Western North Carolina is filled with numerours trout streams and the Land O’Sky Chapter is fortunate to be located in the heart of this fishing paradise. Whether you are a resident just getting into trout fishing, new to the area, or just visiting, we want to share with you some local streams. All of these are within a one hour drive of Asheville and most are stocked as part of either the hatchery supported stream or delayed harvest stream programs. For more information on fishing regulations for these streams visit the NCWRC website listed in our “Links” or download a copy of the current regulations in the “Library” page of our website.
North Mills River
The North Mills River is located just a few miles west of the Asheville airport and its close proximity to town makes it a favorite among anglers, hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and campers alike. In spite of this, it is very possible to spend a weekday fishing there and have the stream to yourself.
The river can be broken into three sections. The lower section runs through the picnic area and campground and follows Forest Service Road 1206 (Co. Rd. 1345)–this area receives a lot of stocked fish and a lot of fishing pressure.
The middle section begins a little west of the campground area where the river takes a turn to the northwest and passes under the road. Access to this area is by a trail along the stream and it is stocked. In addition, trout move around in the stream a lot and once stocking has begun they will move into this stretch from upstream and downstream.
The final section is accessed by driving up Forest Service Road 5000 and taking the first left across the low water bridge. Go to the end of the road and park at the kiosk. Walk down the lower gated road until you reach an access trail leading to the stream. This section extends upstream to the dam and is well stocked but also receives a lot of fishing pressure.
All three sections are managed under the delayed harvest catch and release program from October 1 until the first Saturday in June.
The Davidson is North Carolina’s destination trophy trout stream and is full of large trout that have frustrated even the most experienced anglers. Don’t venture into these waters unless you are mentally prepared to be skunked by some very experienced fish. The secret to catching fish here is either sight fishing with large streamers to wary browns or repeatedly drifting #22 nymphs past the noses of waiting fish.
One of the most popular places to fish is near the fish hatchery shown on the map. Because the hatchery releases a lot of nutrients into the stream there is a large supply of food for the fish and they get large. Also because of the nutrients, the stream has a large midge population which calls for using very small midge nymphs in the #18-22 range. If you are not skilled in very technical nymphing methods then it is worth it to hire a guide for a least a half day to improve your skills and reduce the frustration. Most of this stream is managed as a catch and release, artificial flies fishery from the headwaters down to Avery Creek–below that to the USFS boundary, it is a hatchery supported stream.
Looking Glass Creek
Looking Glass Creek is a major tributary of the Davidson River but is best accessed from above Looking Glass Falls as there is only a short section between the falls and its confluence with the Davidson. The stream follows route NC 276 up the mountain and there are numerous pullovers and parking areas along the stream. Because of the easy drive-by access, pressure on this stream is high. It is managed as a wild trout fishery.
On those days when the Davidson is too full of other fishermen or too much water, nearby Avery Creek, another Davidson tributary, provides an alternative. This is a wild trout stream so expect small rainbows and browns averaging about 6″. The stream is located off NC 276 about halfway between NC 280 and the junction with Forest Service Road 475. Just remember to turn at the sign for the stables.
Reems Creek is located in northern Buncombe County, where it begins just below the Blue Ridge Parkway, and flows from east to west through the town of Weaverville before emptying into the French Broad River. The stream east of Weaverville is stocked regularly and managed as a hatchery supported stream. Access is along Reems Creek Road off Merrimon Avenue in the southern section of Weaverville. Fish only where hatchery supported signs are posted and do not trespass on private property.
There is in the very haunts of the brook trout a suggestion of where it gets its vigor and wariness: the cold, clear streams where the water is pure; brooks that wind in and out over rocky and pebbly beds, here shaded by trees and there dashing through the open–it makes us feel vigorous even to think of such streams.Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, 1911.
Links & Resources
- Hatch Chart
- Catch & Release Tips
- Stream Flows
- Rules & Regulations