The North Mills River
Henderson County, North Carolina
The North Mills River is a delayed harvest fishery located between the Western North Carolina city of Asheville and the small town of Brevard. This small river offers anglers a welcome diversion from the heavily pressured and much written about waters of its near by neighbor, The Davidson River.
In this anglerís opinion, the scenery on the North Mills can rival any place in this area. Thick forest borders the river and large boulders and massive trees frame the fishing holes. When you arrive at the North Mills Recreation Area you are greeted by a pay to park lot with easy access to the lower sections of the river. However, if you want the real payoff you need to continue on up Forest Service Road 479 through the campground until you come to the first road on the left. This road leads to a small parking area with a gated road that leads down the mountain along side the river to a small lake used by the city of Brevard as a reservoir. The portion of the river that runs through this valley is both beautiful to look at and being stocked under delayed harvest regulations very fun to fish.
The North Mills has a variety of types of water that can challenge both the novice and experienced angler. You will have the opportunity to fish both fast flowing runs and long slow holes and to be successful you will need to use techniques and flies that are suited to both of these types of water. Small nymphs and dries work well on the slow holes while small streamers and buggers can draw hard strikes in the faster flows.
To get to the North Mills from Asheville take Interstate 26 East to the exit for the Asheville Regional Airport (exit 9). Continue past the airport on state road 1419 until it intersects with highway 191. Take a left on highway 191 and follow it until you come to state road 1345 where you will take a right. Signs will direct you to the North Mills River Recreation Area.
Here is a link to the Google Map of the area.
When you visit the North Mills be prepared for a nice hike in and out of the fishing area. The well kept road makes for easy access on foot but on a hot summer day the steep incline can make you wish you had left much of your equipment at home when hiking back up the mountain to your vehicle.
Camping is available via a U.S. Forest Service campground. Call 828-890-3284 or book a site online.
Fishing Pressure: Moderate.