Fly fisherman are a rare breed, some of us constantly seek out new water to fish, always looking for that new gem of a stream. For some this can be a time consuming and sometimes life long quest that we pursue with reckless abandon, throwing all caution to the wind, from spending money we don’t have, to neglecting other things and people in our lives. On the other side of the coin, we have folks that spend entirely to much time behind a desk, browsing trout forums and day dreaming about that next hall pass from the significant other. Then there’s the guy who is looking to get his family out of the rat race for a week long family vacation to the mountains, and yes he too will be packing his fly rod, even if he can only slip away for a few hours the entire week. I probably fall into that first category myself, but no matter what your current level of fly fishing insanity is you need to check out the fly fishing trail.
In the summer of 2011 Joe Street and Keith Jennings launched theflyfishingtrail.com to promote fly fishing in the area surrounding Spruce Pine, North Carolina. With over 500 miles of trout and Smallie waters within an hours driving radius of Spruce Pine, this area is one of the top destinations for avid fly fishermen in the southeast. The website provides area information, regulations, maps, stream detail, information on accommodations, and things-to-do for the family while you go fishing. Whether you are looking for catch & release waters, wild waters, or smallie waters, the fly fishing trail provides fly fishermen information on the fisheries, including GPS coordinates, how’s that for service. The website covers Avery, Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, and Yancey counties which are situated between Mt. Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, and Roan Mountain.
This area is well known for large brown trout such as this beast from the North Toe pictured on the right, as well as rainbows, and of course the much sought after southern Appalachian brook trout pictured below. Of all the trout fishing forums that I frequent, the question that I see asked most is, “Where can I catch wild brookies?” Well folks grab your GPS and go.
In addition to this website you should also stop in at Rivers Edge Outfitters in Spruce Pine for up to date information on what bugs are working, or to pick up those extra little things that we are always running out of. If you need to make the best of your time in the area, you might also want to hire one of their guides that are always on staff and very knowledgeable about this area.
If you have never fished in this area of North Carolina you owe it to yourself to make the trip. This is some of the most beautiful country in the southeast, period. There is a rushing stream around every corner and the surrounding mountains are some of the biggest you can see east of the Mississippi. The fly fishing trail is a valuable resource for you to help plan that next trip that you so badly need. Give it a look and go fishing!