City. It requires some wading skill and care, but the fishing is better than in the "off" conditions when moving from one pool to another can be accomplished with ease. Your reel isn’t particularly important in the Smokies as most of your casts are short and very few of the fish are capable of pulling line. We understand that, and want you to fish some great water for fantastic fish and have that stream all to yourselves. For now though, here are 10 of North Carolina's best, and if you haven't visited each and every one, you owe it to yourself to do so. Within a few hours, ending just before dusk, we catch and release more than seven brown and rainbow trout of varying sizes. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. It is located in the Smoky Mountains, and there is plenty of rainbow and brown trout to be found. The trout streams in the Blue Ridge, Appalachian, & Great Smoky mountains of North Carolina from Cherokee to Asheville to Boone host the best fishing streams there are in North Carolina. Lodging at centrally located places like the Best Western Mountain Lodge makes it easy to head in any direction for streams, with an early breakfast available for anglers. Throw a fly into the quiet waters of the Oconaluftee River, located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, or discover why Hollywood used the Mitchell River House, located on the Mitchell River, as the setting for the Nicholas Sparks movie, The Longest Ride. It’s best fished from a boat, but wading and shore opportunities do exist. Explore The Trout Streams Of Western North Carolina. The second TU choice was the Davidson River in the Pisgah National Forest. The title may be a little misleading but actually not by much, what I hope to do is to explain how I find the places I fish and hopefully help you to find the best trout streams in your area. The exception is when the aquatic insect hatches bring the fish to the surface to feed, which is easy to assess as you wade in the water. Your time spent with good friends and family is precious. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. Since this is the Pisgah National Forest, you don't need a camping permit (you do in the park), and as long as you don't pitch a tent too close to a stream, you can make your home away from home anywhere. Water Features. To get to the trout waters in western North Carolina it is best to fly into Charlotte, rent a car, and drive to the Banner Elk area or Dobson in Surry County. The section above Avery Creek is a managed wild trout stream and is catch-and-release fly fishing only. Follow Dan Coppersmith as he fishes and films the best trout streams in the far western portion of North Carolina. Raven Fork is a pristine freestone stream that flows directly from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wild rainbows are the dominant species here, although you will find the occasional brown in the lower reaches where small falls plunge into deep pools. After a fall of testing new 2021 Mathews products on the road as he filmed new episodes for Bowhunter Magazine's television program, editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, Mathews design engineer, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows. Rainbow and brown trout are not native to the state, but they are stocked in many creeks and rivers that suit their larger size. Here you've got mountain trout streams galore. Fishing baits, such as worms and corn, work well for hatcheryreared brown trout. Trout Bait Treble Hooks. The river has been listed as one of Trout Unlimited best streams and provides the angler with a number of different fishing styles to slow drifting nymphs to larger pools, or dry fly fishing while sight fishing large fish. My Mitchell River fly fishing guide, Marty Shaffner, walks me across one of many small bridges that cross the smaller sections of the river to fish the pools in shallower waters. Reply. 14. Flowing into the north shore of Fontana Lake, it is a medium to large stream in its lower reaches, and its relative remoteness (it is accessible only by boat or long hikes) keeps it from being too much a victim of its fame. The reservation sits in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, where rainbow and brown trout are abundant. Any attractor pattern, perhaps fished in tandem with a nymph dropper, should serve you well. Per Page: Stay on Top of the High Country. The river is also ideal because of its high elevation and many cold-water feeder creeks coming off the mountains. The fishing is so good they made a fly fishing trail out of it. One look at a map of Brevard and its immediate surroundings and it’s easy to see why. Mine has been a marvelously misspent life that has seen me, as a native Tar Heel and hopelessly addicted trout fisherman, spend appreciably chunks of a full six decades in pursuit of these inhabitants of bright, sparkling waters. The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail is a selection of the best trout waters in Jackson County. Top Trout Fishing Streams in North Carolina Mon, 05/25/2009 - 11:34 -- jmaslar STREAM NAME COUNTY SPECIES FISHING MILES HABITAT PRESSURE He is presently completing a massive treatment on fishing in the waters of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. No matter what your preferences, these waters offer something for everyone. Some of our neighboring states contain great fly fishing trout waters also. You can pick up a fly fishing trail map at the Jackson County Welcome Center in Sylvia, NC or online at FlyFishingTrail.com. These can be further broken down into subcategories of these fish species. Rainbow trout | Photo Copyright: Justin Chew. In the lower reaches, you will find mostly stockers, but they get enough pressure to be pretty darn picky. The title may be a little misleading but actually not by much, what I hope to do is to explain how I find the places I fish and hopefully help you to find the best trout streams in your area. Not all of them feed the “Tuck,” but most of them do, and the WNC Fly Fishing trail takes the research out of finding and fishing them. So while … That leads directly to the matter at hand -- selecting not one but 10 top streams. