Nolichucky River

The “Noli” is debatably the most beautiful freestone river Western North Carolina and East Tennessee have to offer. Floating down this river is a great way to see the countryside. We often see wildlife such as eagles, osprey, heron, black bear, fox, turkey and other critters. With roughly 75 miles of the 115 protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, it is literally a wild and scenic river and definitely has that feel throughout. The boat ramps require four-wheel drive, the rocks are brutal on boats, and the rapids require skilled oarsmen.

Nolichucky means “dangerous waters, rushing waters, black swirling waters.”  It is derived of a Cherokee origin and flows through the Cherokee National Forest and Pisgah National Forest. The nine-mile Nolichucky Gorge is the deepest gorge in the southeast and holds class IV rapids, monster smallmouth bass, and musky. There are no roads, 400-foot limestone bluffs, and no way in or out except by boat. This is fun, fast fishing for advanced, athletic anglers. While some of the sections are dangerous at certain levels, other sections offer more gentle flows for anglers of all experience levels.

The Nolichucky River could be compared to the Big Hole River in Montana or its sister, the French Broad River. These are all huge drainage rivers that offer a variety of scenery, water types, and fishing opportunities.

  • Guided Smallmouth Bass Trips are one of our specialties. We primarily target smallmouth on the fly, but offer conventional spin tackle as an alternative. We have access to over 400 miles of pristine water among four large river systems surrounding Asheville, NC, and have two private base camps with exclusive access. We go the extra river miles for our guests.

  • AFFC is the only guide service in the area offering Nolichucky River Gorge fishing trips,  Multi-Day Trips and Smallmouth Bass Whitewater Trips  both with the option of Overnight accommodations.  These trips are a true wilderness experience.     

  • AFFC possesses special federal forest permits and the highest level of safety certification, ACA Level IV Swift Water Rescue, CPR / First Aid certified and fully insured, allowing us to access the Nolichucky River Gorge and French Broad River