Fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains is truly an amazing and breathtaking experience. If you love fishing trips, this is one to add to your bucket list.

The views are perfect from the majestic mountain streams to the crystal clear lakes, North Carolina’s mountains provide some of the best fishing opportunities in the country.

In this blog post, we will explore the beauty and wonder of fly fishing in these stunning mountain ranges and share the secrets to success.

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

With tips on where to fish, what flies to use, and the best times to go, you’ll be sure to find a spot that’s perfect for you.

So come along and join us on our journey to discover the beauty of fly fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Why North Carolina Mountains are a Great Destination for Fly Fishing

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

If you are a fan of fly fishing, then you’ll be happy to know that the North Carolina Mountains are a great destination for your next angling adventure.

These mountain peaks are home to countless creeks, streams, and rivers that offer some of the best fly fishing experiences in the entire country.

One of the biggest draws of fly fishing in the North Carolina Mountains is the sheer beauty of the surroundings.

Imagine casting your line against the backdrop of sweeping vistas, ancient forests, and clear waters. You’ll find yourself surrounded by nature’s best, with only the sounds of rushing water and the rustling of leaves to keep you company.

The North Carolina Mountains offer a wide range of fly fishing options to suit any skill level with its miles of streams.

So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, you’ll find plenty of fishing spots that are perfect for you.

The area is known for its diverse fishing habitats, including fast-moving mountain streams, tranquil backcountry lakes, and wide-open rivers.

With such a range of fishing experiences available, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your style and level of fishing expertise.

The mountains of North Carolina are home to the best trout waters. They’re home to both native and stocked trout, including brook, brown, and rainbow trout. You’ll be sure to enjoy catching different types of fish in various locations, ensuring a diverse fishing experience.

The Best Time to Go Fly Fishing in North Carolina Mountains

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

Fly fishing in the North Carolina Mountains is an exhilarating experience for both beginners and seasoned anglers.

With plenty of rivers and streams running through the scenic landscape, it can be hard to decide the best time to plan your trip.

Generally, the best time to go fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains is during the spring and fall months.

Springtime is an excellent time to catch trout and other species as the rivers are usually flowing at a comfortable pace, making it easier to navigate through the waters. Also, with springtime comes hatches of caddisflies, stoneflies, and mayflies, making it the perfect time for fly fishing enthusiasts.

In contrast, the fall season provides an equally enjoyable experience. With cooler temperatures, it creates an ideal environment for various fish species.

Autumn fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains is an excellent time to catch Brown Trout, Brook Trout, and Rainbow Trout as they tend to be more active during this season.

It’s worth noting that fall fly fishing is usually less crowded, which means you can enjoy the scenic views and sounds of nature in peace.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the weather conditions when planning your trip. Spring and fall offer mild temperatures, making them ideal for outdoor activities.

The summer months can get quite hot, making the experience uncomfortable.

On the other hand, the winter months tend to be too cold, and the waters can freeze over, making it impossible to go fly fishing.

Equipment Needed for Fly Fishing in North Carolina Mountains

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

To get started with fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains, you will need a few essential pieces of equipment.

While the gear you need can vary depending on the type of fly fishing you are doing and your level of experience, here are some of the basic items you will need to get started:

Fly Rod and Reel

A good fly rod and reel is essential to fly fishing. For beginners, a 5 or 6 weight rod is a good starting point, and you’ll want a reel with a good drag system.

Fly Line

You will need a weight-forward fly line that matches the weight of your fly rod. A floating line is best for beginners, as it is easier to cast.


Flies are the lures you use to catch fish when fly fishing. In North Carolina Mountains, you will want to have a variety of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers to match the local insects and fish.


Waders allow you to wade into the water to cast your line. They also provide protection from the cold water. Look for breathable waders with built-in boots for comfort. Here are the Simms Waders we purchased for fly fishing.

Fly Fishing Vest or Pack

You’ll need a place to carry all your gear, and a vest or pack with multiple pockets is ideal. Look for a fishing vest with a built-in fly patch for convenience.


Other accessories you may want to consider include polarized sunglasses (to reduce glare and help you see fish), a landing net (to safely land your catch), and a hat to protect your face and neck from the sun.

Top Spots for Fly Fishing in North Carolina Mountains

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

If you’re planning a trip to North Carolina Mountains for fly fishing, you’ll be glad to know that there are quite a few top spots to choose from. Here are some of the best places to cast your line and reel in a catch:

1. Davidson River

This river is known for its beautiful scenery and challenging fishing conditions. It’s home to brown, rainbow, and brook trout, making it a great spot for all types of fly fishermen.

2. South Fork of the New River

The South Fork of the New River is a scenic and secluded spot for fly fishing. This river is known for its wild trout, and it’s also a great place to see wildlife like bald eagles and deer.

3. Linville River

The Linville River is another popular spot for fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains. This river is stocked with rainbow and brown trout, making it a great spot for beginners and experienced fishermen alike.

