Fair Waters Ahead

When the weather heats up, there’s something about water activities that appeal to us. Maybe it’s the fresh, cool fun of splashing through Lake Nantahala. Maybe it’s a desire to relax. Maybe it’s our sense of adventure wanting to explore terrain that’s been barred to us during the winter. The good news is, whatever your reasons for loving water activities at Lake Nantahala, we’ve got you covered with plenty of options. Here’s how you can have fun in the sun and surf this summer.


boats on NantahalaWant to lounge on the water with lunch and an ice cold drink? Lake’s End Marina makes boat renting simple. Rent a boat for Lake Nantahala cruising and get started on that summer vacation feel. You can enjoy the sunshine in a pontoon, deck boat, fishing boat, or a canoe. The marina rents by half days and full days, so you can enjoy the open water for as long as you can entertain yourself. Bringing kids along? Want to take a break and act like a kid yourself? Gather some friends together and rent a tube for your day on the lake!


Make a memory on those still, fog-laced mornings of spring and summer. Teach your spouse, kids, or grandkids to fish the crystal clear waters of Lake Nantahala. Our waters are brimming with freshwater fish and secluded spots to relax with your line. Just avoid the endangered species!


Is your sense of adventure telling you to get moving? Then pack up the car and head to the Nantahala Gorge for a day! Our friends in Bryson City have the scoop on rafting lessons, whitewater boating, and guided tours down the Nantahala River. They’ll keep you safe, happy, and having a blast while you satisfy your inner adventurer.

Want to learn more about North Carolina mountain lake exploration? Call Reflection Lake Nantahala today.

Enjoy Kokanee Fishing at Lake Nantahala



Ashley Swann with her record setting Kokanee Salmon from Lake Nantahala.

Angler enthusiasts enjoy a wide variety of fishing near Nantahala lake. While the Topton, NC and Nantahala River areas are best known for their trout fishing opportunities, a day with your fishing pole at the lack will lend you more than a wide variety of catches. Lake Nantahala, however, holds a special kind of fish that no other lake in North Carolina has: The Kokanee Salmon.

What is the Kokanee Salmon?

The Kokanee Salmon is a variety of sockeye salmon that lives in landlocked, freshwater bodies around the United States. The fish, named for it’s title of “silver trout” in the Okanagan language, was stocked in the lake as a forage fish for other predators in the lake by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission in the 1960’s.  Lake Nantahala is the only lake in North Carolina to stock the fish, though the fish can also be found in lakes in the Western US, namely in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and several other states.

Want to set a record? According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the current record for the largest Kokanee Salmon from Lake Nantahala belongs to Ashley Swann and was set in June of 2009. The record-breaking catch weighed in at 3 lbs and 9 oz.

What other fish are available in Lake Nantahala?

Even if you don’t land a Kokanee Salmon, chances are you’ll catch an impressive variety and number of fish during a day at Nantahala Lake. In addition to the rare Kokanee and the famous Trout, you can find Bass, Sunfish, Crappie, and Walleye in the lake, providing you a wonderful variety of freshwater fish to target for your day on the water.

Tips for Fishing at Nantahala Lake

Ready to head out on the lake for a day of angling? First, make sure that all of your licenses and gear are ready to go and that the fish you’re targeting are in season. If you’re a lake area resident, such as a homeowner in the Reflections on Lake Nantahala Community, you’ll even get to save on your license as they are cheaper and last longer for area residents.  If you want a little help finding the sweet spots on the water, consider using a fishing guide from the Nantahala area.

Photo via NC Wildlife Resource Commission