Western North Carolina has long been revered as a place for anglers to engage with quintessential Appalachian landscapes and a plethora of fishing opportunities for anything from native brook trout to the ever-elusive musky. One thing that you might not expect to find in this particular area is a variety of float-fishing opportunities. Like much of the East, many of the rivers in this part of the country are better suited for wade fishing, but Asheville Fly Fishing Co. is challenging the long-held status quo of just what fishing in Appalachia looks like.

AFFC has expanded its guiding operations to include several options for overnight float trips that tackle some of the area’s more remote waters, including some class III and IV whitewater sections. Depending on your preference of chasing after smallmouth bass or fishing for trout, fly fishers now have the opportunity to spend more time on the water and take in all that western North Carolina’s landscape and fisheries have to offer. We reached out to AFFC guide Galen Kipar for more information on these trips.

Could you give us a quick rundown of what people can expect from these smallmouth- and trout-fishing overnight float trips and the options that anglers have to choose from?
For the adventurous angler looking for a remote experience, Asheville Fly Fishing Company is the only guide service in the Asheville area offering a smallmouth bass fishing trip on Class III–IV whitewater. While it is becoming rare to find a true remote wilderness experience in the East, we are fortunate to have permitted access to the French Broad River section 9 and the Nolichucky Gorge. These trips offer excellent smallmouth bass fishing and flow through two of the most remote, beautiful sections of river found in the Eastern US.

Do you have a favorite trip from AFFC’s list of overnight options?
We love it all. The variety of water types and fish species in this area is very large. With thousands of acres of national and state forest surrounding Asheville, this area truly is a fisherman’s paradise. I personally love the remote experience that the Smallmouth Bass Single-Day or Multi-Day trips offer. The scenery is epic, the rapids are fun to row, no other boats in sight and lots of happy fish.

A Trip into the Wild from R.L. Winston Rod Co. on Vimeo.

Trip Options:

MULTI-DAY TROUT: March–November. Tennessee tailwaters: Watauga and South Holston River (class I rapids). Wild trophy brown trout. Overnight accommodations include Safari Camp w/ all meals or River Cabin w/ all meals or lunch only.

  • 2 days of fishing + lodging accommodations + lunch
  • Rustic cabin—$1,200 (rates vary)
  • Luxury rental house—$1,400 (rates vary)

MULTI-DAY SMALLMOUTH: April–October. NC and TN. Nolichucky Gorge, French Broad River Sect.9 (class III and IV rapids). Wild trophy smallmouth bass. Overnight accommodations include Safari camp w/ all meals.

  • 2 days of fishing + lodging accommodations + lunch
  • Rustic cabin—$1,200 (rates vary)
  • Luxury rental house—$1,400 (rates vary)
  • Safari camp 2 person—$1,900
  • Safari camp 4 person—$3,200

MUSKY OPTION: While winter is the best time to target musky in this area, we offer the option to target musky in addition to smallmouth bass.

Rates shown are based on 2 people and vary depending on number of people, and accommodations. To learn more about Asheville Fly Fishing Co. and their overnight float trips, go to http://www.ashevilleflyfishingco.com/overnight-trips/.


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