Delayed Harvest Fishing
Under Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from marked waters between Oct. 1 and one half-hour after sunset on June 2, 2023. No natural bait may be possessed, and anglers can fish only with artificial lures with one single hook. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.
The Wildlife Commission stocks Delayed Harvest Trout Waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.
The East Fork has all the great characteristics of a classic mountain stream. Changes in elevation, an abundance of big rock bottom & some great long runs provide a great variety of fishing opportunities. The main DH section runs alongside of East Fork road providing relatively easy access from a number of roadside parking spots. The upper DH section is often overlooked and tends to see less fishing pressure. It can be challenging though as the stream is much narrower with lots of hungry fly-munching trees all around.
Be respectful of landowners along this stream. Access to the water through their property is a privilege. A little courtesy goes a long way to keeping this open for us all to enjoy.
The standard DH assortment will suffice. Streamers like wooly buggers or attractor nymph & egg patterns are always good, as well as an assortment of dry fly patterns in 12-16 size range.
Head on in to Brevard for a nice selection of lunch options. Several fast food choices are available. Stop at The Cardinal for an “old school” drive-in experience, or grab a burger @ Dugan’s Pub. Not hungry? Both Dugan’s and the Oskar Blues tasting room also have a good selection to quench your thirst after a hard day on the water.
Download the East Fork information sheet.
The Green River is located not far above the North Carolina – South Carolina state line on the North side of the Saluda Mountains near Hendersonville North Carolina. There are two lakes along its way – Lake Adger and Lake Summit. It has a population of rainbow, brook, and brown trout.
The most popular access point is at Fishtop on the Green River Cove Road in Saluda, NC. From Asheville, take I-26 East to Exit 59 and make a left turn, go approximately 150 yards and make a left turn on Green River Cove Road. Follow the road until the bottom of the hill and Fishtop parking area will be on the left.
The upper end of the Wild Water can be accessed by taking a right turn at Exit 59 and go approximately 4.5 miles and make a right turn on Pot Shoals Road. Follow the road approximately 0.7 miles and park in the parking lot across from the power plant. This can be a very busy road when they are generating electricity as the kayakers need the water flow to go down the Green.
The Green River offers wild, delayed harvest, and hatchery supported water. The Wild water starts at the power plant and ends at Fishtop. The Delayed Harvest section starts at Fishtop and ends at Cove Creek approximately 3 miles away. The Hatchery Supported water starts at Cove Creek and ends at Lake Adger approximately 4 miles away.
Streamers are very effective during the water release. The usual patterns such as wooly buggers, sculpin patterns, leeches, and minnow patterns will help you get fish to hand. During lower flow dries include elk hair caddis, BWO’s, and Adams. Nymphs are extremely productive and include Princes, Pheasant Tails, Gold Ribbed Hare Ear, and Rockworm Caddis. A dry/dropper rig seems more productive than a double nymph rig.
The Green River is a tailwater and you should always be aware of the release schedules. The water will rise suddenly as the Green River Narrows will force the water downstream very quickly. Also, this river is a kayaker’s playground. Most of the serious kayakers put in at the power plant and take out at Fishtop. The large pool at Fishtop is a training area for kayakers to learn how to roll over their kayak and other techniques. During the summer the river is often busy with float tubers.
The river is stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. There is also smallmouth bass in the lower regions of the river. There are two stocked tributaries that connect to the Green. They are the Big Hungry River and Cove Creek. There are also several trails along the river that makes it easier to change locations on the river.
In the Dupont State Forest, Transylvania County, NC not far from Brevard, NC.
From Asheville, take I-240 west to I-26 east to the exit for Asheville Airport (exit 40). Head south (right) on NC 280 (4-lane highway) toward Brevard for 16 miles. Turn left on US 64 East and drive 3.7 miles. Turn right on Crab Creek Road. Drive 4.3 miles and turn right on Dupont Road. The road will climb and change names to Staton Road, then begin a long downhill, at the bottom of which is the bridge over the Little River. The parking area is on the right just before the bridge.
The Little River has to be one of the more picturesque DH fishing spots in the area. Several of the better holes are located beneath the beautiful Triple and Upper Falls. Expect lots of non-fishing company on the weekends and during high tourist season as many folks are drawn to the natural beauty of this lovely stretch of water. Bring your camera. There are a lot of “Kodak moments.”
The stream is stocked by volunteers and NC Park Service “Gators” from near the parking lot up to the pool beneath the Upper Falls. Look for footpaths where you’d be willing to carry a 5-gallon bucket full of fish! Elbow room can be limited so be prepared to share or wait if you’ve got your heart set on a popular spot. A standard assortment of streamers, attractor nymphs, egg patterns and few attractors dries will get you by.
The Dupont State Forest has lots to offer other than just fishing. Angling can easily be combined with some hiking or biking in the area. It’s also a great place for a picnic. Be careful around the falls. There is a lot of slick ledge rock and when the flow is up, the river is really powerful. So use your head and don’t end up experiencing the falls the hard way!
Mill Creek is located in downtown Old Fort. The DH section runs from the US70 bridge downstream to the I-40 overpass. The stream is quite small, yet in the past has been stocked with a good number of Brown trout. There are some small pools towards the top section and a nice long run behind the industrial building on the upstream side of the Catawba Ave bridge, but getting in and out can be a bit tricky. There’s plenty of easy access along the stretch behind the school down towards the I-40 overpass.
Curtis Creek is just a few miles past Old Fort on US70. When heading East, turn left onto Curtis Creek Rd. As you drive up the road you will see a fairly large pull-off for parking. Follow the trail for a short walk to reach the stream. Drive up the road a bit further and there is a public access & parking spot. A portion of the upper section is actually handicap accessible with a well built trail and a few decks overtop of the water. Again, this stream is fairly small. Similar to the N. Mills River. Up top there are lots of plunge pools, while the bottom mellows out to more longer runs.
Neither of these two waters are very deep. Standard DH tactics work just fine. You won’t have to worry about carrying much weight. One of my fav’s is a #10 or smaller wooly bugger (dark colors).
Why not make it a double? Both of these streams are small enough to be fished together in the same day.
In December spend the morning cruising down the slopes of Sugar Mtn, then stop off for a few trout on the way back to Asheville. (What? Skiing and fishing in the same day………Well yeah, why not?)
I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution.