Fly Fishing the Davidson River

The most well known river in North Carolina, the Davidson River flows through the Pisgah National Forrest and into the town of Pisgah Forest, North Carolina. It is a tributary of the French Broad River and one of the most fished trout streams in the state. It is aproximately 45 minutes from the shop and parrallels NC Highway 276 from Pisgah Forrest.

The Davidson River is likely the most popular river in NC. The river is a popular location for trout fishing all year - during the summer months the river is also a desination for tubing and some kayaking. Much of the river's popularity is due to its inclusion in Trout Unlimited's Top 100 Streams of America. Since then, the number of visitors to Pisgah National Forrest has grown immensely.

When one imagines a mountain stream to explore and fish, the Davidson is probably the one you're thinking of. It's slow but consistent flow and its easy access make it very appealing to all ages of anglers. With all the attention given to the Davidson, the state fish and games agencies have some restrictions in place to ensure its longevity.

The Davidson is divided into three stretches of water based on the regulations enforced on those portions.

The Lower Davidson is the portion of the river from the National Forrest boundary to the confluence of the Davidson and Avery's Creek. This portion is classified as Hatchery Supported water and is open year round except for the month of March.

The section from Avery's Creek to the confluence of Looking Glass Creek and the Davidson is classified as Catch and Release - Artificial Fly Only. This section is known for its wild brown and rainbow trout that average 12 inches.

The Upper Davidson is the portion from Looking Glass Creek to the NC State Fish Hatchery and Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. The guides call this section the hatchery section as the best fishing is around this area. These fish are highly pressured, ultra selective, and extremely large. Fish as big as 8 pounds have been caught in the last 6 months. The secret to fishing this area is using small flies, small indicators, and small tippet. This is a river where having a guide is absolutely essential for first-time anglers.


Davidson River Fly Fishing Stream ReportRecent trips to the Davidson River have yielded some great fish. The river has been fishing well but remember that a sudden increase in the water level will force anglers to adjust their fishing tactics. When fishing after rainfall, consider 5X tippet to land those large fish as well as using a large point fly and a small midge or mayfly nymph. Strike indicators are also an easy way to increase your fishing success especially if yarn strike indicators are used. Visit the shop to see some of the new midge patterns we've begun stocking for the Davidson River and take a look at our light tippet that will help you land those larger fish.
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