A favorite among NC fishermen, the Davidson originates in the mountainous Pisgah National Forest, a scenic area surrounded by other national parks and preserved forest land. As the river wends its way south and nears Asheville, it empties into the French Broad River. Since being included on the Trout Unlimited list of top 100 trout fishing streams in the nation, its popularity has grown, bringing an increasing number of out-of-state anglers.
Luckily the state works hard to keep the river healthy and the fish flourishing. The river is divided into sections based on the regulations that apply to each. From its headwaters to the confluence with Avery’s Creek, it’s wild fish only, fly fishing only and strictly catch and release. From Avery’s Creek to the national forest line, you’ll find hatchery supported brooks and rainbows.
The section between the Pisgah hatchery and Looking Glass Creek is what really draws fishermen to this river. Here you can expect to find clear, slow moving pools, few overhead obstructions and lots of hatches that support brooks, browns and rainbows, many over 18-inches long. Like other heavily fished waters, the fish can be cunning and despite their large numbers, hard to reel in.
Route 276, near the town of Pisgah, parallels the river, providing lots of public access. There are stretches of restricted private land, although there is a 3 mile section where you can purchase temporary fishing access. Much of the river can be waded and enjoyed with your feet in the water.