(Headwaters Outfitters) Fly Fishing, Canoeing & Kayaking

If you would like to take a great Fly Fishing or just small tackle fishing trip, canoeing, tubing or kayaking trip, let us suggest our good friends on the French Broad River, Headwaters Outfitters. Folks staying here at Deerwoode can get out after their trip right here on our property as we have a mile and a half of French Broad River frontage. These are great folks and we are proud of their commitment to preserve and take care of the river. We have added some of their info here.

Canoeing & Kayaking River Adventure Trips

Headwaters Outfitters offers 3-, 4- & 7-hour self-guided canoeing and kayaking trips on the French Broad River in Western NC. We are located just outside of Rosman, North Carolina one hour southwest of Asheville, NC just outside of Brevard.We provide canoes, kayaks, paddles, life jackets, transportation, and a river orientation. You bring the friends and family, and be ready for a fun day on the French Broad River!

Paddling along North Carolina’s French Broad River as it twists and turns, you’ll encounter beautiful scenery, birds, and waterfowl. The giant sycamores, wild cherries, and dogwood stand watch along the riverbank as the great blue heron often leads the way. Catch a glimpse of deer, mink, muskrats, or other wildlife that claim the river and its habitat as home. The flows in this section of the French Broad are considered gentle, but we do have several fast-moving shoals and sharp river bends, all part of a natural river environment. You are in control of your canoe as you canoe or kayak through a beautiful mountain valley before arriving at the take-out.

Trip fee includes: canoe, kayak, life jacket, paddle, shuttle service to and from the river, a river map, river information and safety orientation, free parking, and use of facilities at Hannah Ford.

Put-In Area: Your canoeing or kayaking trip embarks from Champion River Park Access in Rosman just outside of Brevard NC, a short drive from our river shop.

Take-Out Areas: River trips end at one of the three take-outs. Hannah Ford is the first take-out and is the location of our canoe camping facilities. Picnic tables and port a-johns are available. Those of you continuing down stream to Island Ford, the second take-out, another hour, or to Hap Simpson, the longest paddle, another 5 hours, be sure to stop at Hannah Ford for lunch and stretch your legs before continuing down stream.

Hannah Ford Take-Out
Length : 8 miles
Time : 3 hours *
Canoe Trip: $38.00 per person**
Kayak Trip: $38.00 per person**

Island Ford Take-out
Length : 10 miles
Time : 4 hours *
Canoe Trip: $43.00 per person**
Kayak Trip: $43.00 per person**

Hap Simpson Take-out
Length : 20 miles
Time : 7 hours *
Canoe Trip: $68.00 per person**
Kayak Trip: $68.00 per person**

* trip times will vary according to weather and water conditions.
** per person price. Gratuities not included.

Tubing Trips on the French Broad River

in Western NC




Cool off on a hot summer’s day, mountain style! While visiting the beautiful mountains of Western NC, don’t miss out on this river tubing adventure.

This scenic section of the French Broad River is fed by cool (average water temperature in the summer is 65 degrees), clean mountain streams and rain. The average tubing time is approximately 2 hours.

Tubing trips include tubes and lifejackets, transportation to the put-in location, a riverside orientation by our river hosts, and transportation back to the Headwaters River Shop upon completion of your float. 

Be sure to arrive dressed and ready for your NC Tubing Adventure at least 30 minutes before your trip departure time.

Headwaters Outfitters is focused upon the enjoyment and safety of all our guests. River shoes (old tennis shoes are fine – no flip-flops) are required for tubing and we highly recommend you wear plenty of sunscreen. These items are also available in the River Shop at Headwaters Outfitters.

To save time on the day of your trip, print out our LIABILITY RELEASE FORM. Have each memeber in the party read and complete the form. All participants under 18 must have the release form filled out by legal parents or guardian.

Don’t forget to bring them with you.




Guided fly fishing trips in Western NC!

Located in Western NC between Brevard and Highlands / Cashiers, Headwaters Outfitters offers guided fly fishing trips for trout, smallmouth bass, and muskie. A convenient drive from Greenville and Atlanta, our fly shop is located near some of the FINEST TROUT STREAMS in the Southeast.

The North Fork of the French Broad River flows out of North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest right behind our fly shop, providing convenient access for those who want to try out a new rod or learn to cast.

Fly Fish public or private waters

Our “NORTH FORK PRIVATE WATERS”offers guaranteed solitude and the chance to catch trophy-sized trout (up to 23 inches) in a pristine mountain stream environment. The popular East Fork of the French Broad is just minutes away, offering catch-and-release regulations and healthy fish populations from October through June.

If that isn’t enough, there are hundreds of miles of coldwater streams within a 30-minute drive of our shop: the Tuckasegee tailrace, a wide, western-style river best suited for floating; the Davidson River, consistently named one of Trout Unlimited’s Top 100 Trout Streams in the U.S.; and the remote brook trout streams below the Blue Ridge Parkway, to name just a few.

