Roughly one to three hours to the north of Hickory, North Carolina, in the secluded
hills of the southeast, are numerous stretches of private water
(close to 14 miles of access on 5 streams) that hold some of the largest and feistiest rainbow trout found
anywhere. Double digit rainbows (up to 15 lbs.) are commonly
seen and sometimes hooked (the operative word is hooked) in these trophy streams. Fish in the 16 to 20 inch class
are more than plentiful and fish between 20 and 26 inches are caught with regularity.
These fish aren't fed trout pellets; so, they are in tune with the "natural" environment just as a "wild" brown in
a river in New Zealand would be. The best thing is, you dont have to travel to such exotic places to find them.
Anglers will have the opportunity to swing or strip streamers, indicator or high stick nymph, and even toss dry flies on some occasions.
Join our Orvis Endorsed Guide Service for a day of guaranteed solitude
and a chance to land the fish of a lifetime. Give it a try; you'll wonder how and when you can return.
These locally guided wade trips will take place on either wild or delayed harvest trout streams
in close proximity to Hickory; Watauga, Helton Creek, Mitchell Creek, etc.. Anglers will have the opportunity to catch browns, rainbows,
and brook trout in some of the most pristine waters the Southeast has to offer. These trips are
designed to accommodate intermediate to advanced anglers and can be arranged to fit their schedule. Trips run from October
thru June. Guided trips for smallmouth bass are also available from June thru September. We host these trips on various streams;
but, we tend frequent the New River and its tributaries.
Fly Fishing for Trout in Virginia:
This video will also give you an increased desire to runaway and go fly fishing somewhere in the Southeast.
As I began my research for my next fishing adventure I gave my good friend Dave a call.
He had been sending me some pictures of some pretty large trout, but mostly it was the harassing
phone calls while I was working that really did me in. I prepared myself for my trip, but I did
not know what I had in store. I just knew that I was tired of the same size trout that I had been
catching in Michigan. I knew the grass could possibly be greener.
Upon our approach, the landscape is deceiving. What starts as rolling hills and vast farmland
becomes a lush oasis of greenery and glacially-cut rock formations that you might see in the Gaspe
Peninsula region. As we drove down the road towards the main lodge, my heart began to gallop. The
anticipation was setting in. We parked the car in the gravel lot alongside a magnificent set of
rapids that seem to appear from the middle of the rock cliffs. It was at this point that I began to
understand why Dave had been blowing my phone up. This place was magical and I hadn't even lined a
rod up yet.
Walking along the rivers edge I noticed a few shadows along a far seam. I made a mental note
of this while rigging my rod. Nymphs, Streamers, or Dries? Hmmmm, I decided to go with a streamer.
After a few casts with the fuzzy, flopping, piece of prey, it stopped. I figured it must have been
caught on a rock ledge. Wrong! The rock ledge moved in the form of a large brown trout. Bull-dogging
me the whole way. Up and down the pool and under a few logs. This fish finally came to the net.
Leave the trout nets at home; we're talking steelhead size nets. Beautiful spotting and full of aggressiveness,
I released the 22" Leroy to fight another day.
Moving down river, I noticed a very defined seam that poured into a deep pool. From my steelhead
and Rocky Mountain trout fishing experience, I knew this could only mean one thing. Beware of Big Trout!
However, this sexy piece of water needed a change of tactic. I consulted with Commander Dave about tactics
and he suggested that I try the ol' trusty Indicator rig. Great idea! I slipped a float on my leader and
matched up my shot to the water flow and depth. Fly choice on this day was going to be small, but something
somewhat visible. A redhead stepchild was tied on and given a whirl. A few drifts through and nothing.
I let another drift go through and I see a school bus move up off the bottom and inhale my offering. Now, what
happens next is still a blur, but I do remember most of it. As I set the hook on this fish, it was like lifting
Roseanne Barr from an all u can eat buffet. As the fish began to thrash, I knew right then it was a rainbow on
steroids. After about 2-3 minutes of dogging it out in the pool, the fish decides to turn and make a run for it
through a rock garden. Surely I was going to break this fish off it I am not careful. I kept my rod tip high
and was able to steer the fish away from several close calls. After a 10 minute battle and some sore arms, I
brought the 10 lb. beauty to hand. At that moment, all thoughts about the money spent getting here immediately
vanished. This was a fish of a lifetime; it was my fish of a lifetime.
