View Full Version : Cullasaja River, NC?

02-13-2007, 07:39 AM
Hello all, i had a question about the cullajasa river in nc and wondered if any of y'all had ever fished it? I know that it is a hatchery supported stream, but heard that it got very little fishing pressure and had a very large population of wild fish. After seeing some pictures of the river, it looks to be extremely beautiful, and holding good numbers of fish would only make it better. It's just a long drive to get there from where i'm at, probably over 3 hours, so i'd hate to drive out there one day and be disappointed. Thanks alot.

Am i the only one that seems to add a new fly fishing destination every day? There are about 100 different places i want to go fish in nc and tn, but so little time...........


02-13-2007, 01:49 PM
Ok i think i spelled it wrong, i think it's the cullasaja river, got my s's and j's mixed up, sorry about that.

Paula Begley
02-13-2007, 02:00 PM
I edited the thread title for you.


02-13-2007, 02:12 PM
Oh, thanks paula. I don't know if the misspelling is why no one is answering or maybe just no one has been there, but thanks anyway!

02-13-2007, 02:21 PM
Hey mtnman2888,

Have never fished that particular stream. By the way, I have my maps out almost daily planning new fly fishing trips. Researching and planning are half the fun! Let us know how it goes if you get a chance to fish it?

02-17-2007, 03:25 AM
I fish the Cullasaja from time to time.
The water runs sort of tannic most of time, and is pretty swift in places, its also about as slippery as Abrahms Creek. And if it rains, its an ugly brown because of the shallow lake and all the building above it and lasts for several days.
Some local folks do fish it, usually with bait ad spinners at the first of trout season in April, after that the river gets very little stocking, and the rest are mostly wild fish or wild acting holdovers.
The trout in here are very spooky because of Kingfishers and Blue Herons. Any movement overhead will send them running and when one runs he spooks them all for a ways upstream. So if you make the smallest mistake your going to have a hard time.
Cover is generally Smokies tight but you need a longer leader here than you do in the park so your chances of being in the bushes runs higher and only adds to your frustration. Accurate casts are paramount as is managing line drag.
The browns in here have a brighter yellow belly than in most other streams around, its one reason I do fish there.
The main reason I fish it is because I want to fish the hardest things I can find before heading out to any of my FF comps. I'll usually practice here several times the week before heading out to compete.

I will give you a warning too. I'd hate to read about one of you guys in the papers! The water in the stream has so much gradient that it flows very fast and can get very high quickly even if all you get is a light shower, so watch out and pay attention. The river runs fairly swift most of the time anyway, its not easy to wade.
Make sure to stay on the public land. The folks that live on it do not like to see you hooking "their" fish. Trust me on this one.

Im not at all trying to scare anyone off, just want you to know the facts.

05-23-2007, 11:06 AM
I'm driving up from Nashville for a long, romantic weekend with my girlfriend, staying at Fire Mountain near Highlands. Of course, I'm scheming to sneak away and wet a line. The local fly shop says the Cullasaja is the closest trout river. From the previous post, it sounds like a pretty technical stream. I'm a glutton for punishment, so okay by me. I appreciate all the great info. I'm supposed to visit the flyshop for further direction, but anything else on this river at this time of year would be great. What are the hatches now? How big is the river? I'm bringing both, but is my 3-wt or 5-wt more appropriate? Mayflies? Terrestrials? Nymphs? Any other streams nearby worth looking at? I thank you, but my girlfriend does not.

05-30-2007, 02:42 PM
The Cullasaja is a great river! They stock it from March Through July...tapering off the amount in June and July. They stock mainly Brook and Rainbow and about half as much Brownies...probably due to the good wild brown population already there.
However...this is not the river you'll probably get your trophy fish on. Like the gentleman before posted...it's quite a challenge fast and slippery...and definitely hear the warning about quick rising water.
BUT! Definitely go...because I don't think there is a more beautiful river with such excellent road access anywhere else in Macon County. I swear the thing is spiritual. My parent's home is located on Scaly Mountain not to far from the Cullasaja...and I've fished the river for many years.
Highlands itself is worth the 3 hour drive, so I'd do it just for the Cullasaja without any problem...and I normally do since I'm down in Atlanta. Just remember...you may not get a lunker, but I swear you'll be one step closer to spiritual enlightenment ;)