Anglers looking for something different could do worse than choose western North Carolina waters this time of year. Two types of fishing are available - river fishing for smallmouths or stream fishing for wild mountain trout.

"Smallmouth fishing is good in the French Broad River right now," said Kevin Howell of Davidson River Outfitters (828-877-4181). "A lot of fish are being caught."

Best lures for smallmouth have been Doodle Bugs, Cicadas and crease flies – a baitfish pattern with a foam body and concave mouth that's essentially a popping lure.


Successful smallmouth fishing at the river occurs mostly on float trips that cover a lot of water. However, for anglers who would rather wade and fish, the Davidson River near Brevard in Transylvania County is probably the best place in the state for the chance to catch larger trout. It's stocked by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and includes delayed-harvest waters, wild-trout waters, and catch-and-release-fly-fishing-only sections.


"(The WRC) finished August stockings two weeks ago in the Davidson River," Howell said.


Anglers can find rainbows and browns that range from 8 to 12 inches in length at delayed-harvest waters or 8- to 30-inch fish at the main Davidson River.


"The main Davidson is catch-and-release only fishing," Howell said.


Best flies for trout fishing in summer include yellow caddis and stoneflies for topwater, then bead-head nymphs, pheasant nymphs, and during the middle of the day, Howell said terrestrials such as ants and beetles work well.


From Avery to Cove creeks, both tributaries of the Davidson, single-hook flies are required and all fish must be released.