Meet the Guides
is definitely one of the most well-rounded guides in Western North
Carolina, capable of putting people on fish whether the venue
is a small wild stream, a stocked Delayed Harvest river, or a
tree-choked stretch of muskie water. His guiding specialty is
wild, native Southern Appalachian brook trout trips. Mac grew
up in Eastern Tennessee, catching his first trout at age 3 under
the watchful eye of his father Larry, an incredible fisherman.
After attending the University of South Carolina, where he studied
Southern Literature with "Deliverance" author James
Dickey as his advisor, Mac moved to Philadelphia to chase his
dream of playing in rock band. He toured England and North America
before relocating to the Highlands-Cashiers area in the early
1990s, where he worked as a sous chef and guided part-time. Soon
he hung up his apron and began guiding full-time. Three years
later, he became the head guide for an Orvis endorsed outfitter
in WNC, where he worked for 5 years until we (thankfully) wooed
him away. After a lifetime of fly fishing, Mac's two main loves
remain brook trout and muskies. Every fall, he makes a pilgrammage
to Boulder Junction, WI to fish for these toothy predators on
the fly. Mac is also a gifted fly tier whose original patterns
have been featured in American Angler, Southern Angler's Journal
and Eastern Fly Fishing. If you want to learn some new patterns,
hike into a remote brookie stream or find out what makes muskies
tick, Mac is who you want to come looking for.
Pete Pepinsky took
to fly fishing like a rainbow trout takes to a #22 red zebra midge.
After vacuuming up knowledge at the L.L. Bean Flyfishing School
in Maine and an Orvis school in Georgia, he has spent the past
15 years learning what makes trout tick, also chasing other freshwater
and saltwater species on the fly from coast to coast. Books on
fly fishing almost make a corner of his house sag. His quest for
information probably came from his work as a senior editor at
three daily newspapers, a public relations manager at three universities,
plus eight years in the crazy confines of an advertising and public
relations agency. Pete is a graduate of Auburn University, the
Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the American Press Institute.
He was honored by the Public Relations Council of Alabama in 1999
as its practitioner of the year, and as a senior practitioner
in 2000 by the Southern Public Relations Federation. But back
to important stuff. A self-admitted gearhead, he should be honored
as customer of the century by fly fishing equipment manufacturers.
Recently, Pete has been smitten by Tenkara, the ancient Japanese
technique of fly fishing. Tenkara's simplicity and portability
make it well-suited for hikes to wild trout streams in WNC or
paddling adventures down the fabled French Broad. Yeah, Pete ties
his own flies, too. He likes to teach beginners to fly fish and
to put experienced anglers on the most popular dining locations
of hungry trout. He's convinced that unlike golf, fly fishing
is about being there and having fun.
Tony Brooks - I
am the son of an East Tennessee native and fish with my 80 year
old dad often. I have lived in East TN and WNC the last 25
years, the last 12 years in Hendersonville, NC.
have been fly fishing over 37 years and tie my own flies. I learned
to fly fish on the Davidson River in the Pisgah National
Forest and Big Santeehlah Creek in Graham County, NC. I am a member
of the Hilltop Fly Tyers, a Master Angler volunteer for the Pisgah
Center for Wildlife Education, a Casting For Recovery River
Helper and current president of the French Broad Fly
Fishers - a FFF Charter Club.
been guiding friends new to the sport over the last 10 years. I
started guiding wade and float trips commercially in 2009. I
have a 16' fiberglass EMR drift boat and enjoy floating the
South Holston, Watauga, Tuckaseegee for trout and the French
Broad and Pigeon rivers for smallmouth bass. In the last four
decades, I have covered hundreds of miles of well known and
little known trout streams in WNC, East TN and the Smokies.
Occasionally, I find my way to Montana to fish the Big Horn.
am a fly fishing enthusiast because of the simultaneous simplicity
and complexity. Fly fishing offers something new on every trip.
It is a sport where one skill is built on another. I consider
myself a student first and then try to pass that knowledge along
to others willing to learn.
Woody Platt might look familiar to anglers with a penchant
for bluegrass music. As the lead singer and guitarist for the
Steep Canyon Rangers, Woody has traveled the nation playing bluegrass
and, in between gigs, wetting a line in some of our country’s
finest blue ribbon trout streams. A lifelong angler, Woody began
guiding after finishing high school in Brevard at age 18 and was
full-time on the river every summer when home from UNC-Chapel
Hill, where he studied business and environmental studies. Woody
and some friends started the Steep Canyon Rangers while in college.
The group has gone on to earn national recognition with their
chart-topping release “One Dime at a Time,” followed by an International
Bluegrass Music Association “Emerging Artists of the Year” Award.
They are featured on the Grand Ol’ Opry several times each year.
Woody is available most weekdays, between gigging. His “fish sense”
and great people skills make him a favorite among our repeat clients.
Michael Sprouse Growing up in Raleigh NC, Michael started
fishing at a very early age with his father. Chasing bass all
over the central part of the state with the occational trip to
the beach was where it all started. After high school Michael
attended Western Carolina University where he was introduced to
fly fishing and has been hooked ever since. After transfering
to North Carolina State University and graduating with a B.S.
in Agronomy Michael moved back to the mountains for good. He works
full time as an assistant superintendent at a local private country
club and guides part time. When not spending time with his young
daughter and wife, Michael is on the river figuring out what it
takes to catch trophy smallmouth on the fly. If you are looking
for a relaxing day full of smallmouth action, Michael can hook