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are the first targets for quick access to wild, pristine trout fishing. Nantahala Macon R, BR Open 8 Good Moderate. Elk burger patties... Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use... Fast and accurate: Crossbows from this year's ATA Show. It provides excellent fishing year-round, with both wild and stocked rainbow, brown, and brook trout. This method is especially popular in North Carolina’s many streams that support wild trout. © 2021 Outdoor Sportsman Group. The new Savage Impulse rifles are built for speed, accuracy. Deep Creek and the Bradley Fork are in the The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See also : Michigan Trout Fishing (MI) This giant trail has more than 4,600 miles of streams that are full of wild and stocked rainbow, brown, and brook trout. The Davidson River gets fished year round so presentation and fly imitation can be key. Some of our neighboring states contain great fly fishing trout waters also. North Carolina’s 10 Best Trout Streams 2 hours ago ExclusivelyFly . You can relax and unwind as you enjoy a day on the water. 2. But these are all rivers that are easily accessible and provide awesome trout fishing. Tomorrow, it could be completely different. Spring is the best time to fish the South Mills River due to hatches, but fall generally produces large brown trout. This gives you broader opportunities to try flies like Blue-winged Olives, White Belly or Olive Matuka Sculpin, Light Cahills, and Little Yellow Stoneflies. In North Carolina, brook trout spawning begins in September and continues through November. There are a number of designated backcountry campsites from the one at Proctor near Hazel Creek's mouth on upstream, and the best way to enjoy this wonderful water is by camping for two or three days. And each of these streams is a springboard for exploring more secluded creeks in the area. The Tuckaseegee River rises from a series of high headwater streams northeast of Cashiers, N.C. and flows northwest for more than 50 miles through Jackson County. Jul 14, 2020, 8:24 AM. It does not take long to attract a hearty brown trout. Access is strictly by foot in the park portions of the stream, with the Deep Creek Trail following the stream pretty closely most of the time from its beginning until one starts the climb (10-plus miles upstream) away from Right Fork toward Highway 441 hear Clingmans Dome. It is the first fly fishing trail in the United States, with more than 4,600 miles of streams that have wild and stocked rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Wilson Creek Avery R, BR, BK Typical 4 Excellent Moderate. As is the case with Hazel Creek, backcountry camping, as opposed to one-day trips, is the way to go. We use a roll-casting technique to land the fly into a fast current near the bank. Anietra and guide Marty Shaffner | Photo Copyright: Justin Costner. The longer days and the higher sun angle heats up the water temps into the ’70s on a regular basis during June and July especially. Perhaps that is why the Mitchell River House, located on the banks of the river, was the backdrop for the Hollywood movie The Longest Ride. There are plenty of public access points for the Nantahala, especially in the lower sections. Matt turned over submerged rocks for an indication of the current hatches, which dictate the flies we select. This section, which is a tailwater that draws whitewater enthusiasts from around the world, is an aesthetic nightmare during full flow, thanks to a non-stop "hatch" of canoes, kayaks and rafts. The Nantahala River in western North Carolina is a popular go-to trout water, especially in the lower sections, because of its healthy populations of rainbow and brown trout. This is a great place for those who are serious about the sport, and for those who enjoy it more as a relaxing hobby. The river is known for large populations of rainbow, brown, and brook trout that feed especially well on varying flies and lines. North Carolina. Since the trout in Wilson Creek are often located in the deeper pools, it is important to keep flies close to the bottom. Matt suggests that anglers targeting the Watauga on their own for trout … If you want to make a few days or a week out of fly fishing, step onto the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, where 15 streams with abundant trout opportunities are anchored by the Tuckaseegee River. TN. I like it for guiding, but there are lots of wild waters for people who want the extra challenge," said Matt Maness, professional fly fishing guide with the Foscoe Fishing Company. One other fact worthy of mention is that when Trout Unlimited (TU) chose the top 100 trout streams nationally, the Nantahala River was one of two North Carolina destinations to make the list. On