Eugene is the head guide of our staff. He was raised on a small farm that bordered up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Bryson City NC, later moving to town where their 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 National Park, the Nantahala River, and the Tuckasegee. Some may say it was time wasted, however Eugene insists that it has been time well spent. “Fly fishing has taken me to some of the most beautiful places in the world, and along the way I have made so many friends who all share in my passion of chasing the world’s many fish with a fly rod.” Eugene has fished many destinations across the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean. To date, he has caught 78 different species of fish on a fly rod.
Eugene is currently guiding his 13 season, and has guided well over 3000 clients. He has floated the Tuckasegee River more than any guide in the area, having floated well over 700 trips just down the Tuckasegee River. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for fly fishing with his clients, and cherishes sharing the moment of catching their very first trout on a fly rod. “Everyone always remembers the first fish they caught on a fly rod, it’s exhilarating for me to share in that experience with the folks who fish me. At the end of the day, it’s my hope people refer to me as their friend, not just their guide. A great guide must be someone who can not only put you on fish but, is a great instructor who teaches you and provides encouragement. In addition to this, they must be a great companion, someone you wouldn’t mind spending a day on the water with”.
Eugene is also a competitive fly angler, and 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′ 5wt rod that sent a fly 114ft. He has competed in numerous US National Fly Fishing Championships, and Regional Qualifiers, and has won numerous regional events.
Eugene has built an extensive resume in the fly fishing world. He has appeared on numerous television shows on the following networks, OLN/Versus, The Sportsman Channel, Fox Sports South, UPN and UP40 Networks. He has also been in many publications including Fly Rod and Reel Magazine, Fly Fisherman Magazine, North Carolina Sportsman Magazine, Smoky Mountain News, Smoky’s Travel Host Magazine, Montgomery Style, and numerous local and regional newspapers.
When not on the water, Eugene enjoys spending time with his wife and two children sharing their love of the outdoors near their home in Bryson City.