Angling in Asheville

By Steve Siciliano

Barb with a nice brook trout

In the morning the high regard we had for our Asheville accommodations ratcheted up another notch when we went downstairs and saw the complimentary breakfast that was laid out in the dining area adjacent to the lobby. It was a smile-inducing sight in view of our disappointing meal the previous night. After mollifying our hunger with scrambled eggs, sausage links, fried potatoes and fresh fruit we were ready for a day of fly fishing on the Laurel River.

During the half hour drive to meet up with our guide I kept one nervous eye on the sky and the other on the temperature. My wife loves fly fishing for trout almost as much as I do but she’s a self-avowed fair-weather angler. That early morning sky was threatening and the temperature was hovering around freezing.

When we pulled into a supermarket parking lot in a small burg northwest of Asheville we immediately spotted a silver pickup with rod racks suspended above the bed and a tall young man leaning against the tailgate. “That’s gotta be Paul,” I said to Barb.


Paul Kisielewski from Southern Appalachian Anglers (SAA) is an excellent guide. On the drive to the river he told us that he began fly fishing at the age of three, has a degree in business administration from Appalachian State and has been guiding on the area’s rivers since forming SAA in 2003. After tucking his pickup in a clearing on the