the other hand, it can be reached by a reasonable hike (about four miles) from the trailhead, which begins at the end of the "Road to Nowhere" (some maps show it as the Lakeshore Road). You can actually wade much of the lower stream, which runs right along Highway 19, even when the water is "on." North Carolina’s 10 Best Trout Streams 2 hours ago ExclusivelyFly . Top Trout Fishing Streams in North Carolina. There are many public access points, like the ones we used at Valle Crucis Community Park and the Watauga River Gorge Access area. North Carolina is a state that is just brimming with fly fishing opportunities in both saltwater and freshwater. They are smaller in size and generally found in tiny streams. The Southeast's Best Fly Fishing: Premier Trout Streams and Rivers of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennesee, and Kentucky; Including Great Smoky Mountains National … Anyone who fishes will tell you that you get more than just fish when fishing. General Mountain Trout Regulations North Carolina Hunting & Fishing. Increasingly, this is brown trout water, although you are likely to catch more 'bows than browns, thanks to the difference in the ease of deceiving the two. The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail in Jackson County is a network of 15 trout streams anchored by the Tuckaseigee River. The small trout treble hooks come in size 14, 16, and 18 and work great for PoweBait. That said, trout habitat in Great Smoky National Park (which spans NC and TN) is under considerable stress. Check with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission on specifics that can guide your decisions on what to use at different times of the year. Enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and other hot dishes. Clear streams and rivers run through the Qualla Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Appalachian chain in North Carolina, running from the southwest corner of the state northward and eastward for the entire length of North Carolina’s boundary with Tennessee, embraces some of the finest trout water east of the Rockies. ATA 2021 NeDuring this video from the Archery Trade Association's New Product Premiere showcase, Bowhunter's TV Mike Carney visited with Evan Williams, pro staff manager for Hoyt Archery, to learn about the new RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum and Ventum 33 bows.w Product - Hoyt. Users should identify boundaries on the ground before fishing. If a fish is not caught give that spot a one-hour break and move to a different spot in the stream. 5 Best Rivers to Fish in Western North Carolina. VA. ElevationRange. Upper French Broad: The East Fork has technical fishing and easy access, combined. There are many public access points, and the Mitchell River is the closest public trout stream to Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte, so it offers easy accessibility, especially for anglers coming in from out of town. Rainbow trout in the Toe River are relatively small, but wild brown trout have been caught upwards of 20 inches. Buy from Amazon. | The best way to get an overview of the locations and information about the WNC Fly Fishing Trail is to download a map and GPS coordinates. Fly fishing in the forest | Photo Copyright: Justin Chew. Subscriber Services. One other fact worthy of mention is that when Trout Unlimited (TU) chose the top 100 trout streams nationally, the Nantahala River was one of two North Carolina destinations to make the list. To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine. Wilson Creek is a beautiful trout stream, which runs through the Pisgah National Forest. 9. When you mention fishing in North Carolina, people think ocean.And while it’s true our 300 miles of Atlantic coastline offer some great fishing, look west for your next fishing trip. He’s also a former Trout Bum of the Week . By TAM Staff. While some are private water, most of the stream mileage is open to the public. You may find a quiet new spot and maybe the greatest fish story ever told. This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs. That can be a little intimidating, but most of the river is accessible and provides great fishing for anybody. Take a look at fishing in the Cherokee Indian Reservation. It is also heavily stocked. The lower section of Toe River is more accessible, and there are sections that are stocked, making it a bit more appealing to fly anglers. Asheville, North Carolina. Then, too, there's always a chance of making meaningful contact with a really hefty brown trout. With such close access to Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Georgia the fishing possibilities seem endless. It did not take long to catch my first iridescent rainbow trout in the Watauga River in Banner Elk as guide Matt Maness, with Foscoe Fishing Company, led me into a small pool on the fringe of a straight, fast-moving current. Brook trout prefer streams with stable water flows, silt-free gravel for spawning and an abundance of deep pools and riffles with sufficient in-stream cover, such as logs, boulders and undercut banks. Bull Shoals Lake and North Fork River are some of the best for catching trout on the fly. See also: Best Trout Fishing in Texas (TX). The lower portion of the Jackson River is a tailrace that begins at the base of Gathright Dam. Brook trout are the native species. I must confess that Deep Creek holds a special place in this angler's heart inasmuch as it is my "home water," the place where I