Popular North Carolina Fly Fishing Trips
North Carolina's Southern Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains, Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to thousands of miles of rivers & streams with world class Rainbow, Brown & Brook Trout fly fish angling opportunities. Simply stated, the fly fishing for trout is world class and knowing exactly where to go is the key to your success. That's why you are hiring a NC Fly Fishing Guide Service professional guide with local knowledge who knows exactly where to fly fish and which flies to use to catch fish. These are a few of the locations available, we have many more options available.
Listed are river name, fishing distance, location, guide trip offered, description.
Popular Day Trips
Davidson River, +3 miles, Brevard, NC Full Day Wade Trip & Trophy Trout
The Davidson is one of the clearest, coldest, most well established classic dry fly fishing streams in the state of North Carolina, and with that popular reputation it draws fly anglers in large numbers, bring your own rock on some Saturdays in the Summer. The fish can be weary and very well educated and an angling challenge, they will test your skills. Quiet stealthy wading, matching the natural river food source insect hatch and proper fly presentation is critical if you want to trick these trout. Beautiful river location in the Pisgah Forest, great fly fishing stream that I recommend to intermediate to advanced fly anglers. Get an early start, suggest being on the water by 7:00M at the latest. Davidson is designated Catch & Release and fishes well year round. Nice to do a combined full day trip on Little River in Brevard, 1/2 day Davidson morning, 1/2 day Little River afternoon during April, May, October and November. My favorite Davidson months are April, May, June, July, October, November, December, and January on sunny days in at least the 40's.
Wilson Creek, +12 miles, Mortimer, NC Full Day Wade Trip
Wilson Creek headwaters run cold and clear off the +5300' high elevations of the southeastern slopes of Grandfather mountain ridgline. The upper reaches of Wilson Creek above Lost Cove Creek have some fantastic wild Brook trout and Rainbow trout opportunities, some strenuous hiking is involved here. Easier access can be found below the Wilson headwaters and confluence of Lost Cove Creek is 3 very scenic miles of Delayed Harvest designated waters that fish very well March, April, May and October, November and December. Stocked Rainbow, Brook and Brown trout can be caught here, some trophy fish in excess of 16" can be caught in these waters. Bring your AAA fly fishing game, the waters are slow and gin clear here. Wilson Creek gorge that parrallels Brown Mountain Beach Rd for +6 miles has some of the most scenic Hatchery Supported waters in the state of North Carolina. Do not fly fish Wilson Creek gorge alone, rugged terrain and I advise you use the buddy system here. NC Wildlife Resources Commission stocks in excess of 37,000 pounds of Rainbow, Brook and Brown trout annually on Wilson Creek. Truly a fly fishermans river. Hint-Don't overlook Harper Creek and Craig Creek too!
East Prong Roaring River, +7 miles, Roaring Gap, NC Full & Half Day Wade Trip
Roaring River has beautiful scenic sections of Delayed Harvest/Hatchery Supported water downstream of its headwaters streams; Stone Mountain Creek, Bullhead Creek, Widow Creek and Garden Creek all begin high in the mountain sides surrounding Stone Mountain State Park. Fair numbers of native 4"- 6" Speckled trout can be found at higher elevations in all the feeder creeks, fun to rock hop and hike back into these back country streams, but bring your stealthy "A" game if you expect to do well. The East Prong Roaring River can be easily fished from the valley floor right off the main road, lots of pull offs and fairly easy wading can be found. Camping and hiking trails are all close by making for plenty of outdoor activity. This river does fairly well with sustaining fish during stocking periods as there's adequate natural food sources for trout...but don't expect to find any numbers of holdover fish here in mid June thru September. I've had clients that have had 20-30 fish days here at the "right" time of year. River fishes best during DH months March, April, May, into early June and October, November and December. Highly recommend getting on the water early when park opens, very popular State Park and can it attract a big fly angling crowd on Saturdays. I recommend E. Prong Roaring River for the beginner - intermediate fly angler. Perfect 1/2 day trip Monday thru Thursday.
