Eugene Shuler is the head guide of our staff. He was raised on a small farm bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Bryson City NC, later moving to town where his home was on the banks of the Tuckasegee River. He started fly fishing at the age of 6, and has spent his entire life with fly rod in hand, exploring the waters of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tuckasegee River and Nantahala River. He has fished numerous destinations across the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean. To date, he has caught 94 different species of fish on a fly rod, and several gators on the fly as well.
Eugene has competed in numerous fly fishing competitions all over the US. He has won many events, and set a couple state records in the process. He currently holds the NC State Record for Distance Fly Cast set with a 9′ 5 wt fly rod that sent a fly 114 ft. He has competed in numerous Fly Fishing Team USA National Fly Fishing Championships, and Regional Qualifiers, and has won numerous regional events. His latest competition was the inaugural Musky Fly Fishing World Championships where he finished a solid 4th place. He is a current and active member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, and Trout Unlimited. Eugene was the Founder and President of the Board of Directors on the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team which is the winningest fly fishing team in North America.
Eugene has built an extensive resume in the fly fishing world. He has appeared on numerous television shows on the following networks, ESPN, OLN/Versus, The Sportsman Channel, Outdoor Channel, Fox Sports South, Heartland Network, UPN Networks. He has also been in many publications including American Angler, Fly Rod and Reel Magazine, Fly Fisherman Magazine, Kayak Angler, Southern Trout Magazine, North Carolina Sportsman Magazine, Smoky Mountain News, Smoky’s Travel Host, Montgomery Style, and numerous local and regional newspapers.
Jared has rocketed into one of the most requested guides on our staff. Jared was born in Gastonia, North Carolina but spent much of his childhood fishing the rivers and lakes of Northeast Tennessee. He credits his Grandfather and Uncle for laying the foundation needed to become the successful angler he is today. Fishing is a family occupation as his Uncle owns and operates a fishing and boating outfitter in the hills of Tennessee which is how Jared’s love for the art of fly fishing and trout came at a very young age while fishing the banks of the infamous South Holston River.
He is graduate of Western Carolina University with a BA in Criminal Justice. Jared spends more time fishing local streams in a month then many people spend fishing in a lifetime. While being mentored by Fly Fishing the Smokies very own head guide Eugene Shuler, Jared has the experience to provide you with an excellent fly fishing adventure. Being patient, fun and the true southern gentleman that he is, a day on the water with Jared will be a memory that lasts a lifetime!
Tanner was born and raised in Sylva North Carolina in the heart of the WNC Fly Fishing Trail. He has spent his life fly fishing the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Nantahala National Forest. Tanner is a small stream specialist by nature, however he is undeniably one of the top guides on both the Tuckasegee River and Cherokee Trophy Water. When Tanner isn’t on the water in the Smoky Mountains he can found in the South Carolina low country pursuing his other passion; Redfish on a fly rod. His easy going attitude makes Tanner the perfect teacher and he’s especially good with kids.
Tanner played Third Base at Mars Hill University on scholarship. He later transferred to Western Carolina University pursuing a degree in Marketing.
Bradley Adams is a native of Bryson City, NC and has been fishing the streams of the Smokies since the age of 6. A graduate of Western Carolina University, Bradley has been a raft guide, a landscaper, and for the last decade a professional musician with nationally touring act The Freight Hoppers, recording an album that made its way to a Grammy Nomination Ballot for Best Traditional Folk Album of 2010. Bradley now has a wife and two children who help manage the family’s small farm where they raise chickens, pigs, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables. An avid Hunter and Fisherman, Bradley brings a true passion for the Outdoors and for sharing his experiences with others.
Chris Lee was raised on the fabled trout waters of Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Chris has been avid fly angler his entire life. His passion for the sport led to competitive angling, where in 2004 Chris along with team mate Eugene Shuler reached the semifinals of the Fly Fishing Masters Tournament. From there it was just a matter of time before he started surging to the top of the leader boards in the sport.
Today, Chris is a recognized as a seasoned veteran on the competition circuit and has competed in multiple National Fly Fishing Championships. In 2011, Chris earned his spot on Fly Fishing Team USA and represented the US at several national and international events. In the spring of 2012, Chris became an assistant coach for Fly Fishing Team USA Youth, and lead team to a silver medal performance in France in 2012 and a Gold Medal in Ireland in 2013. Chris has an incredible personality, his never ending smile and easy going nature make him the perfect guide and instructor.
Jordan A. Helsel
Jordan was born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania where his passion for fly fishing began. Residing in “Steelhead Alley ” Aka Erie PA it’s not suprising that he has a huge love for large trout. When Jordan is not swinging flies for steelhead he’s on the hunt for large wild trout.
Jordan is also an avid fly tyer and a graduate of Sweetwater Fly Fishing Guide School out of Livingston Montana.
When Jordan isn’t guiding, he is on the water fly fishing himself testing new streamer flies in search of big trout.
Expect a day on the water with jordan to be satisfying in all aspects. His unadulterated love for fly fishing and charismatic character are sure to provide u with an unforgettable experience
Jake is new to our staff for the 2017 season. Jake was born and raised in the quite mountain town of Franklin, NC located in the Nantahala National Forest and has been an avid fisherman all his life. He spent his childhood learning the waters of Western North Carolina and credits his grandfather for his passion and advanced knowledge of the sport.
Jake is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor’s in Natural Resource Conservation and Management and has spent the past several years working in the outdoor industry. When he’s not wrangling in some of the finest fish in the Appalachians, you can find him hiking the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains, or flying high in the skies as a student pilot.
Jake is enthusiastic, supportive, eager, and possesses excellent communication and teaching skills that will provide you with a very memorable experience while angling with him in the Smokies!
Whether you are just beginning to explore the world of fly fishing, looking for something to do as a family, or you’re an experienced fisherman, Zach is the perfect guide for you. Growing up in the the Northeast Georgia mountains of Dahlonega, Zach has always had a love of the great outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. When Zach was fifteen, he branched out into the world of fly fishing. In recent years, he has had the opportunity to fly fish in Yellowstone National Park, Madison River, and Yellowstone River in Montana. Zach is also a family man. He has been married to his wife, Laura Beth, for 10 years, and they have two small children, Kaitlyn and Carter. He makes his living as a full-time Firefighter/EMT and has done so for the past thirteen years. Zach’s schedule as a firefighter allows him to spend a lot of time doing what he loves, fishing the rivers of Western North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. He really enjoys chasing wild trout on small streams. Zach’s patience, outgoing personality, and passion for teaching others about fly fishing make him a great guide for anyone curious about the sport.
Josh is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He grew up in west Tennessee fishing for bass on the lakes and rivers that flow into the Mississippi River drainage. He tore up the local bass fishing tournament scene before moving back to the mountains of his roots in Cherokee North Carolina. Josh’s insatiable appetite for fishing and learning brought him to the sport of fly fishing where he has excelled. Speaking of appetites, Josh graduated the Florida Cullinary Arts Instiute where he became a genius around the kitchens of south Florida and western North Carolina.
Josh has a family with two young children. He is actively involved in church and volunteers his time with the youth group. A day with Josh will be fun filled with Cherokee folklore and plenty of learning. Josh’s soft spoken gentle nature makes him fantastic with kids, and teaching those new to fly fishing.
Fly Fishing the Smokies Guides