NC Blue Ridge Ending on a Bang

Dear Parents,

By now I am sure you have all heard what a great trip we had. A week plus of heavy rain before our trip start resulted in some much higher than usual river flows for our trip.  Luckily, the rivers dropped into shape right as our trip started, and we could not have asked for any better weather throughout our trip. Our trip consisted of mostly blue skies with only two minor rain showers that had no impact on our time spent on the water, and the river flows constantly improved as the trip went on. Cloud cover and absolutely perfect flows on the final day of the trip resulted in a perfect culmination to a perfect trip. After exiting the backcountry trip full of native brook trout landed mostly on dry flies our final days of the trip were spent doing a service project and the last day spent fishing the private water on the Davidson River.

I started Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions 8 years ago with the goal of inspiring future generations of fly fishing conservationists. An integral component of achieving this mission has always been our day spent giving back to the areas that we are so lucky to be able to enjoy during our trip. On our NC trip this day has always been spent cleaning up trash along a dirt road and free campsites that parallel a small brook trout stream that is crucial spawning ground for some of the strongest remaining populations of southern Appalachian brook trout. When we started this project 8 years ago the stream was a mess to say the least. This year I am happy to report that it looked better than I have ever scene it. Our group worked hard and fast to clean up all the trash we could find, and we even had the chance to sit and watch as a tiny brook trout fed in the even smaller stream. If this didn’t drive home the importance of preserving these cold and clean mountain streams I don’t know what would. After our service project we spent some time cooling off at sliding rock, a really cool natural water slide in Pisgah National Forest.

Cooling off at Sliding Rock.
This brown was the last fish of the trip. We hooked it seconds before we were scheduled to stop fishing, and it was the perfect ending to an amazing trip.

Our final day of the trip was spent hunting for large trout in the private section of the Davidson. Using all the skills learned and or built throughout the trip, everyone in our group had their best day of fishing yet. Everyone in the group caught several fish over 16 inches, and even had on fish that crossed into the 20+ inch range.

After fishing we headed back to camp to pack and get cleaned up for our banquet dinner at a local favorite BBQ restaurant. It was great to relive all of our favorite parts of the trip over one final meal together as a group.

Thank you all for giving Quintin, Teddy, me the opportunity to fish with your child for the last week and a half. Here is a link to the trip photo album on our flickr page. If your child had a great trip and you have a minute to write a quick review of his experience on our page of the Orvis website it would be a HUGE help (and you will even be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 Orvis gift card). Here is a link to the page

We had a great group, and I hope to have the chance to fish with them all again in the future. Until then…

Tight Lines,

Will Lillard

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