The "Upper" Nantahala River runs through the Nantahala Gorge and is the tailwater to the Lake Nantahala and has a wonderful Delayed Harvest section from Old River Road to the first bridge by the Duke Power Plant. The Nantahala River below the power plant comes from the huge aqua duct (from Lake Nantahala) that can be seen behind the power plant. It is known for its fast and turbulent waters for kayakers and rafters, but it is also a wonderful fishery. The river can be fished before and after the release of the water by Duke Power which is approximately before 9-10 am and after 5 pm, though the schedule is quite flexible. Some anglers find places along the river during the big flow to fish. You would be fishing at your own risk, due to the heavy flow of water. The river is Hatchery Supported and there are some really big surprises.
The "Upper-upper" Nantahala River. From the upper end of the Delayed Harvest section of the Nantahala River (River Road at Wayah Road) to the Lake Nantahala Dam there are lots of fish in the Hatchery Supported section (April 1-Feb 29). This is fun summer time fishing adventure.
The "Lower" Nantahala River starts at the generator at Wayah Road and Hwy 19. This beautiful river known for white water rafting also happens to have lots of hungry trout. There are Hatchery Supported sections of this river that are quite accessible. Please note that Duke Power releases the mail flow for white water rafters without a streamed warning. Please check the schedule for the release, but maintain a cautious eye on the water level. Leave the river immediately at the sign of rising water. It is not a good idea to fish this water during full flow.
A wonderful part of the "Upper"*Nantahala are the waters above the power plant.....all year long, not just the Delayed Harvest times Oct-May. This river is surrounded by breathtaking beauty, including a 250 ft water falls. The fish tend to be a bit smaller the further upstream you go, but the whole experience is really big!
*Not to be confused with the Upper Nantahala River that originates above Standing Indian Park to Lake Nantahala.
By the way the river from below the Lake Nantahala along Old River Road to Wayah Road, is a fun place to fish. It is Hatchery Supported and can be fished from April 1 through the last day in February.
Book a trip now.....828.342.6480
Western NC Fly Fishing Guides take you fishing on the Nantahala River. A guided trip is the best way of catching trout on the Nantahala if you are not familiar with the river and the flies the trout want.
Western North Carolina And Tuckaseegee River Fly Fishing Guide
This taken on Delayed Harvest section of the "Upper" Nantahala River for NC Wildlife