4. Nantahala River

The Nantahala River is a popular spot for fly fishing in the summer months. It’s known for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing conditions. You can catch rainbow, brown, and brook trout in this river.

5. Tuckasegee River

The Tuckasegee River is a great spot for fly fishing in the fall months. It’s stocked with brown and rainbow trout, and it’s known for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing conditions.

6. South Toe River

Located near the Blue Ridge Parkway, South Toe River is a great destination for trout fishing. This river offers both wild and stocked trout, making it a popular spot for anglers of all skill levels.

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

7. Wilson Creek

Wilson Creek is known for its crystal clear water and picturesque scenery. It’s an excellent spot for catching smallmouth bass, trout, and other freshwater species.

8. Tuckasegee River

Tuckasegee River is a large river that runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National park. It’s a popular spot for fishing due to the diverse range of fish species that can be found here, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass.

9. East Fork of the French Broad River

This river is an excellent spot for catching brown and rainbow trout. It’s located in Pisgah National Forest and offers beautiful views of the mountains.

10. South Mills River

This river is located within the Pisgah National Forest and is home to a wide variety of fish species. One of the main reasons why the South Mills River is a popular spot for fly fishing is the beautiful surroundings, with the river flowing through a dense forest and over rocky boulders.

11. Rough Butt Creek

Rough Butt Creek is one of the most popular spots for fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains. The creek is located in the Pisgah National Forest and is known for its abundance of wild brown and rainbow trout.

12. Savannah Creek

This small, remote stream is perfect for anglers looking for a quiet spot to fish away from the crowds. Savannah Creek is located near Balsam Grove, just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a relatively short stream, running only about two miles, but it’s known for its wild and feisty rainbow trout. 

These are just a few of the many spots for fly fishing in North Carolina. With its diverse range of rivers, streams, and lakes, this state is truly a fly fisherman’s paradise. So pack your gear and head out to explore the natural beauty and abundance of fish that North Carolina Mountains have to offer!

Types of Fish You Can Catch in North Carolina Mountains

The North Carolina Mountains are home to an array of fish species that are popular among fly fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the types of fish you can catch in these scenic mountains:

Rainbow Trout

These trout are native to the Pacific Northwest but have been introduced in the mountain streams of North Carolina. They are a popular catch among fly fishermen, thanks to their brilliant colors and energetic nature.

Brook Trout

This is the only native trout species found in North Carolina. They are usually found in small, remote streams and are a great challenge for anglers due to their skittish nature.

Brown Trout

Brown trout can be found in larger streams and rivers and are known for their elusive nature. They tend to hide under rocks and logs and require some finesse to catch.

Smallmouth Bass

This is a popular species for those who want to add some variety to their fly fishing experience. Smallmouth bass are more aggressive than trout and provide a thrilling catch for those looking for some action.


Known as the “fish of a thousand casts,” musky are elusive and require a lot of patience and skill to catch. They are found in the larger rivers and lakes of the North Carolina Mountains and can reach impressive sizes.

For tons of detailed information about release fly fishing in North Carolina, click here. 

Tips for Successful Fly Fishing in North Carolina Mountains

Now that you know the best spots, time to go, and the equipment you need for fly fishing in North Carolina Mountains, it’s time to focus on some tips that will help you be successful and make your trip even more enjoyable.

Make Sure You Have an NC Fishing License

A fishing license is required to fish anywhere in North Carolina. Be sure not to skip this so your fly fishing trip doesn’t hit a snag! Get your license on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website. 

Get the right flies

Matching your fly to the type of fish you’re trying to catch is important for a successful trip. The type of fly you choose can also depend on the season and time of day.

Pay attention to the weather

Weather can affect fly fishing greatly. Before you head out, check the weather forecast. High wind speeds or heavy rain can make casting difficult and impact the feeding patterns of fish.

Practice casting

You’ll need to be proficient at casting if you want to catch fish. Before you head out, spend some time practicing casting with your fly rod.

Use a Guide Service

If you’re new to fly fishing or not comfortable with being completely new to the area, you might want to consider a professional guide. 

Move slowly

When fly fishing, it’s important to move slowly and carefully. Try not to spook the fish or disrupt their habitat.

Keep a low profile

Try to avoid casting a shadow on the water, as it can also scare the fish away.

Use polarized sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are a must-have for fly fishing. They help reduce glare, which makes it easier to spot fish in the water. The Costa glasses are well-known and highly recommended in the fishing world.

Practice catch and release

Catch and release is essential for preserving the fish population in North Carolina Mountains. Be sure to handle fish carefully and release them back into the water quickly.


A fly-fishing experience in the North Carolina Mountains is hard to beat! With these tips and locations to try, you’re sure to have a successful and enjoyable trip. Remember to respect the environment and the fish you catch, and leave the area cleaner than when you arrived. 

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

The Best North Carolina National Parks

The Best North Carolina Caves

16 Family Campgrounds in NC Mountains

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The Difference Between Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains

The best fly fishing in North Carolina mountains.

Fly Fishing in North Carolina Mountains