The southern section, he says, is like a "big, overgrown ditch". The French Broad River itself may not be the top trout destination in the state, but many of this river's tributaries are. Unknown to many anglers, the French Broad River that runs through Downtown Asheville is an outstanding smallmouth bass fishery. "I was fishing with my father when I was old enough to walk," he explains. As one of the oldest river in the world, the French Broad River holds smallmouth bass that average 12 inches and some as large as 5 lbs. The French Broad River Campground, a spacious riverside RV and Tent campground of 13 acres, caters to the visitor and the local! The French Broad River, the third oldest river in the world, also runs along Hot Springs. These self-guided Canoeing and Kayaking River Trips are offered daily April – October and you can choose your take-out from a 3 , 4, or 7 hour river … Only experienced boaters should try these cold, turbulent waters. Because of the variety of river bottom types, the French Broad can be a difficult river to wade. As the "ditch" widens towards Asheville, the riverbed gets rockier with good shoals and outcroppings. French Broad River (Blantyre) Brush has been cleared from the area. Bright colored jigs, grubs, and lures work great for this tasty and sought-after species. One of the greatest attributes of the French Broad River is its easy accessibility. A small boat launching facility consisting of concrete steps and a timbered launch ramp have been constructed. Better yet, experiencing the river from a boat is the ultimate way to spend a day on the French Broad. A few musky are caught every year throwing big streamers with wire leaders, but the phenomenal smallie fishing and the scenery is the big draw. The Pigeon River and the Nolichucky both empty into the French Broad before the river meets Douglas Dam and forms Douglas Lake. Fishing for bass, on the other hand, is well suited for the warmer months of June through September. All you have to do is show up! In the 1970s, the NC Wildlife Commission put smallmouth bass and some fingerling muskies into the French Broad River. French Broad River (Murray Branch) Murray Branch Public Fishing Area: This area has three fishing pads along the French Broad River connected by a universally accessible trail. The zen of fly fishing is often best spent with some solitude, but a lesson on the intricacies of casting can be a great place to start. A wide variety of river bottom types give the fish more then enough room and variety for both habitation and spawning. Unknown to many anglers, the French Broad River that runs through Downtown Asheville is an outstanding smallmouth bass fishery. French Broad Overview NC Scenic Byway: Drive NC Highway 251 to three riverside parks. Campground sites are located on 2,000 feet of river … It is a magical and spiritual place with over a mile of French Broad River frontage, and incredible long-range, southwesterly views. A great fishing spot for the whole family! Like its sister to the west, the North Fork runs through a deep, rocky gorge, plunging over several major waterfalls on its way to the mainstem of the French Broad near our shop. Turn left and head south on NC 191 until you cross under the Blue Ridge Parkway overpass. The French Broad in Madison County is an incredibly beautiful river, flowing thru the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains, with class 2 and 3 whitewater, cliffs and rock outcroppings and miles of undisturbed backcountry scenery; and hidden in those waters is a thriving population of world-class Smallmouth Bass. 900 Volunteer Landing Lane, Knoxville, TN 37915 Phone: (865) 525-2585 Email: Outdoors@LegacyParks.org Tennessee Fishing License. The French Broad near Asheville is a big river — around 300 ft wide. As the name suggests, Ledges Whitewater Park is a popular spot for kayakers to practice their skills. But Howell says there are a couple pieces of equipment that aren’t so obvious. Only 1 smallmouth can be kept per day with a minimum length of 20 inches. Pick a spot and hop in. Located at the confluence of the West Fork and the North Fork of the French Broad River, this full service fly fishing shop also offers guided trips, tubing rentals and shuttle service, a taproom, and canoe/kayak rentals to … Finally, the parking lot at the Alexander Bike Park sits directly alongside the banks of the French Broad. From its headwaters in the small town of Rosman, N.C. to Brevard, the river is narrow and runs deep. If you need fishing tackle, or are looking for a fishing guide or fishing charter please visit Tackle, Guides, Charters Of course, any fishing trip requires the right gear. © 2019 - The Adventure Collective™ - All Rights Reserved, More articles from The Adventure Collective, Ski Wolf Ridge | Asheville Snowboarding + Skiing. You can wade the Bent Creek area when water levels allow. The French Broad River below Douglas Dam has long been the place to be for sauger, walleye, and crappie. Unfortunately, or fortunately (Depending on how you look at it), the section of the French Broad that runs through Downtown Asheville still remains unknown to many anglers. He grew up fly fishing with his father—a premier fly-tying expert himself. 1 … Smallmouth, sauger, walleye and crappie can be found in these waters. Good water clarity is extremely important and can be complicated to predict. Notable trout rivers such as the Davidson River and Mills River feed the French Broad. Howell describes the French Broad as three distinct sections. This river has an immense amount of crayfish and baitfish that are the main food source for the smallies. The French Broad and Nolichucky are home to an abundance of very large smallmouth that can be taken on the fly or with spin gear. Howell also recommends avoiding midday, when the sun most directly shines on the water. