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Upper South Mills River, North Carolina
Type of Stream: Freestone, small
Species: Rainbow, and Browns
Location: Western North Carolina
Nearest Town: Brevard, NC
We headed up US276N out of Brevard, hoping to drive down the forest roads to reach the upper part of the South Mills River. However, since the forest road was closed off of 276, we decided to hike in from the Pink Beds area. While the hiking is superb, and the scenery is great, the trout fishing in the extreme upper portions of the stream was zilch. I've been in this area on another occasion, and the fishing was great in the upper portion. However, this time, I basically saw no trout until hiking approximately 2.5-3 miles in on the Pink Beds Loop Trail (putting me just above where the forest road intersects the stream). From this area downstream, the stream changes character by becoming swifter and rockier. In just a few pools, I caught one rainbow trout, one brown trout, and had several others follow and/or strike. But by then, it was time to hike back out.
I have also fished the lower end of the river in the past, where it is much bigger, and the fishing is great.
My recommendation for fishing the South Mills River: Fish the lower portion of the river from the trail and parking area off of Turkey Pen Road, or fish the upper section where the forest roads intersect the stream. If you do take the Pink Beds Loop Trail, in however, take the right fork, as it will get you to the stream quicker.
From Hendersonville on I 26, take the exit for US 64 West and follow US 64 to its intersection with US 276 NC 280. Proceed straight through the intersection onto US 276 N. This road follows the Davidson River to Pink Beds Picnic Area. Acceess to the Upper south Mills River is by the Pink Beds Loop Trail only.
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