They've been called the aristocrats of fishes. Those oh-so-edible brown, brook and rainbow trout, prized by sporting fisherman everywhere, can be found all over the Upstate in quiet mountain streams, remote headwaters and crystal clear lakes. The diversity of locations for trout fishing even includes a Midlands tailwater.
Whether you're looking for a trophy or campfire dinner, you've come to the right place. So tie up a new batch of flies and get ready to test them on some of the prettiest fishing venues in the Southern Appalachians.
Here are eight of the best spots for trout fishing in South Carolina:
- The Middle Saluda River in Jones Gap State Park. A trail runs parallel to the river, providing angling access and a scenic hike through a stunning mountain gorge.
- The Chattooga River. The best wild trout angling is in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area, accessible by hiking trails from Walhalla State Fish Hatchery and Burrells Ford Bridge Road.
- The East Fork of the Chattooga River. A trail from the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery parallels the stream that serves as habitat for wild brown trout and stocked rainbow and brook trout.
- The Chauga River. Anglers willing to hike into the backcountry are rewarded with beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and the serenity of a remote mountain forest.
- The Eastatoe River. With its fast pocket water and deep plunge pools, the upper section of this scenic river offers great trout habitat.
- Lake Jocassee. Record-breaking brown trout (17 pounds, 9.5 oz.) and rainbow trout (11 pounds, 5 oz.) were caught in this picturesque mountain reservoir.
- The Lower Saluda below the Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray. The higher gradient shoal areas in this 10-mile section of river are the most popular fishing spots for rainbow and brown trout.
- The Whitewater River. The section of river above Lower Whitewater Falls offers fantastic wild trout fishing.