Our float trips are for smallmouth bass and trout on the Holston, Watauga and French Broad Rivers. Floating these rivers allows you to cover more productive water, and water that is not accessible to wade fishing. During these trips you may have opportunities to get out of the raft and wade fish “back cuts” and special riffle areas that are known to hold better than average fish.
For these trips we recommend 5 weight or larger rods from 8 to 9 foot in length.
On float trips NO STUDDED wading boots are allowed and waders are recommended year round due to the constant cool water temperature.
This trip includes lunch and non-alcoholic beverages. Lodging and fishing licenses are not included.
What is Included:
Drinks & Snacks
1 - 2 anglers
The headwaters of the 78.5 mile long Watauga, begin at Peak Mountain in North Carolina on the western slope of the Eastern Continental Divide, and end at its confluence with the South ... moreFork of the Holston River. This trout filled tributary of the Holston is a mere 1 hour, scenic drive from Asheville.
Managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) the Watauga, like most rivers in the watershed, is affected by dams, water releases and reservoirs. The Watauga Dam created the 6,430 acre Watauga Lake. Three miles further down river, are the much smaller Wilbur Dam and Lake, used during the summer to release water back into the river. The 20 mile tailwater from Wilbur Dam to Boone lake is the most prized trout fishing part of the river.
Like other tailwaters in the region, the temperature remains between 50 to 55 degrees most of the year, providing great habitat for trout. The Tennessee Valley Resource Authority (TVRA) stocks the tailwater with rainbows, brooks and browns alongside a small population of wild trout. Most fish are in the 12 inch range although much larger fish are there to be caught. Estimates range from 2,000 to 5,000 fish per mile.
Depending on water releases the river can be waded although it’s advisable to get a TVA discharge schedule before entering the water. Wading access can be limited since property holders own the riverbed and can deny entry. The water may be fished at any time from a small boat, although due to shallow pools, you may want to keep one generator running if you use a drift boat. The river is composed of a few fast runs and long sections of rifles but large, long pools can also be found.
Culturally inclined and well preserved, Asheville is surrounded by majestic mountains, lush national forest lands and scores of fresh water rivers and streams. Long recognized for ... moreits art-deco architecture, performing arts and numerous music festivals, this mid-size city of about 84,000 has also become well known for its abundant trout fishing and is frequently referred to as the Trout Capital of the South.
And, you don’t have to go far to fish! The Davidson River, named after an early settler to the area and voted one of the top 100 trout streams in America by Trout Unlimited members, runs right alongside town. Less than an hour’s drive easily gets you to the Tuckasegee River. The South Fork Holston River (SoHo) considered one of the finest tailwater trout fisheries east of the Mississippi, and the Watuga River, also highly regarded, can be reached in 2 hours or less. By some estimates, there are over 4000 miles of public waters within driving distance of Asheville.
Rivers like the Davidson are most popular during the spring and fall months although year round fishing is permitted in tailwaters. During the hot summer months you may find yourself competing with tubers, kayakers, canoeists, swimmers and people just enjoying a waterside picnic.
Steeped in history and surrounded by natural wonders, Asheville offers a wide variety of options to those not choosing to fish. These include:
The Biltmore Estate, the largest single family home in the US
Asheville Art Museum
Black Mountain Golf Course
Beer City Bicycles
Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians
Great Smokey Mountains National Park
There are several options for traveling to Asheville, including:
Fly into Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport and drive for about 2 hours
Fly into Piedmont Triad International Airport (serving Winston Salem, Greensboro and High Point) and drive for approximately 2 hours
Fly into Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport and drive for approximately 2 hours
- Cancellations made 14 days before will be fully refunded.
- Cancellations made 7 days before will be refunded 50% of the amount paid.
- Cancellations made at a later date will not be refunded.