6 Best Trout Fishing Lakes in North Carolina, Fly Fishing NC

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Trout fishing in North Carolina is considered to be only in mountainous streams and flowing waters. And it is true to some extent, many species of the trout are living in the mountainous waters and streams. However there are some of the trout fishing lakes in North Carolina that are providing incredible fish. These lakes are incomparable with other waters having such an amazing quality and quantity of trout fish. These cold water bodies are providing great living conditions to fish according to their habitat and that leads to reproduction and more trout fish.

Finding a lake that has trout fishing in the state is hard due to their small number. Especially for someone with no prior knowledge its a hard job to find the specific trout spot among the large number of lakes in the state. But when you find one, you will definitely enjoy fly fishing there. This article is all about the best trout fishing lakes in North Carolina, their locations and the great opportunities the provide.

They are less in number but they are constantly providing some of the great fishing in the state. Many anglers overlook larger water bodies due to their small number and lack fame they head over to streams and creeks. This way they miss the best spots in the state. Here is our list of best trout fishing lakes in North Carolina. The listing will be based on amount of fish and its quality as well as location of the destination.

Nantahala lake

The Nantahala is in the west in Macon county in west of all large cities. In the east of the Nantahala there is a cafe and grill area and in the west there is a Choga access area. There are also different access areas from different parts of the lake. There is a park area for weddings and other fun activities in the north of the spot. Its distance from Waynesville is about 60 miles and 90 miles from Asheville and the same distance from Hendersonville all in the east.

Nantahala has large amount of rainbow in most of its parts available for anglers. The lake has great trout fishing opportunities for anglers visiting it for fly fishing. The place is famous for its native large populations of trout as well as it is stocked each year. The state government stock the lake heavily with rainbow trout in fall and spring and these seasons are the best for trout in the reservoir. Its average surface area is nearly 1730 acres and a shoreline of more than 40 miles. All these factors make the Nantahala one of the best trout fishing lakes in North Carolina.

Lake Higgins

The Higgins has one of the most attractive location in the entire state of North Carolina. It is just in the north of Greensboro about 10 miles less than 20 minutes ride from city center. Not only Greensboro the lake is also near Winston-Salem and about 25 minutes ride from Winston-Salem city. And High point city is also under 30 minutes away from the Higgins lake. You will never find a better location than the Higgins lake has near almost all large cities of the state.

The Higgins also has multiple species of trout and large populations of trout fish. It has native brook trout and brown trout in its most parts however you may also find other species. As well but in most part the brook and brown trout are common. The area of the Higgins is 226 acres and depth of 125 feet, it also offers boating and swimming in a specific beach area. Fishing trout at Higgins from a kayak or a boat will be great and will lead success more easily as the shores are not likely to have the best opportunities.

There are rental boats and kayaks available at the lake, here is the detailed information of rental boat or kayaks.

Cheoah lake

This one is an amazing house for different types of trout with the Cheoah dam. In the northern side on the little Tennessee river near the dam the lake is situated. Its in the south of Cheoah river before the dam wall. The lake has multiple creeks and streams falling into it from both sides also the little Tennessee river is a large water source for the area. The surface area of the reservoir is smaller but its even bigger source of trout fishing for fly fishing anglers.

The area of the lake is 25 acres and it is definitely a great trout fishing lake in the area having only trouts in water. Its most areas are full of brook, rainbow and brown trout other species of trout like cutthroat trout may also be found in the lake. The reservoir is amazing spot for trout lovers among many. Other species of fish you will see trout appearing the most. The Cheoah is one of the best trout fishing lake in the entire state of North Carolina.

Wildcat lake

This one is in the east of Asheville and north west of Highpoint and other larger cities. Its location is Avery county in the north of the state and its surrounding has mountain and its resort. Its near Elk river golf club and the only creek falling into it is the wildcat creek. The area is almost 13 acres large and has multiple species of trout.

The major species of trout in this lake are rainbow and cutthroat trout having large population in the waters. All the anglers at the fishing spot can have their access to land their boats at the water and fish. The lake is open all time for public and anyone can fish in it. Fishing trout in the wildcat lake has been a trend for a long time. Many anglers prefer fly fishing in wildcat on any other spot in the state. Thus the wildcat is a beautiful spot for fishing trout in North Carolina.

Fontana lake

In the far west of the state Fontana lake is located near Nantahala national forest in Fontana’s north. Its near to the only small city in the area the Bryson city which is situated in the east of Fontana lake. It is laying on the Tuckasegee river flowing from eastern side of Bryson city. The lake is nearly 10230 acres large and probably one of the largest in the region east of Santeetlah lake.

The lake is popular for brown trout fishing in the state having extreme size of fish in waters. This lake has its specific timings during weekdays and is open only in season.

Lake Santeetlah

Its located in the west of Fontana lake in western NC in Graham county having the national forests in its south. The only specie of trout here is the lake trout but available in large populations.

Final thoughts

The chances of finding a trout lake is near to zero except these lakes, you can still explore and find out. You may need a license fishing in NC, here is further information of fishing licensing in north Carolina.

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