Let’s help each other enjoy a great day on the water.

Fishing etiquette consists mainly of a few simple rules. By offering a little respect to others, and to the fish, you’ll find thoughtfulness goes a long way—and makes the day more fun for everybody.

  • Please respect those around you.
  • Don’t crowd other anglers. Walking behind your fellow fishers prohibits their casting.
  • Use care in terms of how you approach the water. In a river, silt or mud kicked up by clumsy wading can often spook fish downstream—so can your shadow if you’re not mindful of it.
  • Respect your environment. If you pack it in, pack it out. Streams are delicate ecosystems. Try to leave them the way you found them.
  • Respect the fish.
  • Respect the law.
  • Respect private property rights.


Fly-fishing, which is becoming a growing preference for fans of the catch-and-release lifestyle, is prominent in the Enterprise Waters here in Cherokee. Cherokee’s catch-and-release season is open all year long. By practicing catch-and-release fly-fishing techniques, as well as using fly rods and barbless hooks, you can help conserve a great fighter for other anglers to catch—if they’re as good as you!

Fly-fishing is allowed in all Enterprise Waters.


The Parkway Haven is a portion of Raven Fork set aside for catch-and-release fly-fishing only. This 2.2-mile stretch of trophy fishing waters runs north from the point where the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses Raven Fork, up to the south end of the River Valley Campground on Big Cove Road. Anglers will find deep, inviting pools alongside riffles, runs, and pocket waters. A special use fishing permit, as well as a daily fishing permit, is required to fish this section.

This map can help you decide where to stay, so you’re never far from your favorite fishing spots.

Releasing Trout

Trout are delicate and likely to be weakened after a fight. Handle hooked fish gently with pre-wet hands, being careful not to remove the trout’s slick, protective outer coating. Remove your hook carefully, preferably using forceps, to avoid damage to the fish and to minimize the time your fish is out of the water. After removing the hook, gently cradle the trout, facing upstream, giving it support until it regains enough stability and strength to swim away on its own power.


Catch-and-keep means keeping fish caught using traditional spin rods, fly rods, and barbed hooks. Fishing styles include short rod/spin-and-bait fishing, handy for penetrating some of Cherokee’s heavily forested banks.

Enterprise Waters offer a 10-fish limit per day, per permit holder, allowing anglers of all ages to bring home a sizable catch. Anyone ages 12 and older may purchase a Tribal fishing permit. Children ages 11 and under may fish under a supervising adult’s permit. Please note, however, that your child’s catch applies to the adult daily permitted catch limit of 10 fish.

For conservation reasons and the protection of native fish, it is recommended that minnows not be used or let go in Enterprise Waters.