French Broad River


Asheville, NC
United States United States
35.53223, -82.54852
0.0 Miles

The French Broad River is considered by many to be North Carolina's premier smallmouth bass fishery. The river flows 213 miles from Rosman, North Carolina, to its confluence with the Holston River at Knoxville, Tennessee. That point is the beginning of the Tennessee River. Quality fishing, for smallmouth as well as other species, can be had all along the way. "The best spot" is often a matter of personal preference for the style and taste of the angler. For us, the sections in Buncombe and Madison Counties, North Carolina, are the perfect mix of quality fishing and pleasant river float.

Nothing beats floating down the river on a cool mountain day. See the eddy, flip back the bail of your spinning reel, toss the lure, and retrieve. It doesn't get any better... at least until a strong, river smallmouth strikes your line and the fight is on!

Spot Access:
Shore fishing access, Fly Fishing, Floating, Bait shop on site
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Map for 35.53223, -82.54852
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.29.12

  Clear water is a good thing when one is fishing the French Broad River, and this week has been a good week on the river.  Typical late summer fishing, very active smallmouth and flows kind of on the low side, has been tons of fun with trips averaging about 45 fish per float.  Target shallow runs and shoals with moderate current and try to avoid fishing the mid-day lull, 12-3 pm, if possible.  Small crankbaits in natural patterns, as well as curlytail grubs and even...

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.22.12

  The French Broad has been clearing up nicely the last few days and forecasts indicate we should have clear water for a couple of weeks.  Smallmouth have reacted positively to the near-record low temperatures this week; the bite has been strong with trips averaging over 40 fish per effort.  Fish seem to be scattered over shallow runs and shoals, especially in areas of mild current.  We have had good success with crankbaits and small curly tail jigs this week, in nat...

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.15.12

  The French Broad has fished pretty good this week; trips averaged about 30 smallmouth per 1/2 day trip.  T-storms have been an issue, both in staining the river to some degree and soaking fishermen.  Still, the smallmouth bite has been strong, especially in the mid-mornings and evenings.  As usual in the summer, try to avoid the middle of the day.  Fish are holding ing the classic smallmotuh spots now:  behind rocks, inside seam lines, in shallow runs.&nb...

French Broad River Fishing Report 07.25.12

Rain this week has made fishing the river spotty; some days have been good, but on other days the river has been too stained to fish effectively. Use brightly colored and scented lures when the river has a moderate stain; try to avoid fishing in a severe stain as it is seldom productive. As the flow clears up, switch to natural patterns. Smallmouth bass are very active now, especially in mornings and evenings. Fish are holding in shoal areas off the main current and are widely distributed....

French Broad River Fishing Report 05.21.12

The week looks good for fishing the French Broad River.  High flows should be back down to manageable levels and the smallmouth spawn is behind us, so conditions look good.  Fish will be widely distributed in runs and shoals, especially is lazy current areas, so covering as much water as possible will be a key to steady action.  Try small crankbaits and curly-tail jigs, and experiment with colors for best results.   Call Chris Manderson at 828 216-1336, or visit www.whit...

French Broad River Fishing Report 05.09.12

Despite a damp and rainy week the French Broad has maintained good clarity and medium-low flows.  As a result conditions are very good for fishing now, with smallmouth moving to normal post-spawn locations.  Fish are widely distributed now, spread out over the slower moving runs and shoals and especially in shallow areas.  Try using small jigs and crankbaits in these areas.  Red-breasted sunfish (bream) have also been active recently, taking beetle spins off the current....

French Broad River Fishing Report 03.13.12

 Yes, smallmouth season is here !!  We have been out recently and the river is so, so beautiful right now.  A cold front is passed by yesterday, so the next few days hold high hopes for us; things are right now, so think fishy thoughts if you're on the books soon.  We are targeting late afternoons and using baits that work deep, and working them off the current.      Phone 1 828.216.1336...

