The LFFE Blog

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...

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. We woke up early on the morning of the 7th to make the drive from the east side of the park up and over the continental divide to the west side visitor center. Along the...

RMNP Greenback Cutthroat

Our Rocky Mountain Explorer trip returned from our first backcountry section. We were treated to some awesome fishing and great weather! Ready to hit the trail!" /> After a 4 mile hike in we set up camp for three nights on the banks of Fern Lake. After setting up our tents and a quick lunch we set out on the lake with our fly rods in hand. Within the first five minutes of fishing the lake we were...

Rocky Mountain Explorer #1

Greetings from Rocky Mountain National Park! After two days in the front country of the park we are all excited to hit the trail in search of some Greenback Cutthroat. We spent yesterday refining our fly fishing skills on the Big Thompson River. The meadow section of the river is just a short walk from our campsite and a perfect spot for our group of both first time and seasoned fly fishermen....

Yellowstone Update – Looking Back on a Great Adventure

It is hard to believe it but our 2014 Yellowstone Adventure has come to an end. The last 15 days have been full of great fishing, new friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime. After our arrival in Jackson Hole, WY we waisted no time, heading strait into Yellowstone first thing the next morning. Our first stop was the Grant Village backcountry office where we picked up our 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. After the float we packed up and...

Yellowstone Backcountry Wrap-Up

Yesterday afternoon our group of anglers exited the Yellowstone backcountry for the last time. It was a bittersweet feeling. We were all excited to head back to Jackson Hole, WY, but sad to leave behind lots of biting fish. For our last backcountry section our group took the divide and concur approach. Half of the group joined me up Slough Creek. After a steep initial climb our hike mellowed out...

West Elk Update – Out of the Wilderness

Boy is it good to be back into civilization after five great days on the trail! We hiked out of the wilderness this afternoon and are looking forward to enjoying the comforts of the front country for the next few days before heading home. The trip up into the high country was an absolute success. I am very proud to report that for the first time in LFFE history every single member of the trip...

Yellowstone Adventure Returns to the Backcountry

For the last three nights our group has been camped out at Mammoth Hot Springs, and just a short walk from the Gardner River. Out timing was perfect as we enjoyed some of the best fishing I have ever seen on this river. Several fish over 16inches fell for our huge flies that imitated the hatching salmon flies. The salmon fly is the largest of stone flies and a favorite for trout. Luckily for us...

West Elk Update #4

The gang working on our service project along the Slate River" /> Hello again from the Colorado Rockies! We just wrapped up our second day of service and are preparing to head into the backcountry once again. It sure has been a rewarding several days here in Colorado. Three days ago we started our first service project right outside Crested Butte on the Slate River. We were helping out the Crested...

Yellowstone Mission Accomplished

We woke up early this morning to start our hike out of our first backcountry section along Strait Creek. We are proud to announce we accomplished our ambitious group goal was to catch 500 fish! Some of the group taking the hike up and over a ridge to fish Winter Creek." /> For two days we spread out along Strait and Winter Creeks catching wild and eager Brook Trout. It was a perfect opportunity...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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. Just a fraction of the trash we helped clean up from some...

We’re Back

Our group ready to hit the trail." /> We’re back! We spent the last two nights in the backcountry of Panthertown Valley in search of wild brook trout. The three mile hike was well worth the effort. We set up our camp at the base of a waterfall. From our camp we had a short hike to some of the best fishing on the river. Everybody in the group caught some of the small but beautiful native Southern...

Blue Ridge Adventure Hits the Trail

The North Carolina Blue Ridge Adventure is about to enter the backcountry for the first time after yesterdays action packed day. The trip got off to a quick start. On the first morning everybody was up and ready to go by 7. Llewyn and Will helped cook up some pancakes and bacon before we spent the rest of the morning building on our wide range of fly fishing skills. In the afternoon we put all we...

What Species of Trout Will You Catch?

