Where We Fish

  • Rivers We Fish

    Information regarding the rivers we fish in Tennessee and North Carolina

South Holston River

This 17 mile long tailwater stemming from the South Holston Reservoir holds some of the largest brown trout found anywhere in the country. While the South Holston is known for it’s large hatches and even larger fish, the river also boasts one of the densest,  wild trout populations found in the United States with fish counts ranging between  8,000-10,000 fish per mile. Whether its casting to risers during the renowned sulphur hatch,  or pursuing the large brown trout in which the river is famous for, we love to fish it all, YEAR ROUND. We understand what it takes to catch these fish throughout the year, and we are certain our guests will enjoy some of best trout fishing the Southeast has to offer.

Watauga River

The Watauga River or “The ‘Taug” as we like to call it, is our other big favorite that stems from Wilbur Lake. The Watauga River is home to 6,000-8,000 fish per mile, and much like the South Holston, we love to float and fish it throughout the year. The Watauga is an extraordinarily scenic river that makes its way through beautiful limestone rock cliffs and farm country before finding its way into Boone Lake.  Many large brown and rainbow trout dominate the river from the dam to the lake. However, the real draw to the river, other than the fantastic fishing and scenery, is the caddis hatch that occurs each spring from mid-April until the early parts of May. Millions of caddis crawling and flying all over the rocks and even our boats make it one of the greatest spectacles of the year. The amazing fishing during that period is just a bonus.

picture of river at sunset

Local and Delayed Harvest Streams

The immediate area that surrounds the shop here at Highland Outfitters offers endless miles of quality trout fishing for both wild and stocked fish. Public and private access are available for brook, rainbow, and brown trout. The areas we concentrate our efforts are around and in between Boone, NC and Spruce Pine, NC.  From October through May, anglers can experience great fishing on one of the many famed delayed harvest streams in the area, along with other seasonal opportunities to catch wild fish in many of the headwater streams. With the amount of water within minutes of the shop, this provides great  opportunities for a DIY day for those who prefer to fish on their own, or for the beginning angler who is looking to get into the sport.  Some of our most pristine small streams also support native, southern strain brook trout that are often eager to destroy dry flies in tiny water. With many seasonal options in our area, wade trips can be booked during certain times of the year.

While we could never guarantee a catch, we would love to help you land some of these beautiful fish and have a great time doing it.  Book a fishing trip with one of our expert guides, and we will handle the rest.

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