Photo Courtesy Steven Lamb
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing the Saluda River Tailwater in
The Lower Saluda River is about the last place you
would think of fly fishing for trout in the state of South
Carolina. It's over a hundred miles to the mountains.
Lake Murray makes this possible. The lake is deep
enough that the Saluda River tailwater stays cold
enough to support trout and the state stocks both
rainbows and brown trout there. That said, fly fishing the
Saluda River tailwater can be challenging for a number
The trout are mostly put and take but it's also a put and
grow fishery. Young adult brown trout are stocked by
helicopter each Fall so they can grow and get used to
their new environment and the natural food the river
provides when the water is at its coldest time of the
year. Rainbows of catchable sizes are stocked monthly,
November through April. Although the water gets
marginal during the late Summer and early Fall, and
even though the stripes eat their share of the trout,
some make it as holdovers to grow larger.
This is a big dam with five generators and the flows vary
greatly depending on the need for power. The water
levels can vary up to ten feet and the currents are
dangerous on high water. A great amount of caution
should be used when wading the stream. The water
rises rapidly when the generators are cut on. Water flow
information is available by calling 800 - 830 - 5253.
Fly fishing the Saluda River tailwater isn't exactly easy. If
the water isn't low you need to fish from a drift boat from
various put in and take out points. When it is low you
much fish from public access points or obtain permission
from land owners along the river. The upper section has
access at Hope Ferry Landing and Saluda Shoals
Regional Park. There's also boat access at the state
Gardedndale launch behind the zoo.
The river is full of trout after the last April stocking. It's
probably the best month to fish but trout can be taken
year-round. The trout are commonly caught during the
winter months on midge imitations. The brown trout are
much more selective in what they eat than the rainbows.
The trout season is open year-round.
Spring is the best season to fish the Saluda River
The water can get a warm during the hot Summer but it
stays cool enough for some trout to survive in the
uppermost section near the dam.
Autumn is a good time to fish the river for the holdover
Fishing during the winter can be good on warm days.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies for the
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Saluda River South Carolina
Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rod:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Loon Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via