Everyone knows “A River Runs Through It” was set in Montana, celebrities jostle for stream side property around Jackson Hole in Wyoming; and John Gierach’s “Trout Bum” regarded by many as a modern fly fisherman’s manifesto, is set in Colorado
the creek laced mountains of western North Carolina, with several thousand miles of public and private trout water packed into a million acres, there is another version of the sport.
Along the area’s narrow river reaches, casts are typically shorter, the fish are less particular about their diet and anglers can get by with fewer fly patterns. It is entirely feasible to hit one trout stream in the morning, one after lunch and still another before dark.
As trout fishing destinations go, western North Carolina has long remained a relatively unknown on a national level and some contend this has been by design. The locals used to be pretty tightlipped about how good the fishing is in the area.
Annual rainfall averages 90 inches in much of the region, offering up a steady supply of water, while elevations greater than 1,400 feet ensure a cold water environment essential for trout survival. As a result, rainbow, brown and brook trout lurk in abundance at the base of numerous waterfalls and in the deep pools of countless creeks.
The area has recently received more exposure, through books like “Western North Carolina Fly Guide” by J.E. B. Hall (Brushy Mountain Publishing 2007) and in television shows that romanticize the thrills of trout fishing in the southern Appalachians.