backcountry overnight

Fly Fishing The South Mills River


Put some miles between you and the trailhead and enjoy the solitude and serenity of days on the water and nights in the forest

Our backcountry overnights are on the South Mills river in the Pisgah National Forest. If you have ever fished the Davidson river and wondered what it would be like with no crowds, no roads, and no hatchery fish then this is your answer. The South Mills is a sister drainage to the more famous Davidson River. It begins as tumbling streams off the Blue Ridge Parkway before gathering in a large high elevation swamp near the Pink Beds. From the Pink Beds it flows south west through a lush valley before leaving Pisgah National Forest to join with the French Broad River.

Hiking in on the South Mills River Pisgah National Forest
South Mills Fishing REgulation.jpg
South Mills Trailhead 2.jpg
Turkey Pen Trailhead

The day begins with an early start at the Turkey Pen trailhead and a hike in of about five miles before reaching the campsite. After setting up camp and a quick lunch, the rest of the day is spent fishing and the keeping of a legal fish is encouraged. Later we will prepare the fish over the open fire to go along with dinner.

Backcountry Trout on an open fire Pisgah National Forest

Evenings are spent around the fire before retiring to our tents or hammocks. The next morning is dawn coffee, breakfast and more fishing. Camp will be broken down after lunch.

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After lunch is another session on the water followed by our hike back out. From the trailhead you can choose to head home, or join your guides for a beer and a heavy meal at a local restaurant.

Fly Fishing the South Mills River Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah Outdoors is taking bookings now for the Fall of 2019 and Spring 2020. Trips are for 2 to 4 anglers and the total cost is $1800. Trip includes food, water, and fishing equipment and two guides. We can provide some backpacking equipment, but participants are encouraged to bring their own due to sizing and the need for experience with your packs and boots. Participants are expected to carry their boots, waders, tents, sleeping bags as well as other personal gear. Full packs will be in the 30lb. to 40lb. range. A credit card number and a 50% nonrefundable deposit is required to book your trip. You can book the listed dates by clicking the button or email at or by calling 8285773277.

Fall Dates 2019— October 8-9, October 16-17

Spring Dates 2020—April 21-22, May 19-20

Summer Dates 2020—June 3-4