The Cullasaja River is a great place to catch mountain trout. We highly recommend it to anyone planning on being in our area. It's convenient location to Highlands and Franklin make it an easy escape for those of you planning your vacation to either town.
The river is "stocked" or hatchery supported for 13 miles and runs between Franklin and Lake Sequoyah in Highlands. The river can be rough and steep in places, yet very calm and level in others. It all depends on what type of fishing you like.
Our recommendation would be to start fishing at the "Gold Mine Road" bridge (the fish are generally stocked around bridges due to the ease of access for the hatchery trucks) and work your way up or down the gorge. You can do some fishing along some river banks with bait or you may choose the more adventurous and challenging fly fishing by wading. Either way, you are sure to catch a NC mountain trout. Also, there are many pull-offs along U.S. Hwy-64 that make it incredible easy to access the river.
See also, "Cullasaja Gorge (Hwy 64) Picnic Areas #1, Cullasaja Gorge (Hwy 64) Picnic Areas #2 for a couple more options for river access, especially if you and your family want to have a nice picnic too.
From the intersection of U.S. Hwy 64 East and U.S. 23/441 North in Franklin take Hwy 64 East towards Highlands, NC for approx. 9.4 miles to the intersection of "Gold Mine Road" and U.S. Hwy 64/28 East. Look for the "Gold Mine Baptist Church" sign on the left hand side of Hwy 64. There is a large pull-off spot on the right hand side just past Gold Mine Road and the bridge over Cullasaja River. If coming from Highlands, take U.S. 64 West from red light @ intersection of U.S. 64/N.C. 28 in Highlands for 7.2 miles and when you see "Gold Mine Road" on your left.
From Highlands, take U.S. 64 West/"Franklin Road" for 7.2 miles to "Gold Mine Road" on your left. At 7.2 miles look for the "Gold Mine Baptist Church" sign on your right and turn left. There will be a large gravel pull-off area on the left, near Gold Mine Road bridge and river access.