cut my fly-fishing teeth. This is the most beautiful private trout stream in Western North Carolina and North Georgia. There are many public access points, like the ones we used at Valle Crucis Community Park and the Watauga River Gorge Access area. Your best option is to park upstream then hike downstream and fish your way back upstream to your car. The Chattooga River spans the border between Georgia and South Carolina and is notably the best stream in the state. Access to the upper section is not easy due to the rugged landscape. The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, situated in Jackson County, features some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains.The trail takes you to 15 excellent spots for catching brook, brown and rainbow trout. If you hike into the Smokies, which is just a short journey from Asheville, you will find some of the best mountainside streams to catch large trout. In the mountains of western North Carolina, more than 3,000 miles of streams, rivers and lakes are open to the public for trout … Making the short list of Virginia's top trout streams is the Jackson River. You can fish the Davidson River year-round, but the best seasons for trout fishing are fall and spring. It may be 125 years old, but the .30-30 Winchester retains its status thanks to modern loads. Most of them (Jones, Plumtree, Roaring and Horse creeks) are wild trout water. The Davidson River is 40 minutes from Waynesville, NC in the Pisgah National Forest also known as The Land of Waterfalls. NC. Deep Creek is somewhat difficult to get to if you fish the top or the mid sections. With 300 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline and 3,000 miles of mountain streams, rivers, and lakes, North Carolina is one of the greatest fly-fishing destinations in the South. Because of this, the Chattooga River is a popular trout fishing location within a refreshing mountain setting. Trout need cold water to be happy! It has a number of fine streams, among them Big Santeetlah, Little Snowbird and Slickrock creeks, but here it is Big Snowbird that truly stands out. Blue-winged Olives and midges are consistent in this river as are non-insects like crayfish and sculpin, which are food for hungry trout. Rainbow trout | Photo Copyright: Justin Costner. The Charlotte Observer calls it “Western North Carolina’s best trout stream for fly anglers.” The river has 20 miles of river to fish. The river runs through the Ellicott Wilderness Area. Tract boundaries and designated portions of streams are not precise, but are approximations of actual locations. From beginners to experts, anglers of all skill levels will love trout fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The upper Linville River section starts at the Linville Gap near the town of Crossnore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Access is easy -- Highway 276 follows the Davidson up to where Looking Glass Creek joins it, and afterward Forest Service Road 475 puts you at streamside. He’s also a former Trout Bum of the Week . There are many hiking trails that surround Wilson Creek, leading to water access points. Because of this, the Chattooga River is a popular trout fishing location within a refreshing mountain setting. Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired. 15 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Wilmington, N.C. 11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in North Carolina, 3 Top Places for Deep Sea Fishing in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Small Towns in North Carolina, 7 Top-Rated Romantic Getaways in North Carolina, 11 Top-Rated Waterfalls in North Carolina, 12 Top-Rated Beach Resorts in North Carolina, 13 Top-Rated Mountain Towns in North Carolina, 9 Top-Rated Campgrounds in the Outer Banks, NC, 5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in North Carolina 2021, 16 Top Cheap Ski Holidays in North America, 2021, 12 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Durham, NC, 19 Best Places to Visit in the United States, 11 Best Luxury All-Inclusive Resorts in the World, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. We are roll-casting into the deep pockets that the Mitchell River is known for and alternating our target of fast and slow currents. Access to Lost Cove Creek is by a trail leading off the Blue Ridge Parkway into its uppermost reaches or from Forest Service roads nearer to where it joins Gragg Prong. Davidson River. Its gradual gradient and ample runs and riffles make for easy wading, quite a contrast to the steep plunge pool characteristics of many Tar Heel streams. Fly fishing, boat fishing,and pier fishing are all found in NC and only a short distance from Avalon. This … To some this might seem a strange choice, yet there is mile after mile of fine, hatchery-supported fishing along this stream running through the heart of Avery County. It should also be noted that the stream's ready accessibility and heavy stocking make for plenty of pressure, especially near the Pisgah Forest Hatchery. We understand that, and want you to fish some great water for fantastic fish and have that stream all to yourselves. Like all park waters, Hazel Creek contains exclusively wild trout, with browns becoming increasingly prevalent in the first few miles although this is still primarily a rainbow trout stream. But during the winter months, the North Carolina Department of Fisheries stocks the river full of fat rainbows. Brown Hobson is owner and head guide