Blue Ridge Adventure Wrap Up

I can not believe our first open enrollment trip of the summer is already over! 12 days goes by so fast when you are catching fish every day. The final few days were packed full of great fishing and some huge trout.

After leaving the backcountry for the last time we returned to the private water on the West Fork of the French Broad River. This time we got to fish right up until dark because we would be spending the night right there on the banks of the river. Everybody caught some beautiful rainbows and browns including a 20 inch rainbow that turned out to be a a new personal best for 6 year fly fishing veteran and 2nd year LFFE participant Connor Ballard.

Connor with his new personal best and first 20+ incher." />

The next morning we woke up with the rising sun in to meet our guides for the first of two days of fishing on the private section of the Davidson River with our guides from Davison River Outfitters. The early wake up was clearly worth it as everyone in the group had hooked some fish in the first hour on the water. By the end of the day everybody had caught a 16+ inch fish, but the award for the biggest fish of the day (and trip) went to Mac with gorgeous 23 inch 8.5lb rainbow trout. What could be better than that? He caught it on a fly he tied the night before! For most fly fishermen it would be a true once in a lifetime fish, luckily for him he has plenty of years left to try and top it.

Mac with the biggest fish of the trip, a 23 inch monster he fooled with a fly he tied the night before." />

That night we all sat down to one last dinner as a group at Hawg Wild BBQ. While we enjoyed having a hot meal we didn’t have to cook ourselves we relived all the fun we had, fish we caught, and all the “monster trout” that got away. After dinner we made room for some s’mores with a quick game of ultimate frisbee.

We woke up the next day to a cloud free sky but unfortunately it had rained most of the night.  When we arrived at the private water for our last day of fishing the water was the color of chocolate milk, and we knew we had our hands full. It would be a true test of all that we had learned over the last 12 days. Despite the tough conditions our skilled group of fly fishermen still managed to bring some nice fish to the net!

The goodbyes started last night after one last trip to Dollies Ice Cream with three students getting picked up in Brevard. The rest of the group flew out of Charlotte this morning. Shane and I start our drive west this afternoon to get ready for our West Elk Adventure. We are sad that the trip has come to an end, but I know if the group had half as much fun as I did we are one step closer to creating a future generation of lifelong fly fishermen and sporting conservationists.

Tight Lines,


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