Trout Zone Anglers, LLC

Guided Fly Fishing


As a professional Tennessee fly fishing guide, I spend my time teaching anglers the sport of fly fishing. My specialty is teaching the techniques required for success on the streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I also offer guided float or walk and wade trips on larger rivers for trout. The Caney Fork River is my favorite. In addition to the Caney, I also guide on the Clinch and Holston Rivers. Stalking large fish and fishing midges are my specialities on larger trout rivers. A float for smallmouth bass, musky or striped bass on the fly might be the ticket if you want a new challenge.

Novice and experienced anglers alike will benefit from a Tennessee fly fishing guide to cut the learning curve on our rivers and streams. Regardless of skill level, a day spent with me will help you learn the techniques that will help you catch more fish. With that in mind, as the techniques and flies I utilize are incredibly effective, I operate all guided trips using catch and release so as to protect the resource. Please contact me if you have further questions about that. If you are set on keeping a few fish, I’m always happy to refer you to some other guide services.

Tennessee fly fishing guide teaches Tenkara on the Caney Fork and in the Smokies

Caney Fork tailwater Tenkara brown trout

A Tennessee Fly Fishing Guide Now Offering Tenkara Trips

Look no further than Tenkara if you are wanting something new to add to your arsenal. This Japanese fly fishing method relies on simplicity, fixed line lengths, and long flexible rods. Tenkara is a good way for beginners to be introduced to the sport of fly fishing because it eliminates the reel and line hand. Anglers can focus on making the cast and presenting the fly to the fish. We recommend Tenkara for trips in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The small to medium sized streams there are ideal for Tenkara.

Walk/Wade Trips

In the Great Smoky Mountains, all trips are wade trips. The streams of the Smokies are not big enough for the drift boat. Wading allows us to become more intimately connected with the stream and our quarry. You will be pursuing beautiful wild and native trout on these streams including rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Wade trips are also available for smallmouth bass on the Cumberland Plateau and on trout tailwaters like the Caney Fork River, Holston River, and Clinch River. Wade trips on these larger streams rely on good flows from the dam. For that reason, please be flexible on your destination as we sometimes have to make last minute adjustments. Wade trips for smallmouth bass are available near the Smokies. We also offer guided fly fishing on the Cherokee Trophy Section for anglers wishing to target large trout on the fly.

Floating the Caney Fork River in the drift boat with Trout Zone Anglers

Drift boat fly fishing on the scenic Caney Fork River

Float Trips

Many people prefer float trips in my ClackaCraft drift boat due to the larger fish we see on the larger rivers, not to mention that float fishing is about the most relaxing thing you will ever do. Both half and full day trips are available on the Caney Fork River. The Clinch River offers both full and half day float possibilities depending on the generation schedule. On Collins River musky and smallmouth trips, I only offer full day trips. Having a good Tennessee fly fishing guide will help cut the learning curve on each of these rivers.

All float trips are in a beautiful 2019 ClackaCraft Eddy 360. The walk through design allows anglers to switch between the front and back of the boat if they want to. An integrated cooler keeps our drinks and lunch (on full day trips) cool. Finally, front and rear casting braces keep you safely in the boat and fishing hard all day.

On float trips be prepared to get your feet wet. Waders or sandals are recommended depending on the time of year. You will often have to get in the water to enter and exit the boat. Additionally, we stop and wade fish the best spots on full day trips and sometimes half day trips as well. Wade fishing provides the opportunity to get repeated drifts in the best stretches.

Methods Used with Your Tennessee Fly Fishing Guide

Depending on water and weather conditions and also current hatches, anglers can expect to fish a variety of methods. Some of these methods include using dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Streamer fishing often turns into anglers’ new favorite way to fish. Sight fishing with midges on tailwaters is one of my favorite things to do and will usually be a good method for stalking larger fish. Accordingly, patient anglers will enjoy the chance to stalk large trout with me in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Terrestrial fishing is another favorite on all of the waters we fish. From beetles and inch worms in the Smokies to hoppers on the Caney Fork, we absolutely love fishing terrestrials every summer.

Here at Trout Zone Anglers, we prefer to emphasize learning on our guided fly fishing trips. Thus, if you are looking to brush up on a particular skill, please let us know. We are always happy to tailor a guided fly fishing trip to match your expectations and desires for the day. At the end of the day, we hope you will be a better angler because of the time spent with us on the water.

A Word On Tipping Your Guide

A tip of around 15%-20% is customary for your fly fishing guide in east Tennessee. While we understand when people are unable to tip, we always appreciate the gesture as a reflection on the hard work we put in to provide a great experience. While being a Tennessee fly fishing guide is just about the best job ever, we still have to pay the bills. Your tips go a long ways towards helping us do that! If you would like to read more on tipping in the fly fishing industry, this excellent piece from Midcurrent explains everything very well.

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