Dale Collins

Dale came to Western Carolina University in 2001 where his fly fishing story begins.  After a short career in Teaching and Coaching, Dale has taken his pursuits to sharing the beautiful waters of Western North Carolina with others. 

When not on the water you will usually find Dale spending time with his Wife and two outdoor loving kids.  Dale's preferred style of fishing is streamer fishing from the drift boat. 


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!!!!!!


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.


Preston Easley

Preston, a native of Hickory North Carolina, came to us by way of Western Carolina University.  His early fly fishing days were influenced heavily by David Hise of Casters Fly Shop in Hickory.  He has developed quite the skill for tying flies, especially streamers. Preston has put in countless hours wondering the waters of Western North Carolina for the last several years.  When he is not guiding or in the shop he is somewhere with a rod in hand fishing.  When on the water or in the shop you are certain to learn something from this young fella.  Preston's favorite species to target is smallmouth bass in the warmer months. 

Baker Ward 

Baker grew up in the foothills of South Carolina  cutting his teeth on warm water species. Learning fly fishing from a teacher from a high school  teacher; Baker learned a traditional style of fly fishing that germinated into a love for single dry fly fishing and wild trout. Moving to Cullowhee in 2018 to study Natural Resources Management at Western Carolina University. Before starting at Tuckaseegee Fly Shop Baker guided in Maine for landlocked salmon and pike, and in Colorado for wild trout. When he isn’t guiding or working in the fly shop he enjoys trout spey and streamer fishing tactics; aswell as backpacking.  If Baker could fish one fly for the rest of his life it would be the elk hair caddis

Jarrett Lawther

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 currently a Marketing Major 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