Fly Fishing Southern Appalachia

Drive, hike, fish, hike, fish, fish again… – Western North Carolina
With thousands of fishable streams and creeks in WNC, being caught without a fly pole is a big mistake if you are a fly fishing enthusiast. Nature is kept at its basics in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Fly fishing in these misty hills can mean hiking into the forest to find a waterfall, driving to a more accessible location, or touring the beautiful mountains by boat. The great thing about fly fishing in Asheville is every stream, creek or river you can find beautiful scenery and vibrant colored trout.

A History So Rich

Fly fishing Southern Appalachia is a history of its own. What made the Southern Appalachian Mountains a fly fishing heaven was the ability of wading the streams and creeks, as well as the famous Brook Trout or as locals coined it, the Brookie. In the 1920’s many rivers outside of Western North Carolina were hard to wade and during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s wading was not even an option. If the river was too deep to wade, then the lush trees around the river prevented any fly fisherman from being able to cast properly. Many of the rivers in Tennessee and Kentucky proved this theory. Southern Appalachia was a different animal… With rivers being thigh high to ankle deep, anglers took to the rivers to catch brook trout, and native rainbows regularly.
Throughout the great depression with years catching up to the 50’s, fly patterns were beginning to emerge in the Southern Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Fly patterns were developed to catch supper, including the Tellico Nymph, Fred Hall’s Thunderhead, Yallar Hammer, Sheep Fly and many others .
Now a well-known fly fishing bucket list, Western North Carolina’s Southern Appalachian Mountains have finally proved their worth. With unmatched sunsets and picturesque mountain peaks, Asheville and the towns surrounding, offer visitors a true fly fishing vacation.

Fly Fishing in Western North Carolina

Fly fishing in the Southern Appalachian Mountains can be the most exciting adventure you may ever take. With Western North Carolina as well as Eastern Tennessee producing big trout, bass and even musky and high quantities of them, fly fishing can be a blast! Typical lighter weight fly rods are used for going after trout in WNC streams and creeks. Three, four and five weight rods are perfect for casting trout flies.

Asheville fly fishing hatch chart

Southern Appalachian Insect Hatch

In the beginning of March, insects will begin to make their move swimming with the current attaching to rocks or timber found in rivers. Trout will begin to feed on any insects caught off guard for their daily meal. Wet flies in nymph patterns can provide vicious strikes if seen by the right trout. Tie on a wet nymph pattern and ride the current with a strike indicator or a free line, but be sure to watch your fly line closely. Insect hatches can occur suddenly, so be prepared, and keep an eye out for quick hatches.

Written by Paul Kisielewski
About: Owner of Southern Appalachian Anglers, and head guide, Paul Kisielewski is always excited no matter what type of guided excursion he is taking clients on. With a positive attitude and an eccentric personality Paul has shown his love for the sport of fishing whether it’s bass fishing on reservoirs, fly fishing backwood creeks, or fishing in northern reservoirs. Most fly fishing guide trips in Asheville, NC are either one day or multiple days in a row. Raised in Western North Carolina, Paul has devoted his life to learning about our local river systems, high elevation reservoirs, and the fish that are present in these waters.

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