Carolina Wilderness: Embrace the Outdoors and Fly Fish the Southeast

Fly fishing isn’t known as “the contemplative man’s recreation” for nothing: The sport, which can be done in fresh or salt water, will take you to some of the most beautiful, pristine areas of the world and bring you face-to-face with a kind of patient process that our technologically-hyperactive world can otherwise eschew entirely.

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It’s an ancient practice that’s been traced all the way back to the 2nd century in regions as far spread as Rome and Japan. Today, the sport has continued to captivate outdoors enthusiasts and recreational fishers alike.

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As spring approaches, we don’t need any extra encouragement to get out there and traverse the streams, splash in the rivers that cascade off of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, and hike through the brush to find the perfect spot.

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The Southeast doesn’t always get all the love as a fly fishing destination. Here, the season is a tad shorter and the scenery doesn’t get as much press as the Pacific Northwest.

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But, here in North Carolina, the opportunities to catch trout are just as plentiful, and the rivers run just as deep. We have over 4,000 miles of public fishing water full of wild and stocked trout, brown, rainbow, and native brook.

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Our area is unique in many ways, and the fly fishing the Carolinas afford you are just one. If you plan to explore what the Southeast has to offer you, experts in the area recommend breaking out particular flies for fishing our waters: Caddis, Thunderhead, Yellow Palmer, Yellow Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Parachute Blue Winged Olive, Charlie Whomper, Hare’s Ear Nymph, to list a few of the staples.

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If you’re unsure which of our wilderness areas to start with, Game & Fish Magazine recommends you head to Hazel Creek, Forney Creek, Nantahala River, Davidson River, North Toe River, Lost Cove Creek, and Mount Mitchell. There, in the expanse of the Carolina wild, whether you catch one or a dozen, you can’t go wrong with the gorgeous scenery that the rivers, creeks, and streams will pull you into.