Fontana Guides is fully insured, licensed, and operates under a special Commercial Use Authorization from the U.S. National Park Service.
All of our boat captains hold a United States Coast Guard License as a Master of Inland Waters, 25 Gross Tons.
All of our guides/captains are Wilderness First Aid/ CPR & AED certified and trained by the American Red Cross.
We offer the opportunity of taking home the best memories of your adventures with us. Thanks to GoPro our guides always have a camera on hand at all times. At no additional charge, we will upload HD photos of your experience to our Facebook page for you to download, tag, and share with your friends!
Catch & Release Only
All of our guided fishing trips are catch & release only. Due to the high volume of trips we guide each year, the only way to be fair to all of our clients and keep catch rates high is to establish this policy. Nature has its limits, and the continuation of our prolific sport fishery here in the Great Smoky Mountains will depend upon more anglers choosing to practice catch & release. It is our job to deliver you the best fishing experience possible. We have taken action to insure that occurs.
Owned & operated by an IGFA Captain, Fontana Guides is an International Game Fish Association Certified Guide Service.
We offer half day and full day float trips on the Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee Rivers. Anglers can choose fly fishing or spinning tackle. Trout and smallmouth bass are the primary species we target, but seasonal trips for walleye, white bass, musky, perch, and lake run rainbow & brown trout are also offered. We float several different stretches of both rivers for all of the species listed above, however the time of year you are here will dictate what options are available.
We guide our float trips out of a 16ft Boulder Boat Works Convertible River Taxi. It is one of the lightest and strongest drift boats on the river, virtually eliminating all boundaries of where we can go and who can go with us. We are fully rigged for two anglers, but a third angler can be added upon request. You can choose fly fishing or spinning tackle on any of the float trips we offer.
Some of our most popular trips are:
Floating the Delayed Harvest portion of the Tuckasegee River: Anglers can target rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, and the occasional smallmouth bass. This section of the Tuckasegee River is managed to hold over 9,000 trout per mile. Most of the trout found in this stretch are stocked, but there is also a strong population of wild fish and holdovers from previous annual stockings. Anglers can expect high catch rates of all three trout species and chances at trophy fish early October through mid June. We are the only guide service that offers a private access on this stretch of water, ensuring you will not be crowded during peak angling season. This is the perfect trip for kids and beginners, but can also offer challenges for expert anglers. This trip is artificial lures and flies only.
Floating the Little Tennessee River:
This trip is predominately a bass trip, but anglers can target smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, perch, walleye, carp, catfish, and the very rare musky, wild brown trout or rainbow trout. The Little Tennessee River is known for its diversity, so you never know what you might hook into on this float trip. This trip is offered April through October and is a great trip for beginner to experienced anglers looking to target river bass and other species on live baits, artificial lures, streamers, and topwater flies.
Floating the Lower Tuckasegee / Fontana Lake Tributary: The annual spawning movement of lake species such as white bass, walleye, carp, and steelhead starts in late March and early April. Anglers can target them fly fishing or using spinning tackle. Once the spawning is finished we then move further up the Tuckasegee River and primarily target smallmouth bass and trout, with there always being a chance at largemouth bass, walleye, perch, and musky until mid to late October. This is a great trip for beginner to experienced anglers looking to target many different species of fish while using a variety of fly fishing and spinning tackle techniques.
Our guided float trips are a safe & extremely fun way to enjoy river fishing. From expert anglers to beginners, we have something for everyone. Float trips are also great for anglers who don't feel comfortable wading, such as young children, elderly, or anyone with a physical disability or handicap. Our boat can be rigged for wheel chairs if needed.
Send us an email or give us a call today to request rates or to book your ultimate Great Smoky Mountain Fishing Adventure!