for Brown Trout Fly Fishing, in Asheville, North Carolina. It is a mid-sized waterway with both wild and stocked trout. You can get fly and line recommendations from local bait shops throughout the year depending on when you visit. The Watauga River is one of the best waterways to target for trout in North Carolina. The Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management stocks these clean mountain waters with nearly 400,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout annually. Deep Creek Swain R/BR/Bk Difficult 13 Excellent Heavy. The picks that follow come totally from first-hand experience. These tips on trolling in bays and... Mountain lakes offer exceptional trout fishing in late summer, early fall. My early experiences were largely confined to waters of the park and a few streams in the Nantahala National Forest, but in adulthood they have expanded to encompass delightful days all up and down what a good friend and fellow angler, the late Harry Middleton, described as the ancient "spine of time" of the Appalachians. Anietra trout fishing on the Watauga River with guide Matt Maness and Shannon Maness | Photo Copyright: Justin Chew. The clear water of Wilson Creek runs from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Edgemont in Caldwell County. Virtually the entire stream is designated as catch-and-release, fly-fishing-only, so readers who are of my dear mom's way of thinking (release to grease) need to turn elsewhere. Fish are generally stocked in large pools located just off roadway access points, making it an easy way for anglers to try this waterway. The trout streams in the Blue Ridge , Appalachian , & Great Smoky mountains of North Carolina from Cherokee to Asheville to Boone host the best fishing streams there are in North Carolina. There are many trout fishing tournaments in Cherokee every year and Cherokee has become a hot spot for competitive fishing. The high elevations cool the melting snow and rain runoff to create ideal trout habitats all the way downstream. This adversely affects their ability to breathe! Wheth… Professional Guides . Brook Haven is the private fly fishing experience that you deserve. Spin casting small spinners, spoons and crankbaits can be productive as well. In fact, there are over 3,000 miles worth of streams, lakes, and rivers. Sight fishing is very popular in the East Fork and is one of the best ways to catch trout. The clear water surrounded by rugged terrain offers world-class tour fishing for rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Where allowed, natural bait offerings, such as worms, spring lizards, "nests," or crickets, are hard to beat, and the spin-fisherman will find favor with Mepps Aglias, beetlespins or a Colorado blade followed by a Yellarhammer tied on a long-shank hook. Upstream from Junction this is wild trout water. Don't overlook a major feeder, Bone Valley Creek, and the adventurous can find solitude and speckled trout in the uppermost stretches. From park and walk 50 yards to the nearest pool situations to remote locations that require considerable hiking and a high level of fitness, the Old North State has it all. This is pretty astonishing for such a small area of land. Your time spent with good friends and family is precious. Yet, it is full of browns and rainbows, and though it is stocked and stocked heavily, most of the trout are stream bred. Camping and fishing go hand in hand in the mountains of North Carolina. These are all well known streams, and they'll be crowded from time to time. State. The river offers anglers with fantastic dry dropper fishing and midge fishing. NE. The dissolved oxygen becomes lower when the water temps warm-up. The trail features waterways of varying sizes and characteristics, from several prime sections on the Tuckaseigee River to creeks like Caney Fork, Panthertown, and Raven Fork and small streams in the county. The sections along the road are hatchery supported but have plenty of wild fish. As I hint from time to time, feeder streams always merit investigation, and on a personal level, it has long been standard practice for me, when venturing into an area I haven't fished before, to see what sort of opportunities side streams might present. Likewise, there are many more miles of fine, albeit smaller, water in the Standing Indian area of the Nantahala's headwaters. The Oconaluftee River is found on the Cherokee Indian Reservation and is one of the best trout fishing locations in the state of North Carolina. If you enjoy solitude, put your home in your backpack, hike a few miles, and except on weekends, you will see precious few fellow anglers. I'm sure these aren't actually the ten very best streams around-there are dozens of backcountry Alaskan streams and private trout waters that are probably better than any of these. Others allow bait, treble hook lures and the like, as well as flies or single-hook artificials. Marty likes to use a combination of natural and attractor lures on this river, oftentimes on the same line, with enough weight to keep the line in the deeper water. The lower section is also frequently utilized by recreational canoers, kayakers, and tubers, so anglers should take note of that possible interruption. The Davidson River is located near Asheville, with many public access points, and it is close to the interstate. It is considered a freestone mountain stream, so a wide variety of aquatic species and insects feeds the trout. 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