Ararat River, +3 miles, Mt. Airy NC- Full & Half Day Wade Trip
The river headwaters originate at 2600' -3000' near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia some 20 miles north of Mt. Airy, NC. The river has a nice section of Delayed Harvest/Hatchery Supported designated river running through the heart of Mount Airy North Carolina. Scenic old small town Americana in North Carolina and birthplace of actor Andy Griffith. Mount Airy is the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffith Show. Stocked and holdover trout, Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout 8"- 16" range can be had here. During rain events the river is susceptible to turbidity due to farmlands upstream and may take a few days to return to clear water. Good wading access. River can fish well March, April, May, June, Oct, Nov, Dec. Good river access for the beginner fly angler.
Mitchell River, +3 miles, Dobson NC Full & Half Day Wade Trip
Mitchell headwaters are Saddle Mountain Creek & Butler Creek and feeder creeks that start cold and clean at an elevation of 3000' rolling off the RJR Reynolds estate. Beautiful rolling pastures and foothills surround "The Mitchell" upstream from Kapps Mill dam. The river is close by scenic wine making country surrounding Dobson, North Carolina home to Shelton Vineyards. Mitchell has plenty of nice runs and deep holes holding stocked and holdover Rainbows and Browns mostly in the 8"- 15" range. Good wade access and my clients regularly net good numbers of nice trout in the Mitchell. The Mitchell is designated Delayed Harvest and fishes well March, April, May, June, October, November, December. Be certain to get here very early because its very popular on weekends with local fly fishers. Great beginner fly angler river! I suggest a weekend getaway for a husband & wife to Dobson, fish a 1/2 day in monring, go on a winery tour in the late afternoon, fun!
Little River, +2 miles, Brevard, NC Full Day Wade Trip
Hands down one of the most scenic wilderness rivers in North Carolina. Scenes from the movies Last Of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games were filmed here in the Pisgah National Forest. Bring your camera, the 3 mile section of the little river is adorned by Triple Falls, High Falls and Hooker Falls, below these falls are plunge pools loaded with 8" up to 18" Rainbows and Brown trout and a few Brook trout. This is a dry fly fishers dream come true! This section of river is designated Delayed Harvest and fishes quite well during March, April, May and during Fall foliage season October & November. I recommend combining a 1/2 day on the Little River and making the :20 minute drive over to the Davidson and doing the second 1/2 day there for a Full Day Wade trip. Great combination of classic fly anglers water. Very Scenic. I recommend husband and wife team to stay at one of our recommended B & B's in Hendersonville NC for the weekend and doing Davidson & Little full day combo.
Jacob's Fork Creek, +3 miles, Casar, NC Full Day & Half Day Wade Trip
Jacobs Fork is a perfect beginners fly angler stream located in South Mountains State Park. This river is perfect for a 1/2 day trip and a picnic lunch. There's great handicap access on this stream and I have used this access for wounded Veterans many times with great results. Plan to start very early if you want to go here on a weekend day. The river is designated Delayed Harvest and fishes well March, April, May, October, November, December. The river is easy access and easy wade but the fish tend to be stacked up in just a few locations, finding those locations is key to successful day. The fish can get rather educated and can get difficult to catch at times. I've had clients have 2 fish days here and I've had clients have 10-15 fish days here, 5x and 6x flourocarbon leaders, proper fly presentation is critical on flat slow water here late in the season. Beautiful hiking and fly angling during midweek. This is a primary location for half day public water guide trips.
Popular Combination Trips
Rocky Broad River, +2 miles, Chimney Rock, NC Full Day & Half Day Wade Trip
A scenic river as it runs through Hickory Nut Gorge area above Chimney Rock North Carolina. River runs right through the country mountain town of Chimney Rock. Rocky Broad is designated Hatchery Supported. Fast moving rapids from bank to bank with hundreds large boulders, white water with hundreds of plunge pools this rivers name fits perfectly. Very good streamer fishing and nymph fishing in deep runs and back side of pools. Limited access upstream has become more limited every year due to Summer vacationing day trip swimmers and recreational polluters leaving all their trash behind, shameful really because private property landowners have been forced to reduce public fly anglers access. Otherwise the few locations available to fish can hold nice numbers of Rainbow & Brown trout if you get here early. The Rocky Broad fishes good April, May, June, July, into early August. I recommend this river for full day beginners fly fishing trip and enjoy your lunch at one of the many local restaurants, Duncans has great BBQ!