Do yourself a favor and let Commander Dave lead you into battle with one these hogs. It will improve your
skills as a fly fisherman and will surely give you bragging rights over your fishing buddies.
Nick Garlock, March 2007
Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for the wonderful fishing experience
I enjoyed yesterday at the private water. I had heard that the fishery
was challenging and that the fish were big, but my expectations were exceeded.
First I would like to comment on the property that I had the chance to enjoy.
The stream was clean and quite large. The water was an outstanding combination of riffles
and runs with multiple bends, creating moving deep water habitat. The stream is in a valley
surrounded by mountains so the views are outstanding. However, the open nature of the
stream makes looking at your back cast virtually unnecessary. For anglers who are working
on their casting, this will be a great place to practice without having to untangle rigs
from laurel every 3rd cast. The stream also offers a rare opportunity in the SE to fish
a freestone stream that has a larger "Western" feel.
The fish are big, plentiful, and hard fighting. Unlike some planted fish that come out
of concrete runs, these fish are definitely raised in earthen ponds. They are in great
shape with nice fins and great color after their release. They are also Kamloop rainbows
that are known for their hard fighting and acrobatics. The fish that we caught didn't
disappoint with their vigor. They also ate readily but the presentation and the fly did
have to be right; these fish are no pushovers.
I would recommend a trip to Caster's private water for both experienced anglers who
are looking for a chance to catch a trophy fish, as well as, the beginner who wants to
experience outstanding fly-fishing.
Jon Hill, January 2008
What a GREAT time I had fishing with you on the private waters in Virginia! At first I was
skeptical as to the size of fish you had mentioned. It wasn't long after we had arrived from
the short ride that I had seen with my own eyes, these so-called "Pigs". The water in this
freestone stream is as clear as it can be, which makes catching these trophy fish quite a challenge.
For those of you whom are sitting on the fence about going on this spectacular trip, I
encourage you to experience a thrill of your life. The stream has both clear casting lanes for
the beginners as well as tight "cover" lies for the most challenging of tosses in the water. If
you wish to stay for the week/weekend, the property has a home you can rent. A room per day or
the entire house for a company retreat. The fish are stocked but it is certainly no "casting pond",
meaning you MUST present the right fly in the correct manner to land one. That being said, Dave
Hise is one of the most professional anglers I've met. He is willing to help as much as you like
or need, for that matter. Myself, I don't consider a "Trout Bum" but I've fished before. Dave has
helped me tremendously with my technique as well as sharing some of his own time honored tradition
and a few secrets of the trade. That alone was worth the trip for me, and I will go again.
David Cape, January 2008
Dave Hise recently guided me on "The Hog Farm"...What I already knew is that Dave is very skilled
in all technical, and practical fishing aspects. Dave's ability to read water helped me to catch more
larger fish in one day than ever before. I was tired from catching big fish!
Josh Gonzales, February 2008
The fishing was everything I had hoped for; made up for all of those dismal days in Yosemite...2 to
3 fish weighing in at a mere 1 lb.. On the private access streams we had double digit days, including
a day where we landed well over 75 fish (2 dozen of which were 23 inches or larger; 3 1/2lbs. to over 7lbs., each). Thanks Eggi Juan.
Todd Cowles, February 2008
It was a real treat to observe a very large trout in his feeding zone go through the process of picking out the fly moving
toward him, assessing whether or not it was worth eating, and then positioning himself to take the fly. Then.... actually
watching him turn, open his mouth, and take the fly. Exciting stuff to watch for any fly fisherman. I also very much
appreciated observing how a true professional guide goes about his business. I found it interesting how you assessed our
personalities and then tailored your attention and support to each of us. Thank you for a day full of memories.
