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 Hi, my name Matt Rinehardt. I am a NC native and grew up fishing and hunting in the eastern part of North Carolina. I have lived my whole adult life here in Western NC where I have come to love these mountains and particularly the streams running through them. I truly love fly fishing in Western North Carolina and being a guide has afforded me the opportunity to share my passion with those visiting. I always look forward to sharing my enjoyment of the outdoors with those who fish with me.

Matt Rinehardt
(Float and Wade)

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Matt Barnes
(Float)

A native of North Carolina’s Piedmont region, Matt began guiding on the wild trout waters of the Great Smoky Mountains and surrounding streams while attending Western Carolina University. 
 
After graduation, Matt moved to Colorado guiding on the San Juan river tailwater of northern New Mexico and on the freestone streams of southern Colorado. During his time in the Rocky Mountain west, Matt began to feel the call of his home waters of southern Appalachia and started his trek back to western North Carolina. 
 
Matt is a strong believer in the healing and restorative power of nature and as an Army veteran, he can attest to the many benefits that come from spending a day on the water chasing fish with flies. 
 
Matt has pursued flowing water across the country from Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, the Pacific northwest and everywhere in between. During the shoulder season, Matt works on the remote Unalakleet river in Alaska but he loves the species diversity of our area and feels the most at home in the mountain streams and tailwaters of southern Appalachia.
 
Matt is a member of R.L Winston and Boulder Boat Works Pro Staff  and maintains a membership with Trout Unlimited. In his spare time , he can be found hacking it up on his local municipal golf course or tying flies but most likely he’s plying the local waterways of his home for trout and smallmouth bass with his trusty boat dog Davey.

Anthony Allen
(float & wade)

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Connor Manolis
(wade)

Anthony grew up on a tobacco farm in Madison Co., NC where he spent most of his free time hunting and fishing the mountains of Western North Carolina. After a 20 year career in the U.S. Army he returned home to begin his next career as a guide.  His favorite technique is euro nymphing and his clients always leave with new tactics regardless of their skill level.  Anthony's favorite fishing occurs on his annual trip to Slovenia, to target large Rainbow (picutred) and Marble Trout.  Wherever you are in your fly fishing journey book with Anthony and take your game to the next level. 

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Born and raised in New Hampshire, Connor spent his early years snowboarding and adventuring throughout the New England slopes and wilderness. After finishing high school, Connor furthered his education by attended the world renowned outdoor education institute, Prescott College located in Prescott, AZ. His studies focused on both adventure education and conservation biology.  During his time in AZ, he became certified as a backpacking and rock climbing guide. He spent the following years adventure guiding in the southwest region of the US. Then, in search of change, he moved back to his roots in southern New Hampshire where he met his future wife Erika. Connor and Erika quickly fell in love and she openly shared her passion for fishing, something entirely new to Connor. It wasn’t long before he was “hooked” and enthralled with the sport of fly fishing. Soon after moving to Cullowhee, North Carolina, Connor became entirely obsessed with fly fishing. He spent each free moment on the local rivers and creeks learning and exploring the many techniques and skills necessary to be an exemplary fly fisherman. The connection between his previous experience in adventure guiding, a love for wildlife/biology and fly fishing combined to become the perfect opportunity for a new career. Since then, Connor has been a fly fishing guide and instructor, sharing his knowledge of the sport and lifestyle with his clients. Connor is enthusiastic, outgoing, easy to talk to and is passionate about fishing on the fly. He is a patient, kind and experienced guide who loves nothing more than seeing the look of excitement as a client hooks up to a beautiful Western Carolina trout. The result of his passion and dedication is evident to those who accompany him on his fly fishing excursions. Fly fishing is everything to Connor and he is beyond eager to share that experience with you. 

Jaret Lawther
(float & wade)

Jarett was raised in the piedmont region of NC and moved to Cullowhee for school in 2019. He has been fishing since he was able to walk for everything and anything up and down the east coast and has been fly fishing since 2016. Jarett is a recent graduate at WCU and enjoys learning new waters all around Western North Carolina as well as new fishing techniques. Some of Jarett’s favorite fish to target on the fly are False Albacore and Trout, but really anything that’s willing to eat a fly.
Jarrett Lawther
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Mike Hodge
(float & wade)

Mike learned how to fly fish in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and grew up fishing here in Jackson County on his father's farm, which was was located up on Locust Creek Road for nearly 25 years, from the early 1970s to the mid1990s. Using Western Auto spinning gear, he caught his first big bass on a farm pond. Completely oblivious to the concept of catch-and-release, he used a stringer to corral his quarry along with two other brim. The bass had other ideas. Since the point of the stringer was merely secured to a muddy bank, the big fish simply swam off with his two panfish friends. Devastated but not undaunted, years later Mike took up fly fishing and releases everything he catches ---- so the fish don't have to hatch an escape plan. A career sports writer, who covered the SEC and ACC for nearly 25 years before turning to a career in fly fishing in semi-retirement, Mike likes doing float trips and lessons in between shifts in the shop. He came to the Tuck Fly Shop after working several seasons at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville where he helped run Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing schools.