Green River, +6 miles, Saluda, NC Full Day & Half Day Wade Trip
Only a 2 mile drive out of Saluda there's the hairpin 1.7 mile drive down into the gorge to the Green River at Fishtop Falls, it's a very scenic spot to fly fish. Green river is designated DH and HS, you'll need to know the river to avoid fishing in the wrong locations at the wrong time of year, you also need to be aware of the hydro generation schedules, you definitely don't want to get caught in this river at generation, that's why you hire a guide. I know this river well, fished the Green maybe 40 to 50 times over last 10 years or so. The holdover fish are strong and have time to grow big here. Large numbers of Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout call the Green River home. Due to the challenging wading in the Green, I recommend this river to intermediate to advanced fly fish anglers for a full day trip. The Green River fishes very well March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, December, January....when generation schedules allow.
North Mills River, +4 miles, Mills River, NC Full Day Hike In Back Country
Beautiful Pisgah National Forest is the setting for this DH designated stream. I recommend this narrow dry fly river as a beginner to advanced fly fish full day hike-in fly fishing trip. Driving back in to the top of the ridge along the forestry service fire roads and hiking back down into the river is the best approach. This river is a dry fly flingers bonanza. Loaded with Rainbows & Brook trout 8"-14" hanging out under the Rhododendrons, waiting for those insects to drop into the river. Bring a #14 & #18 Royal Wulff. Fun river to fly fish and it fishes very well because it doesn't get a lot of angling pressure, fishes best March, April, May, June, October, November, December. Be sure to bring your camera. This trip involves significant hiking you should be in good health.
South Mills River, +3 miles, Pisgah Forest, NC Full Day Hike In Back Country
Classic wilderness back country wild trout stream. Long drive back into S. Mills on Forestry Service Roads and about a 1/2 mile hike to river, plan to rock hop about 3 miles in and back. Wild Speckled trout 4"-10", bring your stealth AAA game and keep in mind it's not about the numbers. S. Mills fishes best in April, May, October. Recommend to only the more experienced dry fly flingers.
Popular Wilderness Camping Trips
Ravens Fork Oconoluftee River, +2 miles, Cherokee, NC Full Day Wade Trip Trophy Trout
Ravens Fork falls within the Qualla boundary and is managed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, they do a great job managing their 2 mile Catch & Release fly fish only trophy water. Gorgeous section of river in beautiful countryside, often you'll walk past whitetail deer, wild turkey or a small Elk herd to wade into the river. This river provides excellent fly fishing year round. Special Tribal fishing permit and daily license required. I know exactly where all the best holding locations are at, you'll need me as your guide. Rainbow trout 14" to 20" are common here. I recommend this river to both the beginner fly angler to an advanced fly fishing angler. There's some tricky wading so bring your wade staff along. Great location to plan an overnight camping or lodging trip nearby, Smokemont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is close by with more exceptional fly fishing.
Bradley Fork Creek, +4 miles, Cherokee, NC Camping & Full Day Back Country Hike In
I recommend to all my fly fishing clients to camp for a weekend at Smokemont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountain NP. The Bradley Fork runs right through the campground, you can hike back in along the Bradley Fork and fish for 4 to 5 miles or more and hit Chasteen Creek. Wild Rainbow trout and Brook trout 7" - 10" do very well in this river and you'll want to fish a 7 ' 6x fluorocarbon leader with a dry fly that matches insect hatches for that time of year.( see our hatch chart for GSMNP patterns) Stealth approach and proper presentation are critical. Oconoluftee River and Chasteen Creek are also within hiking distance.
