Our Fly Fishing Guides
Leland is local Fly Fishing Guide and Artist from Franklin North Carolina. His passion for the fly-fishing sport began when he was 7 years old and caught his first trout on the Cullasaja River. As a teenager, he spent his free time bushwhacking through the Chattooga Wilderness and Nantahala National Forest in search of native brookies. When it was time to go off to college, Leland realized he was not ready to leave the mountains he grew up loving, so he decided enroll at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee N.C. When Leland was not hitting the books in preparation for a Medical Entomology exam, you could find him out fly fishing or guiding on the Tuckasegee River.
Local fly fishermen will say that you can tell a lot about Leland’s love for the sport by looking into his fly box. His hand tied flies tell a story of passion, and provide a real insight into his local knowledge of the aquatic insects in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. “When I am not European Nymphing, I enjoy exploring new water and looking for holding areas to target large fish with streamers. There is always something new to learn with this sport, from insect behavior to fly design, and that’s what keeps me out there.”
Growing up in Newnan, Georgia, Ragan has been fly fishing his entire life. Private beaver ponds with bream and bass first drew him to the sport, and countless trips to the Great Smoky Mountains. Ragan came to study at Western Carolina University in 2012, and has been guiding in the mountains since. He specializes in backcountry mountain streams and local float trips for smallmouth bass or trout. Ragan is also a certified casting instructor with the Federation of Fly Fishers and is willing to give instruction on or off the stream. Ragan frequents the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and favorites the fertile streams on the north shore of Fontana Lake.