On all of our trips you will have the chance to catch rainbow and brown trout, but one of the coolest parts about our teen fly fishing expeditions is backpacking into the remote wilderness to catch native trout. Below is a sample of some of the fish caught during our summer expeditions. Natives Colorado River Cutthroat from high in the back country during the West Elk Adventure." /> In addition to...

Teaching Teens to Fly Fish the Three Step Method

Before I led Lillard Fly Fishing Expedition’s first teen fly fishing adventure I sat down for a beer with TU’s Director of Youth Education, Franklin Tate. We talked about the success TU has had engaging young kids with their Stream Explorer’s program, and the growing number of college students participating in TU college chapters. Then we talked about the challenges of engaging teens. Despite...

LFFE Partners with Mountain Khakis!

At Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions our mission is to “inspire future generations of sporting conservationists” through the combination of fly fishing, environmental education, and leadership training. We are always striving to make new connections that help us reach this goal. Oftentimes those connections are with families, schools, or non-profit organizations, but occasionally we find companies...

LFFE Awarded Orvis Endorsement

It is hard for me to explain how proud it makes me that Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions has been honored as an Orvis Endorsed Kids Camp/Expedition, but here is my attempt. My father took me to his gun club, Fin Fur Feather, to shoot skeet as soon as I could hold up a .410. I don’t remember how many I hit, but I will never forget “getting” to carry his Orvis shooting bag from station to station and...

Thank You for Another Great Year

Dear LFFE Alum, Families, Staff, and Friends Old and New, In January of 2012 I graduated from NYU with a Masters in Environmental Conservation Education, the dream of inspiring future generations of sporting conservationists, and a 40+ page thesis about the effectiveness of using fly fishing as a tool for teaching environmental education. Almost two years later, thanks to all of you, that thesis...

Final Days

The Colorado Rocky Mountain Explorer, and for that matter the LFFE 2013 summer, is only one day away from completion. The summer has been full of great fishing, but the last few days may have topped it all! With the help of Orvis Endorsed Sunrise Anglers, the group of 8 teens on our Rocky Mountain Explorer trip set out on LFFE’s first ever overnight float fishing expedition. The group met our...

Last Backcountry Update of the Summer!

We are sad to say that we have exited the backcountry for the last time this summer. Enjoy this recap of our last trip, written by trip participant Quintin Pollart Ahoy from Stillwater Campground, The group has just arrived at the sunny Stillwater Campground after getting out of our final back country hiking trip! At the beginning of that backcountry we set an extremely lofty goal of 1,000 fish...

Across the Great Divide

Greetings from the West Side, Our group spent yesterday volunteering with the Rocky Mountain National Park Trail Crew. After meeting our project coordinators we grabbed some tools and hiked two miles up the Fern Lake Trail. From there we started working our way back to the trail head, “brushing” the trail as we went. Everybody in the group worked hard so by 3:00pm we were back in Estes Park...

Back from the Backcountry

Greetings from Estes Park, CO. After 4 days in the backcountry we are happy to be sitting in the laundry mat waiting for clean cloths and our turn to shower. The first of our two backpacking trips was a great success. It took us two full days of hiking to reach our final destination, Lawn Lake, but it was well worth the effort. We quickly ate lunch and set up our tents at our campsite just steps...

West Elk Wrap Up

It is hard to believe that our 18 day West Elk Adventure has come to an end. After 15 days of backcountry fishing and meals cooked over the camp stove we ended the trip with some float fishing and a delicious banquet dinner. Everybody was ready to catch a trout “this big” on the Arkansas!" /> We woke up early on the last day of our trip to meet our guides at Ark Anglers in Salida Colorado. We met...

We’re Back

Our West Elk Expedition is back from our final backcountry. After four nights of backpacking and camping along Pine Creek we have a lot of great stories to tell. On the first day of our trip our group showed there true strength as they made the 6 mile hike up and over the Colorado Trail to the first of a series of four meadows. With the help of pack horses that carried some of our gear. We made it...

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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.

Sincerely,

Will Lillard signature

Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

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

(828) 577-8204