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upper toxaway river - private

Fisher Falls (~.6 mile marker) marks the end of the loop and the trail will cut away from the river. You will come to a trail intersection - go left to continue another 1.65 miles to Raven Rock Falls or go right to return to the car. There is another small split near the end of the trail - the logging road will take you to the top of the paved road, and the trail will take you back near the picnic tables you passed at the start. 

how do i get there?

Unless you are a guest of a resident, you will likely be staying at the Greystone Inn, an easy one-hour drive from the Asheville Regional Airport, a two and-a-half  hour drive from the Charlotte Airport or a three-hour drive from Atlanta. 

Or, you can make it in fourteen from Boston and is as simple as rolling down hill.

fishing the upper toxaway river

If your desire is to find Trout from November to May, Lake Toxaway is the ideal home-base as it is central to all of the managed and Wild Trout waters and Outfitters in the region and the Greystone Inn's hospitality and comfort is beyond compare.  The Upper Toxaway River is a very short hike with some gorgeous intimate runs and will make for good practice for some of the other tight Wild Trout waters in the area and is a great place to perfect your bow-and-arrow cast.  A couple of hours and a picnic should suffice for rounding out a morning or afternoon.


Please explore below for more detailed information about fishing in the WNC region.  A Guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nuances of various stretches of 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.

fishing reports?

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.

What trout will we be fishing for?

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brown trout.jpg
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do i need a north carolina fishing license?

Probably, yes.  Learn about the regulations, requirements and costs and purchase your 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.

are these wild trout or stocked trout?

Yes. While there are hundreds of  miles of Wild Trout waters, NC generously stocks Hatchery Supported waters and Delayed Harvest waters.

trout regulations – know your signs!

There are some very specific rules about where and when trout are stocked and where and when you are permitted for fish for them.  A reminder, there are limited opportunities to harvest a fish but BlueLines Fly Fishing encourages Catch and Release.

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.

moon schedules

Do I really care about venturing out under the full moon?  First, a full moon rising in the Western North Carolina mountains is not to be missed.  Yes, those are two trout rings in that reflection. 


Also, mousing at night is an experience to be seized if the conditions are right.


it will be winter here.  is it winter there?

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!

This easy 1.25 mile loop is located within the Lake Toxaway community feeding Lake Cardinal and ultimately Lake Toxaway.  The trail itself follows a small creek as it winds through the valley and is accessed above the culvert on Cardinal Drive where there is a small pull-off for a few cars.  Downstream from the culvert is mostly private property so even though there are small wild rainbow trout frolicking in the absolutely crystal clear waters, visitors should explore upstream along the trail itself.  Not to worry, through.  As “intimate” as it is running through the crowding rhododendron forest, those same wild ‘bows have just as much fun in the runs and plunges – some surprisingly deep – as you move up river.   The trail crosses the river frequently with each crossing offering a break from the overhanging “rhodies” but be very stealthy approaching these breaks because if you can see the fish, assuredly, they can see you too.  

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