Fly fishing is a great 
sport for all ages

Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first trout on a fly or an expert in search of challenging wild browns, Headwaters Outfitters has the gear and expertise to make your trip a success. We also host smallmouth float fishing trips from late spring through fall! So if you’re looking for a great fly fishing trip while on vacation in NC’s Brevard, Cashiers or Highlands, be sure to give our fly shop a call!


Trout Wade Trips

(maximum 2 anglers per guide)
Suited for: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert Fly Fishers
Possible destinations: the Davidson River; the East, North or West Forks of the French Broad; Courthouse Creek; Looking Glass Creek; the North or South Mills Rivers; the West Fork of the Pigeon River; or OUR NORTH FORK PRIVATE WATERS, which offer exclusive access to over a mile of the upper French Broad.


Trip Description:

If you want to immerse yourselves in the wild domain of Appalachian trout, this is the trip for you. Although some of our trips are done on roadside rivers, most wade trips involve some walking (typically less than a mile, unless you ask your guide for a backcountry adventure.)

Once on the water, we’ll don waders and boots and work our way slowly upstream as we try to spot trout before they see us. Using short, accurate casts (usually 30 feet, max), we’ll present our flies to visibly feeding trout, or to areas proven to be productive holding spots. Around noon, we’ll munch on sandwiches and enjoy he beauty of the Appalachian forest, the soothing sound of water purling over rock. All of this makes for a relaxing outing in the company of our veteran guides, who will go the extra mile to put you on fish. If solitude and bigger trout are on your wish list, check out OUR NORTH FORK PRIVATE WATERS.


Trout Float Trips

(maximum 2 anglers per boat)
Suited for: Intermediate to Expert Fly Fishers
Possible destinations: the Tuckasegee River, the Catawba River, the Watauga and South Holston Rivers in eastern Tennessee.

Trip Description:

For those who want to play Huck Finn for a day, a guided float trip in one of our drift boats is the way to go. Spring and Fall are considered the best times to float. After meeting your guide at our river shop for an early morning cup of coffee, we’ll trailer up and drive you through the misty mountains to the river. Setting off, we’ll drift through a pastoral valley of farms and forests, running mild Class I and II rapids and plying rocky pools and riffles with nymph rigs and streamers.

Feel free to stand up and cast, as our boats provide lean bars and stable footing. From time to time, we’ll anchor to allow you to work a pod of rising trout with dry flies. A scrumptious shore lunch on a gravel bar or island provides a nice mid-day break, before continuing downriver in search of “Troutzilla.” Take a nap on the way home, if you like. You earned it!


Smallmouth Float Trips

(maximum 2 anglers per boat)
Suited for: Intermediate to Expert Fly Fishers
Possible destinations: the French Broad River, the Tuckasegee River or the Little Tennessee River

Trip Description:

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of this trip, because the hard-charging smallmouth bass have moved out of the depths and into feeding positions where we can more easily tempt them with flies.

Fueled by coffee and breakfast biscuits, we’ll put in at the boat ramp and drift through woods and old Indian weirs as we work poppers and streamers along the banks, grass beds and mid-stream shoals. If our luck holds, the quiet serenity of the river will be broken by the explosive strikes of smallies, which have been aptly called “pound-for-pound, the hardest fighting fish in freshwater.” Occasionally, a toothy muskellunge will follow our fish to the boat in a predatory frenzy that is not to be missed!

Osprey, herons, beavers, muskrats and waterfowl will be our regular companions as we drift lazily downstream to the take-out. Sunbathing spouses enjoy this trip almost as much as the anglers.


Rates include:

•  A licensed, knowledgeable fishing guide who can assist you with casting, locating fish and presenting the fly properly to your quarry 
•  Transportation from the River Shop at Headwaters Outfitters 
•  Fly-fishing equipment, including waders, felt-soled boots, rod, reel, line and backing. 
•  A shore lunch consisting of your choice of sandwich, chips, dessert, soft drinks and water. 

Rates DO NOT include:

These can be purchased before your trip at our Fly Shop: 
•  A North Carolina fishing license and trout stamp. 
•  Flies and leaders that you will need for the day. Your guide can help with the selection of the best patterns for the water and season you are fishing. 
•  We recommend that you wear polarized sunglasses, which will help to reduce glare for clearer vision and safer wading. 
•  Whether you use waders or wade wet, it is a good idea to wear quick-dry clothing made of material such as nylon or Supplex. During the colder months of early spring and late fall, we recommend wearing fleece pants or polyester underwear. 
•  The Blue Ridge Escarpment is known for its wet weather. A good rain jacket is highly recommended, no matter the forecast. 
•  Thick socks will increase your comfort while in wading boots, which are sized wider than regular boots. We carry Smart Wool socks, which wick moisture away from your skin and dry quickly. 
•  A brimmed hat, sun block, lip balm, camera, insect repellent and a change of clothes are recommended. 
Please avoid brightly colored shirts and hats, which increase the chances you will spook fish. Earth-toned clothing is better, especially olive, green and brown.


Guide Rates:


One angler, full day


Two anglers, full day



One angler, full day


Two anglers, full day



1 -2 anglers, full day