Davidson River Fishing Report

Stream Report November 13th, 2023


We got a brief dose of rain over the weekend, but not enough to move the level on the gauge. That being said, the area still has plenty of options for those wanting to get out. Our "larger" small streams are fishing well when you can target some moving water where the fish feel protected. The main Davidson has had some excellent midge and BWO dry fly fishing when the sun is out. The DH streams have seen their second fall stocking by now and provide ample opportunities to get a rod bent while leaving some of the now spawning wild fish alone. Musky fishing is also starting to shape with cooler temps and ultra-clear water. 

Be sure to call the shop to get the latest river conditions, or you can check the flows and temperatures HERE

Check the forecast for our area HERE.

For the freshest fishing report and tips on how to step up your game this fall, be sure to stop by Davidson River Outfitters at 49 Pisgah Hwy, Suite 6 in Pisgah Forest. You'll find a few trout experts passionate about fishing and eager to share their knowledge with you, full of good information, even if they occasionally sprinkle in a bit of bullsh*t.

Please stop by the shop or call us at (888) 861 0111 to learn more about the current fishing conditions and get tips on catching more fish. We'll be happy to help you start your next fishing adventure!

Davidson River and Low Elevation Wild Trout

The Davidson River and other area streams are *extremely* low and clear but still worth investigating. We are starting to see fish pairing up and beginning to spawn. Please leave these fish alone and be aware of the cleared gravel patches (redds) often, but not always, near the tail out of pools as these are sensitive spawning areas that don't need any other challenges they are already presented. Please avoid walking through these areas or fishing for these fish. Getting off the soapbox now, BWO patterns and midge fishing has been most productive during midday hours. Something like a comparadun, hackle stacker, or sprout midge with a small soft hackle in tow has yielded enough results to be worthwhile (all sized in the 18-22 range). If squinting for dear life isn't your style, you can find a few fish by striping and swinging micro streamers in the riffles or dead drifting lightly weighted stonefly patterns. For streamers, it is hard to beat a sparkle minnow or strawberry blonde in size 10, and the tried and true girdle bug has been getting it done in its lighter color variations for a stonefly.

Delayed Harvest Rivers

I recommend checking the stocking schedule for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Fly selection for these streams should include a mix of bright attractor flies and more natural midge and mayfly patterns. These streams can harbor healthy populations of large wild and holdover trout that you can fool with a well-presented streamer during high water.

High-Elevation Wild Trout

The Brookie streams aren't immune to the low water either. These ordinarily clear streams are now ultra-low and clear. These fish have been on the spawn for a while and are probably best left alone for another few weeks. If you do a fish cruising around not engaged in chasing tail, throw a single attractor dry like a purple haze or Adams in size 16 and prepare for a spirited refusal or an exciting eat. Just be sure to watch for reds as you stalk these gems of a fish.

Remember to:

  • Keep the fish wet by minimizing their time out of the water.
  • Use barbless flies to facilitate quick and easy release.
  • Always respect the small streams that make our area such a special place.

French Broad River

Smallmouth fishing is in an interesting spot because the water is so clear, but the temps have dropped significantly; your best bet right now is to fish small dark-colored flies close to the bottom or bounce bottom with your favorite Ned rig variation. Musky fishing is also in good shape; cover water and keep the faith. 






Would you be interested in more? Check out our Regional Rivers & Streams Overview and Hatch Chart with Fly Recommendations.

overhead shot of man fly fishing on the Davidson


Regional Rivers and Streams Guide

Learn about the rivers and streams of WNC

Regional Rivers and Streams Guide

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What's biting in Western North Carolina?

Seasonal Hatch Chart and Fly Recommendations

What's biting in Western North Carolina?

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Located in Pisgah Forest, N.C., with the legendary Davidson River right out our back door, DRO carries a full line of fly fishing gear and apparel, as well as a wide range of fly tying materials and tools. Advice is always free, and we love pointing anglers in the right direction.

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Davidson River Outfitters

Keep up with the latest from DRO:

Stream Report

We finally received some much-needed rain, and after a few days of water too high to fish safely, we are back at it and back in the swing of things. Read More


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