French Broad River Fishing Report 09.21.11

The French Broad continues to flow low and clear despite drizzle conditions this week. Smallmouth are active, too, due to the cooler days that came with the rain. Fish are widely distributed in runs and shoals, so try to cover as much water as you can for best action. Also, weeds are prevalent now in many areas so having a weedless option will save the angler from frustration.   Trips this week averaged over 50 smallmouth per float, so the bite is still very strong and should stay...
The Whitewater Sportsman Chris Manderson
over 5 years ago (09/19/2011)

French Broad River Fishing Report 09.19.11

Cooler days have made for good fishing in the river. Clarity has been very good this week, and smallmouth have been very active; trips averaged about 60 fish per day last week. The bite has been strong most of the day, too, thanks to the cooler weather recently. Fish are still scattered widely, so use a presentation that covers water quickly for best action. Also, weeds are still prevalent in some areas of the river so a weedless option is good to have.   Call Chris Manderson at 82...

French Broad River Fishing Report 09.08.11

The French Broad has a stain as of Thursday morning still from the rains of TS Lee. We did dodge a bullet though as the heaviest rains went missed this watershed. So, fishing should get going again by this weekend as the river clears up pretty fast.   For more information about fishing the French Broad River call Chris Manderson at 828 216-1336 or visit      ...
The Whitewater Sportsman Chris Manderson
over 5 years ago (08/31/2011)

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.31.11

The river is flowing about half normal for this time of year, clear and shallow. Several shoal areas are now too low to float. Smallmouth are pooled up and conditions are very favorable for fishing the river. A weedless presentation will save a lot of aggravation as some areas are pretty thick. Otherwise try to cover lot of water as fish are widely spread out.   Call Chris Manderson at 828 216-1336, or visit, for more information about fishing the FBR; t...

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.24.11

Fun week on the river! Afternoon storms kept some stain in the water all week but not too much for the smallmouth bite. Trips this week averaged about 35 fish per effort. Best action seems to be first light for an hour or so, then mid morning when he sun breaks though. Lures that cover water pretty fast are still the best bet; fish are widely spread out. Remembr to use bright colors for stained water.   For more information on fishing the French Brad River call Chris Manderson at 8...

French Broad River Fishing Report 08.17.11

Lots of action this week on the river.   Smallmouth are very active now, and our trips this week averaged about 50 per outing, mostly fish in the 8-11" range.   Bream are also being caught, especially in slow current areas. Use lures that allow you cover water quickly, like a shallow crankbait, as the fish are spread out widely. Flow levels remain lower than normal for this time of year, and clarity is good.   Call Chris Manderson, 828 216-1336, or visit www....

French Broad River Fishing Report 07.27.11

Outlook is good for the weekend! Storms continued to cause heavy stains in the river this past week, adversely effecting fishing. Going forward, things are looking better as the river seems to be clearing up again for the weekend. Several trips did manage to get on the water, averaging about 30 fish per boat. Remember that storms often hit different areas, so watch storms tracks and find clear water for best action.   Call Chris Manderson, 828 216-1336, or visit www.whitewatersport...

French Broad River Fishing Report 07.20.11

7/20/11 : After several days without an afternoon storm, the river is looking and fishing great. The river is flowing normal level now, and has been clearing up. Smallmouth action has been good, especially in the morning and evening, with fish in the 8-11" range being very active. Trips averaged about 40 fish per trip this week, and if the clearing trend in the weather continues this week should very good, too. As the river clears switch to natural patterns, and to smaller lures in gen...



Bass, Largemouth (Micropterus salmoides)


Bass, Smallmouth (Micropterus dolomieu)


Bass, Spotted (Micropterus punctulatus)


Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)


Gar, Longnose (Lepisosteus osseus)


Muskellunge (Esox masquinongy)


Northern Pike (Esox lucius)


Saugeye (Sauger/Walleye Hybrid (Scientific Name N/A))


Trout, Brook (Salvelinus fontinalis)


Trout, Steelhead (Rainbow) (Oncorhynchus mykiss)



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There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.