Eagle Creek, +5 miles, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Overnight Camping Wilderness Hike In Trip
A true real remote wilderness back country fly fishing experience. Bring the light camping gear and a 7' to 8' ,3 piece, 4 wt fly rod for this fly fishing trip. Eagle Creek headwaters originate 5 to 6 miles from Lake Fontana high up at over 5000' in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, clear, cold, clean mountain water provides all the aquatic insect life to support healthy populations of wild Rainbow and Brook trout at higher elevations. Proper fly selection, stealth and presentation are critical if you want to trick these wild fish into eating your fly. You'll need to take a R/T shuttle from Fontana Village Marina at an additional charge. Fishes best in Fall & Spring. This is a rugged strenuous hike in trip, not for the faint of heart. * If you have any health issues that would impact your ability to hike distances we ask that you please disclose them before reserving this trip.
Hazel Creek, +6 miles, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Overnight Camping Wilderness Hike In Trip
Sister creek to Eagle Creek in the National Park. Cold, clear headwaters begin at 5000' elevations in the Smoky Mountains. Wilderness and rugged trail hiking & camping, beautiful scenery and fly fishing for wild Brook trout is good but expect to hike at least 3-4 miles. Bring the short 7' 4 wt fly rod & light camping gear.The lower reaches of Hazel Creek can get crowded with kayakers during Summer months. Fly Fishing for wild Rainbows is best in the Fall. You'll need to take the R/T shuttle from Fontana Village Marina at an additional charge. .* If you have any health issues that would impact your ability to hike distances we ask that you please disclose them before reserving this trip.
Cataloochee Creek, +4 miles, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Overnight Camping Wilderness Hike In Trip
Cataloochee Valley in the GSMNP is hands down one of the most beautiful wilderness location in the state of North Carolina. Secluded and scenic, its Elk herds will draw a good amount of tourists during peak Summer months on weekends, but during the week is the best time to fish Cataloochee or Palmer Creeks. Palmer is noted for nice wild fish populations and it draws cold water from Beech, Falling Rock, Lost Bottom and Pretty Hollow Creeks at higher 3000'-4000' elevations and the cold clear water supports healthy wild Rainbow & Brook trout populations, stealth and presentation and a precise bug match are critical. The lower sections of Cataloochee Creek hold some nice wild Brown trout. Cataloochee can be difficult access during certain Winter months, fishes best in Spring & Fall in my opinion. Perfect for a weekend camping getaway and wilderness fly fish hiking.
Popular Float Fly Fishing Trips
Catawba River, +4 miles, Glen Alpine, NC Full Day Float Trip
The section in Bridgewater below Lake James is reserved for drift boat fly angling. This is a fantastic float for big Brown trout. NCWRC has done an admirable job managing the fishery here, the hope is to create a world class self sustaining Brown trout population in this section of the Catawba, they're well on their way to it. I recommend this trip for intermediate fly anglers that are accustomed to drift boat fly fishing. This is a full day only float and 2 persons are required to share guide fee expense. Please remember to switch boat seat positions, each angler should do a 1/2 day in the front of the boat, 1/2 day in the back of the boat.
Tuckaseigee River, +20 miles, Dillsboro, NC Full Day Wade or Full Day Float
The "Tuck" is a wide, western style fly fishing river, its designated Delayed Harvest below Dillsboro for several miles. This river hold approximately 4000 fish per mile for a 6 mile stretch south of Dillsboro, simply put, the Tuck is a slamming fly fishing river. This is a five star fly fishing river, I've had beginner fly fishing clients catch +20 fish on some days here. The river fishes fantastic March, April, May, June, October & November. Water levels & clarity can be finicky at times.
Nantahala River, +7 miles, Bryson City, NC Full Day Float Trip
The Lower Nantahala River below Bryson City, North Carolina is a fantastic wild Brown trout fly fishery. It fishes cold, clear, fast water from bank to bank, lots of nice riffles and runs to fish. Due to the nature of this river being used for hydroelectric generation up stream its lower reaches are best accessed from a guided drift boat. Beautiful scenery as you float down Nantahala Gorge section of this spectacular river, my favorite time of year is October & November. The upper sections of the river offer nice wade accessible areas on the smaller Delayed Harvest section of river which is well stocked and fishes well early Sring and Fall.