Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Oconaluftee River - Birdtown - North Carolina

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 20-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
Blue Winged Olives Late Afternoon 18-20 Blue Winged Olive, Parachute Adams
February Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra Midge, Disco Midge
Blue Winged Olives Late Afternoon 18-20 Blue Winged Olive, RS2
March Blue Quills Afternoon 16-18 Blue Quill, Pheasant Tail
Brown Stoneflies All Day 10-14 Kaufmann Stone, Girdle Bug
April Black Caddis Afternoon to Dusk 14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
March Browns Mid-Morning to Afternoon 12-14 March Brown, Hare's Ear Nymph
Blue Winged Olives Late Afternoon 16-20 BWO, RS2
May Green Drakes Late Afternoon to Dusk 8-10 Green Drake, Comparadun
Sulphurs Afternoon to Dusk 14-16 Sulphur, Light Cahill
Light Cahills Afternoon to Dusk 12-14 Light Cahill, Sulphur
June Sulphurs Afternoon to Dusk 14-16 Sulphur, Light Cahill
Light Cahills Afternoon to Dusk 12-14 Light Cahill, Rusty Spinner
July Terrestrials All Day 10-16 Ants, Beetles, Grasshoppers
August Terrestrials All Day 10-16 Ants, Beetles, Grasshoppers
September Terrestrials All Day 10-16 Ants, Beetles, Grasshoppers
Brown Stoneflies All Day 10-14 Kaufmann Stone, Girdle Bug
October Blue Winged Olives Afternoon to Dusk 18-20 BWO, RS2
October Caddis Late Afternoon to Dusk 8-10 October Caddis Pupa, Elk Hair Caddis
November Midges Afternoon 20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
Blue Winged Olives Late Afternoon 18-20 BWO, RS2
Little Winter Stoneflies All Day 16-18 Black Stonefly, Pheasant Tail
December Midges Afternoon 20-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
Blue Winged Olives Late Afternoon 18-20 Blue Winged Olive, RS2

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Oconaluftee River in Birdtown offers plenty of excellent spots for fly fishing, teeming with a wide variety of fish species. Here are the best spots to visit:

  • Mingus Creek: This tributary of the Oconaluftee is ideal for rainbow and brown trout.
  • The Island: Located right in the middle of the river, this spot is perfect for fishing various species including smallmouth bass and trout. Its surrounding area is also great for picnicking.
  • Raven’s Ford: A less crowded spot which offers a serene fishing experience. Known for its ample brook trout.
  • Bradley Fork: Its headwater tributaries are ideal for native brook trout.
  • Kephart Prong: A smaller creek known for its high-quality trout fishing.

Pick a spot, bait your hook, and enjoy a rewarding day of fly fishing on the Oconaluftee River.

Best Access Points

Oconaluftee River – Birdtown offers excellent fly fishing opportunities with several accessible points:

  • Mingus Mill: Located two miles north of Cherokee, it’s an excellent launching spot. You can find diverse species in this region
  • Smokemont Campground Area: Easy access from U.S. Route 411 provides ample space for fly fishing
  • Oconaluftee Island Park: Situated in Cherokee city center, it is accessible and suitable for beginners

In addition to the above locations, some strategical spots for an exceptional fishing experience include:

  1. The confluence of the Raven Fork where the big fish inhabit
  2. Behind the Softball field in Cherokee, accessible via Big Cove Road
  3. The roadside pull-off near the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance offers excellent trout fishing

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: Known for their fight and size, Brown Trout are popular with local anglers.
  • Rainbow Trout: These fish like cool, clear water; they bite on a variety of flies.
  • Brook Trout: Native to the area, these fish are prized for their beauty and fight.
  • Smallmouth Bass: This aggressive species is a consistent favorite for fly fishers.
  • Largemouth Bass: Often found in slower water, these fish offer a strong fight.
  • Striped Bass: Known to move in schools, they are a fun and challenging catch.
  • Walleye: Walleye can be elusive and require patience to catch on a fly.
  • Northern Pike: Known for their toothy grins and aggressive bites, Northern Pike offer thrill for fly fisherman.

About The River

The Oconaluftee River found in the serene Birdtown region in Cherokee, North Carolina, flows from the Great Smoky Mountains. This enchanting river has a rich history deeply tied to the Cherokee Native American tribe.
  • Spanning back hundreds of years, the river graciously provided resources for the tribe, being central to their livelihood and culture.
  • The term ‘Oconaluftee’ intriguingly means ‘by the river’ in Cherokee, showcasing its cultural significance.
With the introduction of European settlers, the river and surrounding areas saw developmental changes, transforming it into a thriving town.
  1. Around the 1940s, Birdtown, the town by the river began to flourish due to various government initiatives, including the establishment of the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
  2. Today, the Oconaluftee River and Birdtown are well-loved tourism spots, famed for their scenic views and historical depth.
While it teems with history, the Oconaluftee River remains a symbol of peace and natural beauty, continuing to enchant visitors with its timeless charm.
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