Fishing in Asheville, North Carolina Mountains

Fishing in Asheville & Mountains

The Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina that surround Asheville are well-known for their many fly fishing streams and creeks with diverse stream conditions, from tiny, plunge-pool headwater streams to broad, open-valley rivers. The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests areas around Asheville, Brevard, and Hendersonville are the first targets for quick access to wild, pristine trout fishing. Whether you're searching for Rainbow, Brown, or Brook Trout, you'll find that these scenic waters boast some of the best fishing around. Small and Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, Sunfish and more can also be found in abundance in the region. Read more about fly fishing.

Fishing Info & Guides

NC Fishing Guides
Southern Appalachian Anglers
Take a full-service guided fly fishing or bass fishing trip near Asheville, while enjoying the Appalachian Mountains by boat and/or wading on North Carolina's stream-fed lakes and rivers. Professional fishing guides ensure exciting fishing on many lakes (Watauga, Fontana, Apalachia, Glenville, James, Santeelah) and rivers (Davidson, Watauga, French Broad, Wilsons Creek, South Toe and Cane).
Bryson City Fishing
Fishing in the Smokies
Discover one of the most diverse fishing habitats in the world with four rivers, dozens of mountain streams throughout the Great Smoky Mountains and the deep, cold waters of Fontana Lake - all in the Bryson City area. Greatly enhance your chances of catching that trophy fish by hiring a professional local fishing guide. Find 26 best fishing spots and guide services.
Oxbow River Snorkeling
Oxbow River Snorkeling
Introducing guided river snorkeling in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Venture below the surface of one of the oldest rivers in the world along the upper French Broad River, packed full of potential surprises around every bend with 45 fish species.
Fly Fishing Trail NC
Western NC Fly Fishing Trail
Welcome to the first fly fishing trail in the United States, situated in Jackson County with some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains. Find 15 top spots for catching brook, brown and rainbow trout. See detailed maps and weekly fishing reports. 
Fly Fishing Museum
Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians
Through exhibits and videos, learn about past fly fishing legends, the evolution of rods and reels, basic knots, fly-tying, types of gear, types of gamefish, regional fishing waters, and the history of fly fishing in the Southeast. Open Mon-Sat, 9-6. Free admission. 210 Main Street (Chamber of Commerce), Bryson City

Fishing Spots near Asheville
Lake Julian, located in South Asheville, which is well stocked with bass and bream. Canoes and picnicking are available.  Lake Julian has an abundance of bass, catfish, brim and crappie, as well as imported fish called "Tilapia". Because Lake Julian is a "thermal" lake (the lake is used as a cooling agent for CP&L), some of the best fishing occurs from October through March. No boats are available, however. From Asheville take 26 East and take Exit #37 - turn left on to Long Shoals Road and travel 1.1 mile - turn right on to Overlook Road and travel .1 mile - see park entrance on the left. 

Lake Powhatan, on N.C. 191 in the Pisgah National Forest, is a small lake near Asheville with a sand beach, fishing, swimming and camping.

Lake Lure, on U.S. 74 about 40 minutes southeast of Asheville, has trout, bass, bream, and watersports; motorboats are available. Lake Glenville is located near Cashiers.

The Davidson River area is located in Transylvania County, and is close to Brevard and Hendersonville. The area is easily accessible by car. Rivers and streams within the Davidson River area support a variety of fishing opportunities including backcountry trout fishing on Cove Creek, more accessible stream fishing on Avery and Looking Glass Creeks, and trophy brown and rainbow trout fishing on the Davidson River proper. From Asheville, follow Interstate 26 East to exit 40 (Asheville Regional Airport). Go south on Highway 280, and follow to intersection with Highway 276. Turn right onto Highway 276. This road follows the Davidson River upstream to the intersection with FS 475. Look for signs to the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery.

The lower French Broad River area supports a variety of fishing opportunities including large river fishing from bank or boat, and smaller river and stream fishing. This area is located in Madison County, is close to Hot Springs and the Appalachian Trail, and is easily accessible by car. From Asheville, follow Highway 19/23 North to Marshall, and exit right onto Highway 25/70. Follow Highway 25/70 to Hot Springs. To access the lower French Broad River proper, turn right onto SR 1304 and follow to the Murray Branch Recreation Area.  To access Spring Creek, follow Highway 25/70 through Hot Springs and turn left onto Highway 209. Follow Highway 209 to the Rocky Bluff Campground on your left. 

Sporting rebreast sunfish and smallmouth bass, the Pigeon River is small but beautiful river. One advantage of the Pigeon River is that it can be waded more easily than larger rivers in western North Carolina. From Asheville, Take I 40 until you hit FS 288 (exit 7 Harmon Den). FS 288 will lead under the overpass to the river 

Newberry Creek is managed under the NCWRC's Catch and Release, Artificial Lures Only regulations. This high-gradient stream is among the most pristine on the Pisgah National Forest. Deep pools and steep, but small falls, make chest-waders a must. The surrounding landscape is wild and beautiful. FS 482A follows the creek for a while, making foot access easy. From Interstate 40, take Exit 72 (Old Fort).  Follow Highway 70 to intersection of SR 1227.  Turn left onto SR 1227 and follow to FS 482 (same road).  FS 482 follows Curtis Creek to the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 344 and Highway 80. From SR 1227, where it turns to FS 482, turn left onto FS 482A and follow to a small parking area at the end of the road to access Newberry Creek.

Featuring excellent trout fishing, North Mills River is easily accesable form Asheville. The area also offers some excellent back country Trout fishing on Big Creek and Fletcher Creek. Take I 26 East out of Asheville to Exit 40, NC Highway 280 South, and follow the signs to North Mills Recreation Area.

Both the Upper and Lower Nantahala are gold medal trout streams, and NOC offers guided fly fishing trips near Asheville on the Nantahala and to the rest of the Smokies' classic trout streams.

The Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail in Jackson County features some of the best trout waters in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is located about 45 miles west of Asheville. The trail encompasses 15 prime spots for catching brook, brown and rainbow trout, and includes portions of four rivers: Tuckasegee, Chattooga, Whitewater and Raven Fork. The trail is also highlighted by several smaller streams and remote waterways. Tanasee Creek and Greens Creek cut through scenic areas of the Nantahala National Forest. It also includes the Raven Fork trophy water on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, regularly stocked with large rainbow, brown and golden trout. 

Purchase a NC Fishing License Online Residents of North Carolina should select the Comprehensive License option, a $20 license which includes the necessary Trout Stamp and is good for 12 months from the date of purchase. Non-residents--a license including the Trout Stamp is $20 for one day, $25 for three days, and $40 for the annual license. More info: NC Wildlife Resources Website

Lake Glenville is pristine reservoir located just 8 miles from Cashiers in Jackson County. Located in a beautiful North Carolina mountain... read more
Nestled in the rolling hill country at the base of Linville Gorge is Lake James, a beautiful lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. This impressive waterway is... read more
Gorgeous Fontana Lake is the largest lake in Western North Carolina, surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. The 480-foot tall Fontana Dam is the highest dam... read more
One of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the country, Lake Lure is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Located about 27 miles from Asheville, Lake Lure sits in... read more
The NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center) Adventure Resort in the Nantahala Gorge is paradise for outdoor lovers. In addition to rafting and kayaking on the Nantahala River, you can bike, shop, eat and hang... read more