Darrin Jordan
(wade)

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During the week, Darrin is a criminal defense attorney in Salisbury (Rowan County), but on most Fridays (and some Thursdays), he’s making the three hour trip to Jackson County to spend as much time as he can on the streams and rivers of Western North Carolina. 
 
He began fly fishing over 25 years ago when a North Carolina Superior Court Judge offered to take him fly fishing and to teach him how to fly fish. Needless to say, he was hooked and he has fished from North Carolina to Alaska. 
 
He and his wife own what they hope will someday be their retirement home in Cullowhee. He is past President of the North Carolina State Bar, is a Board Certified Specialist in North Carolina State Criminal Law, a beekeeper and an inspiring private pilot.  One of his favorite things he’s done in fly fishing has been to teach the Fly Fishing Merit Badge to Boy Scouts. 
 
Like practicing law, fly fishing is a series of learning experiences, refinement of technique and adjustment to the conditions you are presented. He looks forward to every opportunity he has to be on a stream or river, as a guide or as a fisherman. 

Nicolay Bell
(shop/wade)

After working as a chef on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau, I recently joined TFS hoping to turn a passion into a career.  I originally got my start fly fishing after moving to Sylva in 2014.  My wife and I decided to take a guided trip for something new to do, and after netting that first 20” rainbow on the Tuck I was hooked.  My life as I knew it was over and down the rabbit hole I went!  These days if I’m not spending time with my wife and 2 kids I’m most likely in the GSMNP backcountry chasing brookies with a glass rod.

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Shannon Messer

A native of Haywood County, Shannon had the bug for fly fishing at an early age.  After four years of service to our country in the U.S. Navy, Shannon returned home to continue scouring the waters of the Cataloochee Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains.  Shannon started honing his skills using traditional mountain patterns that the Messer family is synonymous for.  Shannon started tying traditional mountain patterns years ago and now has developed some of his own patterns that have taken trout from North Carolina to Montana.
 

When not on the water or the vise, Shannon enjoys giving back to the community volunteering as a baseball coach and helping with Trout Unlimited projects.  Shannon enjoys fishing with his two sons and hanging out in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
 

Shannon enjoys throwing dries to wild trout but he will adjust to fit any situation.  Shannon enjoys hiking in and focusing on wild trout in our picturesque mountains.

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Sam Nicholson

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A North Carolina native; Sam was enamored with everything fishing from a young age. With a heavy interest in carp & saltwater species initially, a love for trout came shortly later. Sam moved out of North Carolina in 2017 and refined his fishing and fly tying on western tailwaters in Colorado and on the tropical flats of the Florida Keys. He joined the TFS crew this year in 2023 and is eager to instruct as a guide and an obsessive fly tyer. 

Dale Collins

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For me, fly fishing started as a college pastime in 2001 at WCU. Now, almost 20 years later, I've made it my life's work. Together with my friend Bobby Bennett, I opened Tuckaseegee Fly Shop in 2014 to share our passion with the community. It was a bold move, but one that's been rewarded by the support of our customers and the joy they get from the sport. Fly fishing has taken me all over the world, from Patagonia to Montana to Slovenia, and each place has taught me something new about the art and science of the sport.

Bobby Bennett

After robbing 17 banks, going on a spending spree, and spending a short spell in prison (I broke out), Bobby found himself hiding out in the mountains of Western NC.   Where he fell in love with the women, music, and alcohol.... 

 Okay, Okay, just wanted to get your attention. I’m just a boring person that grew up in Central NC and has always loved Fishing.  After putting in almost 18 years working on Landscape Design and Installation for the Federal Government, Military, and Central NC residential areas I found myself looking for something more engaging and fun.  With my very supportive and beautiful wife (Cara) we made the move from The Raleigh area. We made home in the Great Smoky Mountains area in 2015. 

Being a resident of NC I have fished all over this wonderful state, but the mountains were always where my heart truly enjoyed.  I have been fly fishing since 2007 and have grown my love of this sport from NC to Montana to Florida. I have been very fortunate to have great friends and family that supported me in making this sport a true second career, and something I enjoy on a daily basis.  My true desire is to spread the joy and atmosphere that this lifelong sport provides.  I hope in some way this is my mark I leave behind. 

I look forward to seeing you in the shop or on the water!!!!!!

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