Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Lower Saluda River - below Lake Murray Dam - South Carolina

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Daytime 20-24 Zebra Midges
February Midges, Blue Winged Olives Late Morning/Early Afternoon 16-20 Comparadun, Sparkle Dun
March Midges, Blue Winged Olives Late Morning/Early Afternoon 16-20 Elk Hair Caddis, Pheasant Tail
April Caddis Afternoon 16-20 Elk Hair Caddis
Hendricksons Afternoon 12-14 Red Quill, Hendrickson
May Caddis, Sulphurs Afternoon/Evening 12-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Comparadun Sulphur
June Sulphurs, Light Cahill Evening 12-16 Light Cahill, Comparadun Sulphur
July Tiny Blue Winged Olives Daytime 18-22 Parachute Adams, BWO Sparkle Dun
August Tiny Blue Winged Olives Daytime 18-22 Parachute Adams, BWO Sparkle Dun
September Tiny Black Caddis Evening 16-18 Elk Wing Caddis
October Blue Winged Olives Daytime 16-18 BWO Sparkle Dun, Parachute Adams
November Blue Winged Olives Daytime 16-18 BWO Sparkle Dun, Parachute Adams
December Midges Daytime 20-24 Zebra Midges

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Renowned for its cold waters teeming with a variety of fish species, the Lower Saluda River, below Lake Murray Dam, offers some of the best spots for fly fishing. Favorite locations among anglers include:

  • Hope Ferry Landing: This area provides abundant trout, especially near the rapids.
  • Saluda Shoals Park: Its 2-mile stretch along the river gives fly fishing enthusiasts opportunities for rainbow and brown trout.
  • Corley Island: Easily accessible from both banks, it boasts lots of good spots for catching trout and fresh water striper.

It is to be noted while fly fishing on the Lower Saluda River:

  1. Season: Winter and early spring are considered the best periods for fly fishing.
  2. Equipment: A 4 to 6 weight fly rod with floating line is recommended.
  3. Safety: Always be aware of water release schedules from the dam for safety during fishing.

Best Access Points

The Lower Saluda River, below the Lake Murray Dam, is renowned for its vibrant fly fishing destination. Here are a few best access points for fly fishers:

  • Gardendale Access: Located just downstream of I-26, it offers a great start point for fishing and floating.
  • Hopewell Access (Hope Ferry): This is the first major access point downstream from the Dam with ample roadside parking.
  • Riverbanks Zoo Access: Accessible through Greystone Blvd, it is perfect for fishermen wanting to focus on Saluda shoals.
  • Saluda Shoals Park: Offering river access for a fee, it is ideal for longer float trips.
  • Irmo side of the River (below the dam): A popular fishing spot, it’s accessible through Bush River Road or St. Andrews Road.

Each of these access points provides unique opportunities for an unforgettable fly-fishing expedition in the Lower Saluda River.

Local Fish

  • Striped Bass: These are often caught in the cooler months and are considered a top predator in the river.
  • Rainbow Trout: Renowned for their beauty and fighting ability, rainbow trout is a top target for fly fishing.
  • Brook Trout: These are often found in clean, cold waters and are the only native trout in the Lower Saluda River.
  • Brown Trout: These fish are known for their picky feeding habits, making them a challenge for fly fishing.
  • Large Mouth Bass: These are the most popular freshwater game fish in the U.S., making them a top target.
  • Small Mouth Bass: They are highly sought after for their aggressive fights when hooked, making them exciting to catch.
  • Channel Catfish: These are plentiful in the Lower Saluda River and good targets for beginners as they are relatively easier to catch.
  • Redbreast Sunfish: These are ideal for beginner fly fishers as they don’t require specific flies or techniques.

About The River

Ever curious about the vibrant history of the Lower Saluda River, right below Lake Murray Dam? Well, it’s a tale painted with the brushes of time, nature, and a hint of human ingenuity. An enticing retreat for kayakers and fishermen, this river section stretches around eleven miles down to the confluence with the Broad River. The Lower Saluda was not originally navigable. The history of its navigability began in 1930 with the creation of Lake Murray and its dam, a man-made hydroelectric operations marvel. After the dam construction, the river received a constant water flow, making it navigable and appealing to recreational enthusiasts. Highlights in its history also include preservations like the
  • Saluda Shoals Park
  • Earlewood Park
  • Palmetto Trail
. These spaces celebrate the natural beauty of the river, making it a perfect getaway spot for both locals and visitors. Be it a day of fishing, a leisurely stroll, a bike ride, or a grand kayaking adventure, the Lower Saluda River offers a smorgasbord of enjoyment.
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