Lee Rinehart, March 2008
Just wanted to thank you for an amazing experience. Elizabeth and I went to bed laughing because
all we could see were fish in the river when we closed our eyes. Truely an amazing way to begin.
Not to let you down on our excitement about the size of the fish, but we really enjoyed the lessons just as much.
I can't tell you how much more confident we both are from one day with you. You are where you were meant to be.
Jamie and Elizabeth Ference, April 2008
I enjoyed the fishing day on Wolf Creek. My casting was rusty, as I hadn't been on the water since last fall.
The creek was fine for trying a lot of different locations for holding fish. I hope to find a day in the fall for
fishing the other water near Lebanon and I will contact you later in that regard. Thanks for a very professional and enjoyable day.
Larry Schreiber, April 2008
Terry and I had a blast today; that was bar none the best trout fishing either of us had ever done. We learned a lot and look forward to our
next trip with Casters. Send us some pictures as soon as you get a
chance so we can back up our boasting.
Jonathan Honeycutt, May 2008
Just wanted to say thanks again for the trip in Virginia yesterday. Al and I both had a fantastic time and would like to do it again sometime.
I don’t think either one of us will soon forget that 'hog' stripping out his line into the backing! I also talked to my brother about the place
and he was definitely interested.
Dr. John and Alex Meier, May 2008
I recently was Dave's client on a wonderful full day guided trip on private trout water in Virginia. My trip with Dave was fantastic.
He was very prompt in answering my blind query to fish, very informative and highly accurate in his recommendations. He produced a day
of fishing that was superb by any standards: he handled me and my two colleagues admirably up and down the river with patient advice, tactics,
information, technical support and humor. He was consistently professional, warm and cordial from the beginning, and very instructive and attentive.
Dave's gourmet lunches with his own home-made creations were also very impressive to all, and delicious. He gave us such an enormous value and
experience with that fishing day, I know that my colleagues will certainly use him again, as I will. I have also referred his services to several
fly fishing colleagues who I think would enjoy the same quality professional fly fishing experience.
Having enjoyed multiple different guided fly fishing trips on such wonderful waters as the Madison (MT), the Big Horn (MT), the Clark Fork (MT),
Boston Harbor (Orvis guide Wayne Frieden), Key West (FL), the North Platte (WY), the Bow (Alberta), the Frying Pan (CO), the Green (UT), the Arkansas (CO),
and the Colorado (CO), I have a reasonable set of expectations and experiences for such trips. Dave's day guiding us exceeded many of my wonderful
fishing days to date, setting yet another superlative experience into my memory banks.
Dr. David Grainger, May 2008
I was invited to fish with Dave on Friday Nov. 28th by a member of my extended family. It was one of the most amazing fishing trips I have been on.
It started out slow due to the low water and 38 degree water temperature. The fish would only get interested if the fly was right in front of their face
but after an hour and only one fish Dave showed his creative side and switched to a fly that produced nonstop action for the next few hours. Literally
every cast was a strike or attempt to eat and ended up producing 20 plus trout. I certainly recommend fishing with Dave because you will not only catch
fish you will learn a tremendous amount in a short time.
Brandon Mallard, November 2008
Thanks for the quick follow up on pictures, yours came out really well. That day was one of the best of my life. I filled out the Orvis survey
immediately and believe me you got the highest endorsement. You put on a class day, LOVED the lunch, put us on the fish, and you are fun to be with.
It exceeded expectations. Thank you. How big do you think mine was that was lost ? It was fun, fun, fun. We will do it again.
Dale Mathews, April 2009
Thanks again for the outstanding fishing trip. One of the best trips I've been on to date. Solid fishing all day long and a few monsters to boot.
Top notch in every aspect from putting us on fish, prime equipment, and excellent service. Only thing I regret was the workout we gave you netting fish.
Good problem to have and it beats the gym, right! Keep the heterogenus nymphs stocked. They are unstoppable!
Rick Fratcher, October 2009
Casters Fly Shop
3034A N. Center Street
Hickory, NC, 28601
Casters Fly Shop
Email Us | Home
North Carolina Fly Fishing and Beyond
Monday thru Saturday
Phone: (828) 304-2400