Asheville NC

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Steve S., May 2, 2006.

  1. Steve S.

    Steve S. New Member

    Feb 7, 2005
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    Olympia WA
    Managed to get away for a short trip to Asheville NC and figured I'd throw up a trip report. We actually got back last week but I haven't had much time to get around to posting a report. We met up with my friend Dave who's in the Army stationed at Ft. Bragg and just got back a couple months ago from his second tour in Iraq. I suckered him into trying flyfishing about 10 years ago and we try to get a trip together once a year if the work lets us. Dave had done a guided trip with Forrest out of Hunter Banks Fly Shop once before, so he lined us up another trip with him.

    Forrest gave us a couple options but we decided to hit the Davidson to try for a shot at some of the bigger fish in the river. The section we fished is right by one of the hatcheries near a big USFS station. It's C&R only and with easy access and big trout the fish get a lot of pressure and are extremely well educated. On the plus side they're willing to put up with a lot of sloshing around the stream without spooking. The fish get a lot of calories and protein from sucking up the stray trout chow coming out of the hatchery discharges which turns them into some of the fattest trout I've ever seen. It also gives them the energy to put up a great fight.

    I'll admit it's a little bit of a canned fishing experience, but hey it's also a lot of fun. Light (7X or less) tippets and tiny flies - don't even bother with the 6X. Hooking and fighting big fish with light stuff like that was kind of new to me but I had the hang of it by the end of the day.

    After that we headed over the Mts to Gatlinburg TN. We had another trip lined up for some smallmouth but the TN side was getting pounded with rain and the rivers were pushing flood stage. We stayed for 2 nights and did some hikes in the area with the wives but when it became obvious the rivers weren't going to drop to a fishable state we made a desperate call back to Hunter Banks to see how things were on the east side. We lucked out and managed to score another trip with Forrest, this time for some wild trout on one of the tribs of the French Broad. We ended up hiking in about a mile and then fishing our way back up stream. A big storm surge had pushed through the day before, kicking up lots of food and putting the rainbows into a bit of a feeding frenzy. We probably caught at least 4 or 5 dozen fish on caddis and mayfly nymphs. Nothing too huge, just feisty rainbows (and a couple browns) in the 11-14 inch range with lots of diving, jumping and ripping around the pools.

    It ain't big western river trout fishing, but it's definitely a lot of fun. Asheville is a great town with good restaurants, shops and microbrews and a cosmopolitan nightlife if you're into that sort of thing. Forrest is a great guide and knows just about every stream in the area. There's enough stuff in the area to keep the non-fishing family members interested while you're out in the stream.

  2. Dan

    Dan Member

    Feb 26, 2003
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    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

    Nice report! We drove up to Asheville from Johnson City last month. Had a great time - lunch at a mexican/carribean fusion place, went to the natural foods store, did some sight-seeing, ended up in the hot springs on the Nollachucky. Saw what appeared to be some great trout water. Looks like I was thinking right! I'll have to go back with the 4 weight.