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?
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.
Here’s a good spot for rainbow trout: Below the Cascade Lake dam. Watch out, because Little River flows fast. I recommend you fish the eddies with small “Streamer Flies.” You can’t miss. Use a fly rod or light spinning tackle.
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.
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!
- Cascade Lake, DuPont State Recreational Forest, French Broad & Davidson Rivers, Little River – Search for homes in Transylvania County.
- 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.
- South Toe River in Micaville – Search for homes in Yancey County.