south mills river
Formed by numerous feeder creeks high along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the South Mills becomes fishable for fly anglers by the time it enters the Cradle of Forestry Historic Area off Hwy. 276. There, this candidate for federal Wild & Scenic River designation is pocked with beaver ponds full of small, wild brown trout. But below the old gauging station on FS 476, the river widens as it drops over several beautiful cascades, including scenic High Falls. If backcountry fishing for spooky wild browns and rainbows is your idea of nirvana, the South Mills is heaven on earth. Access to the interior of the roadless area is via the 12-mile long South Mills River Trail. The stream is classified Wild Trout and has no closed season. Headwaters Outfitters
how do i get there?
Google Maps will not only provide driving directions but will show you where to park at the Wolf Ford parking area to begin your hike. High Falls is a bit of an adventure but HikeWNC will provide even more detail on what to expect.
fishing the south mills river
Please explore below for more detailed information about fishing in the WNC region in general including the South Mills. A Guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nuances of various stretches of the water but if you want to learn more about where you are going before you arrive or if you want to plan your own day on the water for yourself or your group, you will find just about anything you could want plus a little more.
Current fishing reports are difficult to maintain but your best bet is to reach out to our Partners
where should i fish?
Take advantage of this printable map of the region highlighting the different Managed Waters. Ask questions and plan your day.
what other waters are in the area?
The North Carolina Resources Commission maintains a highly detailed map of Managed trout water across the state. This map can be a little unwieldy so here is a simpler version that also can be printed.
do i need a north carolina fishing license?
what flies will i need?
Your Guides will have everything you need but if you want to plan your trip or be prepared with your own favorites, NC Wildlife and Trout Unlimited offer a Hatch Chart to help you with the insects that will be looking to imitate. If your shop at home does not have the right flies, Brookings Anglers, Davidson River Outfitters and Headwaters Outfitters all have impressive selections of local patterns.
Yes. While there are hundreds of miles of Wild Trout waters, NC generously stocks Hatchery Supported waters and Delayed Harvest waters. These Stocking Charts are for 2020 and will updated as soon as 2021 is available.
what about water flows?
Western North Carolina has a number of Tailwaters and Freestone rivers. The water levels on the Tailwaters are controlled by dam releases and the Freestones by Mother Nature herself. The USGS measures and reports on many - not all - rivers across the state and there are independent groups that monitor water flows as well but knowing the amount of water currently flowing down your favorite river and if it is increasing or decreasing will make or break your day. Imagine driving up to the East Outlet of the Kennebec River to fish a section that was shin deep last month to find that it is now over your head. PAY ATTENTION because water levels can change quickly.
what fishing gear and clothing will i need?
Your Guides will have rods, reels and flies and, with some advanced planning, waders. However, if you prefer your own equipment, please see What to Bring for suggestions. They will not, however, provide you with clothing to keep warm though they would be happy to sell it to you and with more of that advanced planning, will even bring it to you when you meet for the day or will have it waiting for you at the Greystone. Please explore Gear for specific recommendations for fishing and Clothing to make sure that you will be prepared for Winter in WNC.
Also, mousing at night is an experience to be seized if the conditions are right.
Of course. However, with an average January high of 47 degrees and average low of 29, it is nothing like a New England winter. It DOES get cold and anchor ice DOES form on occasion so be prepared with your Gear and check the Brevard Weather Forecasts knowing that it is only 2,231 feet above sea level and it get colder the higher you climb.
sunrise and sunset
Why would I really care about the sunrise and sunset? In winter, the days are deceptively short so be prepared. During April and May, the nymphing might be strong in the morning but a hatch might occur in the evening. Know when to be out there!