Fly Fishing the North Toe
Located in Spruce Pine, North Carolina, the North Toe River stretches all the way north from Plumtree and travels through Bakersville, Green Mountain and finally into the Nolichucky Gorge in Tennessee. The river holds an impressive population of trout in the northern sections from Spruce Pine and up river, while the lower sections are filled with smallmouth, trout and musky. There are two ways to fish the North Toe. If fly fishing is your wheelhouse then begin at Spruce Pine and work your way up stream. If the smallmouth specimen is preferred, float down the river just south of Spruce Pine. Both sections offer phenomenal fishing year round.
Trout Fishing the North Toe
The upper North Toe is managed by North Carolina State stocking program along with numerous other private trout fishing clubs. All of which stock the river throughout the year. The delayed harvest section starts in downtown Spruce Pine and stretches a couple miles downriver. Anglers can find easy pull off spots that are accessible to the public.
The river offers cold, clear, oxygenated water that provides trout with the right recipe for growing fast. There are plenty of brown trout, rainbow trout and even brook trout in the northern sections of the North Toe. Sections of the river just north of Spruce Pine can be hard to access and many are private. Be sure to watch out for no trespassing signs when stopping to fish.
Smallmouth Fishing the North Toe
The lower part of the North Toe River is highly concentrated with smallmouth and can be easily accessed on the side of the road. Smallmouth will also come north to feed on war paint minnows and crawfish. Smallmouth can also be found in Spruce Pine throughout the delayed harvest sections in the summer months, while spring and fall are best for trout.
Smallmouth fishing can be best approached by using spinning gear or 7wt fly rods. Using flukes, topwater baits, and hair jigs will provide the best bites for spinning gear tackle. For fly fishing use popping bugs, flashy streamers and minnow chasers during the spring, summer and fall months.
How To Fish
Fly anglers can find tons of hatches in Spring and Fall to target large trout specimens. Brown trout can be found in the delayed harvest sections over 26 inches so matching the hatch can be very important. Try brown caddis, giant black stoneflies in the spring and hendricksons and terrestrials in the summer months.
The caddis flies will come out to play in the fall as well. Brown and green imitation caddis flies work well. The North Toe River is a trophy trout fishing river and can be fished year round. To learn more about the North Toe, contact Southern Appalachian Anglers for more details on hatch charts and trout patterns.