Chad Williams has been guiding for The Smoky Mountain Angler for over fifteen years, and has been guiding in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for almost 20 years. He has been tying flies for just as long. He keeps the shop in stock of his provided patterns and also participates in local fly tying events throughout the year, as well as, writes a monthly forecast for The Angler Magazine. Chad grew up 30 miles east of Gatlinburg in the town of Newport. He now makes Sevier County his home. He is a great instructor for teaching traditional fly fishing in the park. For the last few years, he has been helping clients pick up nymphing skills by showing them his version/method of high stick nymphing and euro/tighline nymphing. Which are both great methods for picking up the more spooky wild GSMNP fish. He believes that it is possible to catch fish in the mountains in almost any condition. The fish are wild and smart, but will almost always eat if fished for with the right technique.
CJ comes to Smoky Mountain Angler as our newest guide but lacks nothing in experience. Born in Chattanooga Tennessee he moved to South Florida and lived for 10 years. There he pursued a career in professional baseball but always found time to salt water fish. After giving up baseball he changed his bat out for a fly rod. He continued deep sea fishing and salt water fly fishing before moving back to Tennessee. He has been fly fishing for wild trout in the GSMNP for more than 9 years. CJ has chased trout from one end of the state to the other in its wild trout streams and tail waters. He loves teaching the art of fly fishing to beginners. CJ is currently forming the Black Bear Task Force which works in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Appalachian Bear Rescue and the National Park Service. You always receive a quick lesson on bear management or as he says "people management " while on his fishing outings.
Growing up as a Navy Brat gave Chad the opportunity to fish both fresh and salt water. At only two years old, he already had a fishing rod in his hand. He was very interested in bass fishing, along with salt water whenever he had the chance. On an unforgettable family vacation to The Smokies, Chad caught his very first trout. He immediately fell in love with the species and was hooked. Trout fishing became his new passion. It seemed he couldn't get fly fishing off his mind, especially for trout. He graduated high school early to come work for the Fisheries Biology Team in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. He did extensive studies on the Smokies trout health and population, as well as multiple restorations of the Native Southern Appalachian Brook Trout. Once he was done working with the park he joined the Coast Guard. Vacation time and port calls become completely devoted to catching fish on the fly. After the Coast Guard, he returned to his family home in middle Tennessee and continued to catch bass and trout. However, he couldn't forget the beautiful Smoky Mountain natives and quickly moved to Gatlinburg so he would never have to be without a fly rod in his hand. He has been the manager of The Smoky Mountain Angler, as well as a guide for almost 7 years. If he's not in the shop, you can bet he's on the water.
Although he was born in Illinois he lacks little experience in the art of fly fishing. Derrick started his fishing career while in college fishing all over the country. While raised on the Michigan state line, fishing Lake Michigan and the tight streams throughout the state for steelhead and salmon, Derrick and his wife have vacationed here in the GSMNP for years. They absolutely fell in love with the Smoky Mountains. After moving here he has become one of newest guides. Derrick has no problem finding the wily trout throughout the park.
A native East Tennessean, Seth grew up with a rod and reel in hand, spending nearly every weekend in the National Park fishing with his father. At 8 years old he caught his first Smoky Mountain trout on a fly rod and the rest is history. Now 28, Seth’s passion for fly fishing is as relentless as it ever has been. The wild streams of the Smoky Mountains hold a special place in Seth’s heart, having cut his teeth in its rich waters. His favorite way to fish for trout in the Smokies is the use of a dry fly although certain times call for nymphing techniques, which are extremely effective, there is nothing more satisfying than the splashy take of well-presented dry fly. In more recent years he has spent much of his time fishing our local tail waters where he targets both trout and Smallmouth Bass on fly as well as traditional tackle. Fishing the local tail races provided a new challenge and the opportunity for him to further develop his fishing skills as the trout here feed selectively at times and are not as opportunistic as the wild trout that inhabit the Smoky Mountains. Whether a sprawling tail water or a laurel choked mountain stream Seth has years of fishing experience on both types of water.