Consistently named as one of Trout Unlimited’s “Top 100 Trout Streams in America,” the Davidson is a very productive freestone river that supports many trophy-class fish over 20 inches. About 14 miles of the river, from its headwaters to Avery Creek, are managed under catch-and-release, fly-fishing only regulations. The lower mile is hatchery supported. The Davidson’s upper reaches, including such major tributaries as Cove Creek and Daniel Ridge Creek, are small and tight, with wild rainbows averaging 7 inches. But the river widens and deepens as it gets below the Pisgah Fish Hatchery, creating long, smooth runs and glassy pools, interspersed with some pocket water. This is where the bruisers lurk, but they are extremely hard to catch due to heavy fishing pressure and gin-clear water.
- Flow: 135 ft³/s
- Water Level: 1.19 ft