at 7 am on the first Saturday in April. These waters are stocked by the State of North Carolina from March through October. Hatchery-supported waters have no size limit; you may harvest a maximum of 7 per day. Hatchery-supported waters in Swain County include: Alarka Creek, Conley's Creek, Deep Creek (lower section outside the National Park), the Upper Nantahala River and the Lower Nantahala River.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

To fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you must possess a valid fishing license or permit from either North Carolina or Tennessee.

Cherokee Indian Reservation

Regular Permit — No license is required to fish in Cherokee Reservation waters, however a tribal permit is required for each person 12 years of age and over, for streams and ponds. No other fishing permit or license is accepted. Children under 12 are allowed to fish for free when accompanied by a permitted adult. The daily limit is ten trout per permit holder (includes catch of children fishing under a supervising adult’s permit). The cost is $10 per day; $17 for 2-day, $27 for 3-day, $47 for 5-day. A single season's permit is available for $250.

Catch-and-Release Special Use Permit for Trophy Waters — $25 for a 1-3 day permit, or $75 per year, with the purchase of a general tribal fishing permit. The Special Use Permit allows use of the catch-and-release area designated on Raven Fork. All general fishing regulations apply to this permit, as do the following Special Use Regulations within the catch-and-release area:

• Tackle is limited to fly rods, reels, and line with a maximum of 18 feet of leader material or monofilament line attached.

• Only artificial flies and streamers constructed of natural or synthetic material on a single, barbless hook are permitted.

Only one single-hook fly per line is permitted.

Fishing with multiple flies attached to a single line (droppers) is permitted.

Click here for more information or to purchase a permit online.

Need a Fishing License?

Fishing licenses can be purchased at the following Bryson City area businesses:

Simonds Bait and Tackle
1085 Main Street, Bryson City

Tuckaseegee Fly Shop
3 Depot Street, Bryson City

Great Smoky Mountain Bait & Tackle
4470 US 19/74 West, Bryson City

Almond Boat & RV Park
1165 Almond Boat Park Road, Bryson City

Endless River Adventures
14157 US 19/74 West, Bryson City

Fontana Village Resort
40 Fontana Dam Road, Fontana Dam NC

You may also purchase your NC fishing license online

New: Parking Fees

Parking tags are required to park in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types: Daily, $5; Weekly, $15; or Annual, $40. Parking tags may be purchased online, or on-site. Parking tags will NOT be required for motorists who pass through the area or who park for less than 15 minutes, or while parked at their designated campsite. Parking Info