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Tellico River

  •  Species: Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout
  • Angler Type: Wade
  • Access Type: Public



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The Tellico River originates in the mountains of Western North Carolina and flows into Tennessee through Monroe county inside Cherokee National Forest.  The river runs along the Cherohala Skyway, a secnic highway that runs into North Carolina.  The area is absolutely breath taking and there are many great photo opportunities including the famous Bald River falls.  The Tellico River resembles many of the streams in the Smokies, small pools divided by cascades and runs. 

Tellico River is managed as a put and take stream from the North Carolina Border to the mouth of Turkey Creek from March 15th thru September 15th.  During this time it is stocked weekly with rainbow trout and a daily Tellico permit is required in addition to a Tennessee fishing license and trout permit.  From October to mid March it is Delayed Harvest fishing.  This means that it is catch and release fishing only.  There are much smaller crowds during this time and it can be some great fishing.

Two exptional tributary streams to the Tellico are the North River and Bald River.  These streams are managed as wild trout streams.  There are wild Brook, Brown and Rainbow trout in these streams.  Be aware that these tributaries have different rules than the main river does, so be sure to check the regulations before you start fishing.

Suggested Flies

  • January:  Blue Wing Olive, Little Black Stone, Midges, Stone Fly Nymphs and Mayfly Nymphs
  • Feburary:  Blue Wing Olive, Little Black Stone, Midges, Stone Fly Nymphs and Mayfly Nymphs
  • March:  Blue Wing Olive, Quill Gordon, Blue Quill, Black Stone, Brown Stone, Tan Caddis, Hendrickson
  • April:  Hendrickson, Quill Gordon, Blue Quill, Brown Stone, March Brown, Yellow Stone Fly, Light Cahill
  • May:  Yellow Stone Fly, March Brown, Light Cahill, Sulphur, Green Drake
  • June:  Light Cahill, Yellow Stone Fly, Sulphur, Little Green Stone Fly, Tan Caddis
  • July:  Light Cahill, Sulphur, Yellow Stone Fly, Terrestrials
  • August:  Terrestrials, Light Cahill, Sulphur
  • September: Terrestrials, Light Cahill, Sulphur
  • October:  Sulphur, October Caddis, Blue Wing Olive, Midges
  • November:  Blue Wing Olive, Stone Fly Nymphs and Mayfly Nymphs
  • December:  Blue Wing Olive, Little Black Stone, Midgesd

Suggested Rods/Reels/Lines

There are many opinions for the right outfit for the park.  However something in the middle will get you by with just about any type of fishing that you will encounter in the park.  Anything from a 7 foot 6 inch 3wt to a 8 foot 6 inch 5wt will get the job done.

2010 Regulations

Tellico River from mouth of Turkey Creek upstream to the North Carolina Border

  • March 15th thru September 15th
    • Statewide regulations apply, any combination of trout with no length limit and daily creel of 7
      • Brook Trout minimum length of 6 inches and only two lake trout in creel
      • Special Tellico Fishing Permit required for each day of fishing
  • October 1st thru February 14th
    • Delayed Harvest catch and release fishing only

For more information on daily creel limits and additional information please refer to the Tennessee Fishing Guide

Click here to purchase a Tennessee Fishing License

Public Access Points


Getting There

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