Some people say that fishing is a cure-all for the soul. It offers a direct connection to nature for many. It offers peace and solitude to some. And it offers an opportunity for camaraderie and companionship for others.
Whatever your motivation to get out on the lake or into the streams and rivers, Western North Carolina offers some prime fishing opportunities. In fact, there are so many, it can be difficult for people inexperienced with the area (or new to the sport) to find a spot that’s right for them.
Fortunately, we have several agents at Beverly-Hanks who know their way around local watering holes. We asked them: Where are the best fishing spots in WNC?
Anyone who wants to fish in North Carolina will have to have a license. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has a website with lots of information. The Commission is dedicated to conserving and sustaining fish and wildlife resources in the state. A state inland fishing license is required for fishing in public mountain trout waters. Also provided are maps to places where anglers can fish. This is most important for trout fishing as there are several different regulations that an angler will need to be aware of.
Another opportunity to fish is on the Cherokee reservation. They have their own trout hatchery, stock their own waters, and even conduct fishing tournaments several times a year. A separate fishing license is required to fish in the reservation.
There are so many great places to fish in and around Asheville. Two of my favorite streams for fly fishing are the Davidson River in Pisgah Forest and Curtis Creek in Old Fort. If you like trout fishing, you will not be disappointed. Living in Biltmore Lake, it is always easy to head down to the boathouse and jump in one of the neighborhood-supplied boats for a nice relaxing afternoon of fishing on the lake. Don’t forget to visit one of our many local fly shops for expert advice. A few of my favorites are Orvis in Biltmore Park, Hunter Banks and Crooked Creek Holler in Downtown Asheville, and Curtis Wright Outfitters in Weaverville.
My favorite locations to fish are those that are not in the “easy to get to” locations. The South Toe River in Micaville and areas south are the best to fish for big brown trout. I call them gray ghosts. It is a place that by the time you get there, you have traveled from the hustle of life to the slow pace of the river with its eddies and deep holes.
P.S. – The state record trout was caught in that area. It’s also known as “Prestige Trout Waters.”
I enjoy spin fishing for smallmouth bass on the French Broad River. I really enjoy fly fishing for trout. The Davidson River is a good place for people wanting to learn and practice. I would suggest buying a book and taking a class if you are learning fly fishing. Also, if you are starting out in fly fishing, get good at nymphing before dry fly fishing. You will catch more fish around here nymphing. Also worth trying are the Green, the Tuckasegee, Upper Pigeon River drainage, and the Catawba drainage. Tight lines.
Take a scenic drive 30 minutes south of Asheville and fish Mills River. North Mills River, a delayed harvest fishery located between Asheville and Brevard, is home to a variety of types of water that can challenge both the novice and experienced angler. Finish the day off at Sierra Nevada Brewery for some delicious food and cold beverages after a long day of catching rainbow, brook, and brown trout!
My son and I are active in Cub Scouts, and our pack always has a great time at Lake Powhatan near Bent Creek and the North Carolina Arboretum. It is a wonderful area where families can enjoy a leisurely day of fishing, picnics, and even camping. Our favorite spot is a secret though—Real fishermen cannot divulge such secrets.
I can offer two great trout spots. The first is Davidson River, under the bridge by the fish hatchery. The second is also on Davidson River; go back by the entrance and fish under and beyond the bridge. Pro tip: use nymphs up by the hatchery bridge and use streamers below
the bridge at the park entrance. Good luck, and call me if I can be of any help (but not with fileting).
The best place to fish in WNC is in DuPont State Recreational Forest (DSRF). DSRF contains five lakes that are classified as inland-public fishing waters, wild trout being the main fish in these waters. The joy of fly fishing is excellent relaxation and a great way to bring home the catch of the day.
The Davidson River in Brevard is one of the premier rivers of Western North Carolina. While it is best suited for the experienced angler, the Davidson is accessible to all. Flowing through the Pisgah National Forest, the upper section of the river is designated as catch and release, fly-fishing only. This area is renowned throughout the country and offers a unique opportunity to catch trophy trout.
There are so many amazing places in Western North Carolina to fish! I’ve grown up my entire life in the mountains, where I would fish with my family in the Nantahala National Forest. During my time in college at WCU, my husband and I would fish in the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County. Now that we live closer to the Brevard area, we like to visit the Davidson River located in Pisgah Forest, NC. To me, not only can you find yourself catching beautiful fish in all three of these locations, but I find it so relaxing to breathe and take in the fresh mountain air.
Live Near the Best Fishing Spots in WNC!
Among the many ways we Live Abundantly in WNC is through access to one of the most biodiverse wilderness regions in the entire world! Find a home near one of the great local fishing holes mentioned in this post!
- Biltmore Lake – Search for homes in Biltmore Lake.
- Cascade Lake, DuPont State Recreational Forest, French Broad & Davidson Rivers, Little River – Search for homes in Transylvania County.
- Curtis Creek – Search for homes in Old Fort.
- DuPont State Recreational Forest – Search for homes in Henderson County.
- Lake Powhatan near Bent Creek – Search for homes in Buncombe County.
- North Mills River – Search for homes in Mills River.
- Qualla Boundary – Search for homes in Cherokee.
- South Toe River in Micaville – Search for homes in Yancey County.
- Tuckasegee River – Search for homes in Jackson County.