Up, Up and Away!

Today was an awesome day. I got to take a good friend and his new bride up into Brookie country. She had never fly fished before but within five minutes of starting had caught her first fish ever on a fly rod. The fact that it was a native Appalachian Brook Trout, taken on a dry fly, tenkara’d through an aquatic rock-garden made the feat all the more impressive! It was my first trip up into the higher water this spring. The trees are just starting to realize winter is over and the trout are waking up to the fact that there are a few bugs to be had. If today’s trip made a new tenkara angler out of this first timer, they’d better watch out!

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Fishing With Friends Rocks!

One of the great privileges of guiding is being allowed, if only temporarily, to be part of the fun and camaraderie of friends and family sharing time together. Here are two fast friends I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful morning with today. We had a blast, saw an eagle and they really gave my landing net a workout! It was their first time tenkara fishing….but I’ve got a hunch it wasn’t their last. I certainly hope not!

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Back in the Saddle Again!

What a great day to get back on the water guiding! I had the pleasure of spending the morning with these two fine anglers, one of whom was celebrating his retirement. Judging by the way they took to tenkara, I think he may have found a way to constructively use any free time his new status provides. Thanks to all who have reached out to book trips now that I’m back to guiding. If you think you might like to join in the fun, I have a few days open in May still….but they’re going fast!

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Oh Happy Day!

I am so happy to announce that I am now booking trips again for dates starting 19 April 2021. It has been a long slog getting here and I hope you have all been able to safely navigate yourselves and your loved ones through the pandemic. I am fully vaccinated now and as of 21 April, everyone in my family will be two weeks beyond their last shot as well. So many of you have been in contact and waited with patience and understanding for this day. I can’t tell you how much your support has meant. I will be developing some COVID safe protocols that comport with CDC guidance but in a fully, or even partially vaccinated situation, those will be much simpler and less onerous than they would have been a year ago! Late April and May are a great time to get on the water here in WNC. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel and who knows….maybe it’s a trout!

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Corona Virus…a Trout Conspiracy???

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Well, you probably knew it was coming.  In the interest of safety for all concerned, Unreel Fly Fishing is suspending operations effective immediately and until further notice.  There’s just no way to properly guide and maintain “Social Distancing.”  If you are scheduled for a trip with me in March or April,  I will be contacting you individually to let you know and discuss rescheduling or cancellation.  I’ve got a hunch we’ll be looking toward the summer/fall.  In the meantime, get out on the stream and safely enjoy some solitude.  You don’t have to “socially distance” from the fish!

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Two Halves are Better than a Whole


At least when it comes to tenkara fishing.  That’s why we’re going to shake off the cold weather blues with a little “Winter Special.”  From now until the first day of spring you can get two half-days of fishing for the price of a full day.  If you’re by yourself,  that’s $300 for two half-days (which would normally cost $400.)  You can fish two days in a row or schedule dates a month apart if that better suits you, as long as they both fall before March 21st, 2020.   In the winter, a half-day is way less bone chilling and I get to help you catch fish the whole time, instead of taking an hour to do lunch.  It’s also easier to visit two different streams and see more water.  So bundle up and let’s get out there!

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Fall Fun

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Sorry for the lag in posts lately but I’ve been on the water a ton and fishing always comes first!  Just to catch up here’s a little slideshow of some of the great folks I’ve been fishing with this past week and some of the awesome fish they’ve caught.  I’ve finally got a day off, it’s pouring down rain outside it’s a perfect day to catch up and tie some flies.  Thank you to everyone for choosing Unreel Fly Fishing and making this such a fun and busy fall.


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Better Than Fiction??


We anglers are often accused of exercising a certain amount of “creative license” when telling fish tales. No such license will be needed to tell the story of this beautiful Rainbow Trout that came to us on Friday. The angler was award winning NC author and poet Valerie Nieman, (who also happens to be a bonafide tenkara fishing machine).  We had a great morning sneaking around low, quiet water and were rewarded with not just this monster but many of his smaller trout friends. Heavy rain has descended on us now and blown the streams out. I’m tying flies and enjoying my autographed copy of Val’s spellbinding (and scary) new novel, To the Bones. Check it out at valnieman.com!

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Friday Night Lights


There’s not much you can say about a sunset like we had last Friday evening.  It pretty much speaks for itself.  The fringes of a passing tropical storm provided the palette that painted this gorgeous picture.   Even better, it was the precursor to a couple of days of much needed rain.  The end of a beautiful day?  That’s not the way I see it.  More like the promise of a beautiful tomorrow.

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Fishing “Tenkara”… “From the Skies”!

One of the great joys of tenkara fishing is that nature can provide some wonderful surprises from time to time.  An unexpected visit from this huge Bald Eagle was our surprise on Tuesday.  We weren’t about to to remind him that the water was under Catch and Release regulation.  Low water  has made things harder for us human anglers but easier for these beautiful birds who in their own way, also fish “tenkara” which means “from the skies.”



We  did get our chances though and had a great morning with our feathered friend.fish

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