fly fishing seasons in asheville

Asheville Fishing Season Overview

The fishing seasons from year to year follow a similar pattern, although every year is slightly different. Water levels, fish activity, and insect hatches will sometime vary a week apart from year to year, but fishing techniques, fish movements, patterns and seasons remain consistent for the most part. Southern Appalachian Anglers is a year-round fishing guide service providing high-quality guided trips during every month of the year.

January/February

Trout: This time of month is for the die-hard fisherman. Asheville fishing trips in February can offer some rewarding catches with little to no boat or foot traffic on the river. This time of year is good for drifting small midges, and stripping dark colored streamers for big browns and rainbows. On cloudy days the blue winged olives will sporadically hatch throughout the day, which offer trout a reason to feed on dry flies.

March – April

Trout: Get out your 5wt and hold on! This time of year can offer some of the most rewarding fly fishing in Western North Carolina. With black stone flies, caddis and hendricksons hatching all at once, the big trout begin to feed. With mayflies taunting big trout, our guides will show you how to pinpoint big trout and present a dry fly for the taking!

Smallmouth: This is the time of the year for trophy smallmouth bass. Spinning tackle is primarily used and reaction strikes are the goal. With bass over 3 pounds, and smallmouth getting into the 6lb. range, this time of year is epic. Don’t miss out – book your trophy smallmouth trip early.

May

Trout: With a consistent rainfall, our rivers in Asheville will stay at normal levels. May offers a number of different caddis, and sulphur hatches providing big brown and rainbow trout with plenty to eat. Dry flies will dominate this time of year with green drakes and other mayfly patterns providing anglers with fish catching action.

Smallmouth: During the month of May bass will feed and chase shad. Common techniques that will be used are swimbaits, swim jigs, and fast moving baits that imitate baitfish. Bass from 2 to 4 pound range are commonly caught with an average weight of 4 pounds per trip.

June – July

Trout: This time of year is a prime time for all species of trout! With endless action on the river, the fishing never slows down. Wade for wild trout in some of our backcountry creeks or higher elevation streams in Asheville to find the best fishing.

Smallmouth: Fish for smallmouth by casting poppers to big smallmouth with 6wts and streamers with 8wts for an explosive bite! Floating the river is our most popular fly fishing trip this time of year. The morning provide anglers with a good topwater bite, slowly moving into the afternoon with big bites coming from deeper waters. Spend a day with your professional fishing guide for big smallmouth.

August – September

Trout: Though a hotter season than the rest, August fishing can be very rewarding to say the least. With bugs still hatching and terrestrials, stone flies and sulphurs dominating the trouts’ diet, dry fly fishing is still spectacular.

Smallmouth: Smallmouth fishing also remains great this time of year, with smallmouth looking up for a topwater bite. The Western North Carolina region provides anglers with a cooler temperature than other regions of the country. Be sure to bring a rain jacket as rain showers are common in some areas!

October – November

Trout: One of our guides favorite season of the year.  Trout will begin to feed heavily on caddis flies and midges. The wild brown trout in Western North Carolina along with wild rainbow trout will be caught this time of year as well.

Smallmouth: With trophy trout and trophy smallmouth being caught all month long, the months of October and November are phenomenal. Smallmouth will begin to chase war paint minnows, so streamers and poppers work very well. As well as crawfish imitation baits during the colder days.

December

Trout: Really… December? That’s right. Catch wild trout all day long! With blue winged olive hatches and small midge patterns the fishing never slows down. During this time of year your guide will take you to a private stream that has little to no pressure from other anglers. You will be able to catch wild rainbow and brook trout and the possibility of a huge brown!