The LFFE Blog

Slough Creek Back-country

All is well after our first backcountry trip! Two nights in the famed Slough Creek backcountry was a memorable experience for all involved. After hiking in roughly 5 miles, we set up camp and got to fishing. Our campsite was located right on the creek and the kids were pulling in beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout left and right. We fished upstream and downstream for our campsite in perfect runs and deep pools. After a long day of hiking and fishing, we hit the tents around 9:45  in order to rest up for the next day’s adventure.

Rocky Mountain Update

What a trip!  The last four days here in Rocky Mountain National Park have been absolutely amazing.  Our first excursion into the backcountry saw us hike along the north boundary of RMNP all the way up to what is known as lost Lake.  Due to the very wet spring we have had here in Colorado, the original trail we were supposed to hike was washed out and impassable.  This forced us to hike a more difficult and longer trail on our first day, but the guys absolutely crushed it!  Our first day was admittedly rough, even for a seasoned backpacker like myself, and we didn’t reach camp until seven i

Let the Adventures Begin

Greetings from NC,

Our summer 2015 Adventures are officially under way! We are only two days into the Blue Ridge Adventure and everyone has caught some nice fish.

Yesterday we started off with a refresher of knots and casting before lunch.

After we

The Proof is in the Pictures

From the second our 2014 participants started to return home we started receiving emails. Everybody wants a copy of the trip pictures so they can prove to all their friends just how awesome their trip really was. Well it took us a while but we finally uploaded the thousands of photos from this summer to our Flickr page. Now you can look through all the photos that were taken by fellow participants and the trip leaders on your trip. If you would like a copy of a photo you can download them to your computer.

Rocky Mountain Explorer – Wrapping up a Great Adventure

It is hard to believe that our final trip of the summer, the Rocky Mountain Explorer, is entering it’s final day. The last two weeks have been action packed and full of adventure. We earned the privilege of being able to say we caught Greenback Cutthroat in high alpine lakes.  We volunteered with the Rocky Mountain National Parks Trail Crew to help preserve the areas we explored. We hiked deep into the backcountry to find hungry Colorado River Cutthroat. Lastly, we can add an overnight float fishing trip on the Colorado River to our list of adventures.

RMNP Fishing Update

This morning we hiked out from the Rocky Mountain National Park backcountry for the last time. We are all sad to see the backpacking sections of our adventure to come to an end but eager to report some absolutely amazing fishing.

West Elk Update #6

Well, it’s been a good trip and now we are on the home stretch!  The guys spent the morning float fishing the Arkansas River with Ark Anglers of Salida.  I’m proud to report that the guys put their newfound skills to great use and everybody caught fish!  It was so much fun watching the guys come back from the float all jazzed up about the great morning of fishing.


West Elk Update #3

Well, our first backcountry stint is over and we are now in town to do laundry, shower, and re-supply for the next week.  This first backcountry section did not go quite as planned.  We reached the Crystal River high up in the West Elks and set about trying to catch some elusive native cutthroats.  Unfortunately the banner winter these mountains experienced this year was still lingering.  As a result the water was high and fast, not ideal for trout fishing at all.  Some of the guys managed to land some cutthroats, but the fish were far and few between.  So we were forced to call an audible

Into the Woods

The Yellowstone Adventure is off to a great start. After Wednesdays arrival we enjoyed some hamburgers and got to know each other around the campfire. Early the next morning we packed our bags and started our drive into Yellowstone.


We had not been on the road for ten minutes when we spotted our first Buffalo, grazing beneath the Grand Teton. On our way into the park we stopped to take in the amazing vista from the Snake River Overlook, a spot made famous by one of Ansel Adams’s most iconic images.

West Elk Update #2

Greetings from the Colorado High Country!  Our first full day in Colorado is now under our belt and it feels good.  We drove over the Continental Divide yesterday and descended upon the wonderful town of Crested Butte.  After this winter’s solid snow pack, the mountains here are brimming with wildflowers and the streams are full of hungry trout.  We set up camp this morning at the Oh Be Joyful campground on the Slate River just northwest of Crested Butte.  With fishing licenses in hand we eagerly set about catching brook and brown trout while surrounded by the majestic West Elk mountains. 

Blue Ridge Final Days

It is official, the 2014 Blue Ridge Adventure is in the books! From catching wild brookies beneath breathtaking waterfalls to making new friends, the amazing adventure was full of highlights. After staying persistent through almost constant rain and some tough fishing during our second backcountry we ended the trip with probably the greatest highlight of them all.

We spent all of our final day of the trip fishing the private water of the Davidson

Wrapping up in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Well our final backcountry has come to an end. The fishing started off great with several fish being caught within the first few minutes of being at camp. Unfortunately an hour or two later the rain came and didn’t go away. The group stayed at it as the rain fell and we managed to catch a few more fish before dinner. The next morning the rain kept falling. It rained so hard this time that the river turned to the color of chocolate milk. The group stayed positive though, and when we realized the fishing had gone south we entertained our selves with a few games of capture the flag.

The Final Countdown

The Blue Ridge Adventure is flying by! We spent yesterday volunteering with Trout Unlimited to help clean up some of the campsites along a stretch of small mountain streams that support native brook trout. After we built up a good sweat we rewarded ourselves with a swim at “sliding rock”, a natural waterslide that ends in a 8ft deep hole.

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Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204