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has under rated the West Prong of the Pigeon River here in my opinion though granted that the fishing is better in the Little Pigeon River’s Middle Prong because of it’s more remote location. After a day of pulling muskies and trout from the river, Howell suggests heading to one of the breweries that "Beer City" is known for. The Tuckaseegee River offers great scenery and fishing from October to June. East Fork Road conveniently runs alongside the river, so it’s a great place to hop out and start casting. French River fishing maps also include lake info such as gamefish abundance, forage base, water clarity, weedline depth, bottom composition, complete latitude/longitude grid lines and dozens of GPS waypoints & coordinates. And don’t forget about the soles: Howell suggests felt instead of rubber if possible. The French Broad because it flowed into the French colonial territory, the English Broad for the one that remained in English territory, now simplified to the Broad River. Lake Julian boasts bass, catfish, brim and crappie, and has even been stocked with Tilapia. This is the home for muskies, suckers, and a few smallmouth bass. Guided Smallmouth Bass Trips are one of our specialties. “The Davidson River, the French Broad, these are my home waters.”. Kevin Howell is a Masters Fly Fishing Champion. North Fork of the French Broad Our home river, the North Fork is a wide-open stream well suited for fly fishing. Bonus: the French Broad Outfitters Hominy Creek outpost is a perfect place to grab a beer + nosh on offerings from a food truck. And to help us truly discover the essence of the French Broad, we’ve enlisted the help of one of the most experienced local experts. Float or fish the majestic French Broad River at your leisure! It’s here that Howell looks for mountain trout. Hook A Smallmouth On The French Broad (Asheville): Float for smallmouth through the Biltmore Estate. Directions from Asheville: Take I-240 W to I-26 E and get off on exit 33, NC 191. Drift past forests and vineyards, casting crease flies and poppers to feisty smallmouth bass that lurk along the rocky shoals. Live like a Charlotte local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. This park tends to be a little less busy than others in the area. Fly Fishing the French Broad River Based out of Asheville, Southern Appalachian Anglers find the fishing on the French Broad effective year round with summer months being great for smallmouth, fall and spring being great for brown trout and throughout the year musky can be caught due to their aggressive feeding schedule. Because of the high fish density seen on this river, its proximity to Asheville, and the reduced number of anglers, the French Broad River offers great smallmouth fishing for those in Western North Carolina. It’s along these rocky shoals that Howell suggests beginning your hunt for bass—especially the spots grown over with vegetation. Fishing from shore can be just as productive. A brewery/park/restaurant hybrid, the cavernous tasting room and expansive outdoor patio provide ample space to eat, drink, and stretch out. Throughout its course, cold spring-fed creeks and streams feed the French Broad from its headwaters near Brevard, NC, to Knoxville TN. Since trout like cool waters, Howell suggests October through May as the prime season to find them. As part of the North Carolina Late Harvest Program, this tributary of the French Broad is stocked and protected, so its cool waters are teeming with fish in late spring. This is where the Pigeon River joins up with the French Broad River in Cocke County and with the help of the Nolichucky River, all three form Douglas Lake. Near Asheville, Howell offers three suggestions for a quick escape to the river. Famous as one of the Earth's oldest rivers, the French Broad snakes its way right through Asheville, though the best fishing is to be had downstream near Hot Springs. Finally, when the French Broad pushes north and west toward its terminus, the more plentiful smallmouth are joined by catfish and white and spotted bass. Two handi-capped parking spaces are provided. In the planning stages, timing your excursion is important. With grills and picnic tables on site, it’s also a pleasant place to spend an afternoon waiting for the optimal conditions. ... Those holes are great fishing spots. Southern Appalachian Anglers supplies a specially designed drift boat, all your equipment and a friendly guide that knows all the great fishing spots. Fed by the French Broad River, the lake not only became a source of electricity for the largely rural area at the time, but it also became a recreation destination for anglers and boating enthusiasts. As part of the North Carolina Late Harvest Program, this tributary of the French Broad is stocked and protected, so its cool waters are teeming with fish in late spring. Walleye fishing here is good all year round and the French River is currently considered to be one of the best locations for catching trophy walleye within Canada. The Watauga and South Holston are big, beautiful tailwaters offering dry fly, nymph and streamer action year round. For the classic trout fishing experience, the East Fork of the French Broad is ideal. The entire portion of the Pigeon River in Tennessee from the mouth of the French Broad River in Cocke County upstream to the North Carolina state line is managed as a trophy smallmouth fishery. Beginning gently as a narrow waterway in the southwestern edge of the state, the river gains steam and breadth as it passes through Asheville and the more craggy valleys to the north. French Broad River in Madison County. The typical bass here, he says, weighs about a pound, but it’s not uncommon to see 3- to 4-pounders pulled from these waters. This makes this section of the French Broad River a great trip for beginning paddlers and children, or anyone seeking a relaxing river trip. But his store and guide service, Davidson River Outfitters, are located in Western N.C., and his knowledge of the region’s rivers is almost unparalleled. 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