2016 Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby (It’s FREE) | Cherokee, NC

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2016 Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby (It’s FREE)

This August 5th and 6th, bring your children to Cherokee, NC for the 15th Annual Talking Trees Trout Derby! This is free fishing event for children ages 3 to 11. Introduce your kids to the sport of fishing, while enjoying a day on the beautiful Oconaluftee River.

Lots of fun entertainment will be provided during registration and on the day of the Derby including performances by magician Professor Whizzpop, an Exotic Animal Petting Zoo (including a pony, a llama, and a camel), a 60 foot Slip and Slide, bouncing houses, a zipline, and more! Each registered child who participates in the 2016 Talking Trees Trout Derby will receive (all for FREE):

  • A jar of bait and a tackle box (while supplies last)
  • A Talking Trees Trout Derby t-shirt and hat (while supplies last)
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • 4 hours of fly-fishing (with a 5 trout limit)
  • Chance to win trophies (for the biggest catches of the day)
  • Chance to win amazing door prizes worth up to $20,000.00

Talking Trees Trout Derby is always one of our most popular annual events for children in Cherokee, so make sure that you come out on Friday to pre-register your child for fishing on Saturday.

All About Pre-Registration

Registration for the event will take place Friday August 5th from 10 am – 6 pm at the Cherokee Fairgrounds located at 545 Tsali Blvd. Pre-registration guarantees your child will receive free fishing, Talking Trees Trout Derby t-shirt, hat and other items if you are in line by 8 am on Saturday. There will be fun, family friendly events and entertainment going on throughout the registration event. A casting class will also be offered on Friday so that kids can begin practicing their fishing moves before the big event on the Oconaluftee on Saturday.

Trout Derby Details (Saturday, August 6th)

The Talking Trees Trout Derby will take place at Oconaluftee Islands Park on Saturday, August 6th from 7 am – 2 pm. There will be fun entertainment, zip lines, food, games and outdoor education, live animal exhibits, and amazing door prizes including the grand prize: a Youth Polaris RZR ATV!

This event is accessible for all kids. Special assistance will be offered to children with disabilities.


Participating children must register for the event.

Children must be PRESENT to register.

No tickets given out after 10 am Saturday.

Parents or guardians must fill out a registration form and liability waiver for each child.

You can bring your own bait and tackle but single hooks only (no treble hooks allowed).

No alcoholic beverages allowed.

No pets (service animals will be allowed).

Parents are not allowed to help children fish (official spotters will be present to help).

If you have questions about the event, please contact the Cherokee Welcome Center at 1-800-438-1601 or email travel@nc-cherokee.com.

What to Bring

  • Water friendly shoes and clothing
  • Towels
  • A cooler for fish
  • Folding chairs
  • Sunblock
  • Bugspray
  • Snacks

Want to Volunteer?

If you enjoy fishing and working with children and want to help out with this event, we are still looking for volunteers! We need spotters to work with the kids who are fishing on the river and for other tasks. If you are interested in volunteering, please call Candy Bradley at 828-359-6958.

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