Fly Fish The Davidson River

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Each spring around 17,000 trout are dropped into the 4,000 miles of North Carolina mountain trout streams. These western North Carolina streams and rivers have long been considered a haven for fly-fishermen looking to test their angling skills in a beautiful and oftentimes rugged environment. In Brevard and Transylvania County alone, fishermen can choose to fish the nearly 500 miles of creeks, streams and rivers that run through the steep mountains and rich forests. This rich diversity and bountiful water supply make the area one of the top destinations in the southeast for fly fishing. For local fishing guides like the ones we showcased in this Brevard fly fishing video who spend a great deal of their time guiding clients on the rivers, the diversity of the county’s waterways and the bountiful fish populations that thrive in the cool mountain water helps keep them and their clients satisfied day in and day out. For more information on the great folks who appeared in this video and to book them for a day on the water, check out

About Fly Fishing on the Davidson River

Landon Lipke at home on the Davidson River.

Landon Lipke, a California native who has been a guide at Davidson River Outfitters for five years, said one of his favorite rivers in the area is the Davidson.

He said that the hatchery located near the headwaters of the river creates ideal conditions for trout.

“The hatchery puts nutrients into the river that feeds the whole river,” he said. “In turn, it makes the river hold some big fish.”

While most of the Davidson River is only a “stone’s throw” from the road, Lipke said for the most part it doesn’t feel that way.

“You don’t really feel the road while you’re there,” he said. “It’s actually pretty serene.”

Above the hatchery, the river narrows into a smaller stream that offers a true wilderness setting, he said.

“You can get away from people and still catch bigger fish, unlike some of the other small streams in the area,” he said.

Lipke said that the average size trout in the river is around 14 inches, but that’s not the only size fish to be caught there.

“There are big fish pulled out of the Davidson all of the time that are bigger than 20 inches,” he said. “It’s just all about catching them at the right time.”

Lipke said that what makes the river such a fun place to fish is the variety. Lipke said that in order to be successful, anglers would need to work to figure out what the fish are feeding on at each spot.

“There are so many different types of water,” he said. “From pocket water to big slicks to big plunge pools that your fishing is not just one style of fishing. It’s a nice mixture of everything.”

Lipke said that he thinks spring fishing makes for some of the most exciting fly-fishing of the year.

“Fish are usually coming out of their winter mode so they are a little more aggressive,” he said. “They begin to eat because they are trying to gain up some strength, and the bug life this time of year is also more prolific.”

Lipke said that while the spring hatches are fairly hit or miss, when they happen it makes for a great day of fishing.

Lipke said that it takes anglers utilizing trial and error to determine what the fish are feeding on. When an angler finds something the fish is hungry for, it makes for a fun afternoon, he said.

“They kind of start to get crazy,” he said of the fish during a spring hatch. “They key on that bug and it makes the fishing just a little bit easier because they start to go after those bugs that begin popping up.”

Around 14 miles of the river, from its headwaters to Avery Creek, are managed under catch-and-release, fly-fishing only regulations. The lower mile is hatchery supported.

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