The Big Catch

The Big Catch : Cullowhee reels in the Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival
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Anglers have long cast lines in Jackson County’s rivers for trout, small mouth bass, and muskie. And since 2009, when the only nationally designated fly-fishing trail was established here, the area has lured the attention of even more sportsmen. This year, the county hooked its biggest catch yet: the Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival.

Western Carolina University hosts the festival May 17 and 18, when attendees can choose from more than 20 hands-on classes and presentations. There’s even a chance for beginners to slip into waders and head into the river. Some 40 fly-tying stations and multiple casting workshops educate the novice and pro, and youngsters can show off their skills during a fly-fishing tournament.

According to Marvin Cash, president of the Southeastern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers, which organizes the event, “Our mission has always been to teach people how to fish for all types of fish in all types of waters.”

Attendees can also support brook trout restoration in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during Back the Brookie BBQ on Friday, followed by a screening of selections from the 2013 Fly Fishing Film Tour. A banquet dinner and auction on Saturday are additional bait.                 

Southeastern FlyFishing Festival
May 17 & 18
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee; free-$35
(704) 759-6788