The LFFE Blog

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.

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 their efforts TU has not experienced the same success with teenagers that they have enjoyed with pre teens and college students.

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 who like LFFE, have a passion for conservation inspired by a love of the outdoors.

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 has become Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions and my dream has become a reality.

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!

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 enjoying some hard earned ice cream.

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.

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.

West Elk Update

Greetings from Gunnison CO,

Our group of teen fishermen just finished the first backcountry section of our trip. After 4 days of fishing along the Crystal River everybody in the group has caught bunches of fish.

Big Adventure

After a smooth arrival day on 7/8 our Colorado West Elk Adventure is off to a great start.

Our group crossing the Continental Divide, ready to catch some trout!" />

Blue Ridge… The Final Countdown

This morning we hiked out of the backcountry of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the last time during the summer of 2013. It was bittersweet as our group was enjoying the solitude and good fishing that hiking away from the crowds brings. On the other hand, as our trip winds down we still have two days of fishing for trophy trout, and a final banquet dinner to look forward to.

Blue Ridge Adventure Update

Greetings from the Davidson River,

Our Blue Ridge Adventure is off to a great start! We have a awesome group of students with a wide variety of fly fishing experience. The fishing has been so good that we are just two days into the trip and everyone has caught a fish over 14 inches!

Crystal River Mill


Written by Quintin Pollart

After a long night of rain and cold the group awoke to a clear morning atop a hill in the Crystal River Valley. This was our first full day in the backcountry. Once we were all awake we dove into our personal supplies of backcountry food. Once we were fed we quickly packed our daypacks and started our four-mile decent into the Crystal Valley and to the Crystal Mill.

Davis Interview

Q: When did you first learn to fly fish?

Davis: I learned to fly fish when I was about 6 or 7 years old. At first I wasn’t really sure I’d get into it; I mean, it’s way easier to catch fish on spin gear anyway so why waste all that effort trying to entice them essentially with a flimsy stick? After I learned the motion and began to practice it I realized it had a soothing effect that relieved tension and stress from the mind.

Q: What have you learned from your fly fishing experience?

10 Tips for Winter Fly Fishing

Many people assume you cant fly fish during the winter. The truth, is for those who are armed with the courage to face cold temps and a good pair of waiters, winter brings solitude to even the most crowded of rivers and occasionally some really good fishing. The insect life might slow down a little, but I promise you Trout eat all winter and with a few pointers you could be out there catching them.

5 Stocking Stuffers for the Fly Fisher on Your Gift List

LFFE Custom Aluminum Fly Box*- The Box comes with ripple foam on one side and flat foam on the other, making it the perfect box for holding everything from big bushy dry flies and meaty streamers to tiny nymphs. We can fill the box with a selection of premium flies for only $15 per dozen. Even better 100% of proceeds from the sales of LFFE gear goes directly towards the LFFE scholarship fund.

LFFE Alumni Profile: Matthew Owen

A large part of what makes the LFFE experience so amazing is the other students you share it with; that is why we take our application process so seriously. Our participants come from all across the country, some have not fished a day in their life, others have been fly fishing for years, but one thing they have in common is character. By the age of 17, Matthew Owen had already been named Orvis “Trout Bum of the Week” and started an “Angling Society” at his high school.

Scouting Mission Accomplished

When I plan our fishing adventures I want to feel absolutely confident that they provide the best possible experience for LFFE participants. That means the locations I choose must have great fishing, backpacking, and scenery. I  also have to consider, among many other things; unpredictable fishing conditions that make planning trips months in advance very difficult, time spent driving in the van, and the availability of diverse fishing options suitable for a variety of skill levels.


The LFFE blog is finally here. Check back often as we will be frequently adding LFFE news, interesting stories from our trips, photos, videos, and much more.

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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.


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