Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1. Blue-winged Olives
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies
3. Slate Drakes
4. Needle Stoneflies
5. Little Yellow Quills
11. Sculpin, baitfish and small crayfish (Imitate with streamers)
Fly Fishing Whitewater River North Carolina
The Whitewater River is known for its waterfalls, not its fly fishing opportunities.
Upper Whitewater falls, located in North Carolina, is over 400 feet high and is one of
the highest in the Eastern U. S. The other one, located in South Carolina, is just
slightly smaller. The thing that makes this a stream well worth noting, is the fact it's
maintained strictly as a wild trout stream. It has s very good population of wild
rainbows and brown trout.
The river flows through public property owned by Duke Power Company, managed
by Toxaway Game Lands, and Nantahala Game Lands. The lower border is the
South Carolina/North Carolina state line and the upper border of public land is near
the mouth of Silver Run creek, a small tributary stream.
The Whitewater River is a medium size stream. It can be accessed from where state
highway #281 crosses the river but both its downstream and upstream waters must
be reached on foot. There's a road near the bridge that leads to the Overlook Trail
which accesses the Upper Whitewater Falls Overlook. You can then access the
gorge downstream by taking the trail at the overlook. The trail is very steep, with
switchbacks but gets you down to the river and across it on a log bridge. You can
fish a short section between the falls from there downstream.
You can also access the river in South Carolina just downstream from the Duke
Power Company's Bald Creek Project. It requires a short half mile hike to the river
from a parking area. There's approximately a mile of water below the upper Falls in
the state of North Carolina.
The upstream portion of the Whitewater River above the highway #281 bridge can
be accessed from a trail that follows the stream. Most of the river in North Carolina
lies upstream from the bridge. This trail isn't a formal hiking trail but rather one
probably created by anglers. The flow of the river in this area is more moderate and
more suitable for brown trout than rainbows although it contains both species.
There's also access along the river from state Highway #107 south of Cashiers.
There's a mixture of public access and private property along the road. This is the
best area to fish the Whitewater river in our opinion. Of course, you don't have the
extreme ruggedness and all of the beauty of the area near the falls.
The streambed near the falls is almost solid rock and provides little in the way of
aquatic insects for the trout other than strong, clinger stoneflies and a few species
of clinger mayflies. The upper sections of the river has more aquatic insects as well
as more baitfish and crustaceans.
We have only fished the Whitewater River a couple of times and not but a few hours
each during those times. In both cases we made stops from trips to the Chattooga
River in South Carolina and these stops were combined with trips to the Upper
Chattooga and Thompson Rivers, along with some other small streams in North
Carolina that fed into Lake Jocassee which is located just across the state line in
I should also mention that the South Carolina water is maintained under the state's
wild trout regulations, but the river is stocked with fingerling rainbow and brown
trout. Of course, these trout can swim upstream into North Carolina. This river
probably averages thirty feet wide. It isn't the small, stream you may picture it to be,
not having seen it.
I would think that the brown trout in the lake move upstream to spawn in the Fall. I
have not verified that but the lake is full of trout and I don't see why they wouldn't
although they can only go a short ways. The rainbows probably do the same in the
Copyright 2010 James Marsh