About The Team

The North Carolina Fly Fishing Team was founded in 2006. The team is a federally recognized
501c3 non-profit organization. The team is dedicated to developing competitive fly fishing, and
participating in regional, national, and international events.

The team was crowned the North American Fly Fishing Team Champion. As a non-profit, the team runs entirely on donations. These donations are tax-deductible.

The team is made of 15 adult team members, and 4 youth members. Its roster of talented anglers includes internationally recognized competitive anglers, authors, and fly-casting instructors. The team has two anglers serving as competitors for the US National Men’s team and three anglers serving for the US National Youth team. The team has a 3-person coaching staff.

The North Carolina Fly Fishing Team uses advanced techniques that are not commonly practiced in the United States. It has laid the foundation for competitive fly-fishing teams across North America.

Team Recognition

The North Carolina Fly Fishing Team has an amazing reputation. Most of the team members are industry insiders, that have made fly fishing a career. Many members are guides, shop employees, owners, writers, photographers, and most importantly avid fishermen that make an impact on everyone that knows the fly fishing industry.

The names on the team, including Members Josh Stephens, Chris Lee, and Paul Bourcq are household names in the competitive fly fishing industry. Other team members, like Mac Brown, have published books, and are recognized as industry experts in specific areas like Fly Casting.

Paul Bourcq has hosted Clinics for thousands about European Nymphing. He is recognized as a leader in the fly fishing industry, as a guide, and Federation of Fly Fishing Master Casting Instructor.

The other members contribute in many ways but are recognized as conservation stewards, contributing to stream research, fish studies, and project healing waters. All team members contribute to veterans from across the world, teaching them the art of fly fishing, which has therapeutic and recreational values, to both healthy and wounded veterans.

Our Coaching staff is the best in the Country, if not the world. George Daniel is the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team Head Coach. His publication, Dynamic Nymphing has taken the fly fishing industry by storm. His 5th-place finish at the World Championship was the second highest in United States Fly Fishing History.

The team travels across the world representing North Carolina and the United States. The team uses the Best Travel Fly Rod, reel, and tackle. Let us represent your brand and help promote your fishing gear, products, and services.

Our Goals as a Non-Profit

Members of the NC Fly Fishing team serve as ambassadors for the sport of fly fishing and volunteer in support of a number of charities and causes, including:

Project Healing Waters, whose mission is to assist in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active duty military personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings.

The US Youth Fly Fishing Team is a non-profit organization comprised of young men and women who represent the United States at the World Fly Fishing Championships. Coached by Team NC’s Paul Bourcq, Chris Smith, Chris Lee, and Josh Stephens, the youth team is the reigning silver medal team and gold medal team.

Watershed preservation projects and promotion of environmental stewardship – Through our relationship with the youth team and the formation of a Team NC Youth program, members of Team NC educate future anglers in an effort to preserve America’s pristine resources and natural wonders while promoting a love of the outdoors.

News

Team NC Places Three on Team USA

Team North Carolina is excited to announce that teammates Paul Bourcq, Brown Hobson, and Scott Enloe have finished the Team USA competitive cycle as top fifteen anglers. As a result, all three will represent Team NC as members of Fly Fishing Team USA!

The competitive cycle culminated this past weekend with the National Fly Fishing Championships, hosted in Basalt, Colorado. Fifty-five of the top competitive anglers in the country competed for gold, silver, and bronze at both the team and individual levels. Points accumulated from six regional competitions were added to points awarded at the championships to determine this year’s national team.

In addition to the appointment of three members to the National Team, Team North Carolina’s Josh Stephens and Paul Bourcq brought home team gold along with fellow Team USA anglers Norm Maktima, Brian Capsay, and Josh Graffam. Congratulations to Paul, Josh, and their Team USA colleagues.

In all, 11 Team North Carolina anglers qualified to compete in the National Championships, more than any regional team in the country.

NC Takes Individual and Team Medals at the Smoky Mountain Showdown

Congratulations to competing members of the North Carolina Fly Fishing team for a dominant performance at the Smoky Mountain Showdown!

Held May 3rd-5th in Cherokee, North Carolina, the Smoky Mountain Showdown featured seven teams from the TroutLegend Competitive Fly Fishing League, all headquartered in the southeast.

Over the course of two days, twenty-eight anglers competed for both individual and team medals. Venues included the Raven’s Fork of the Oconaluftee as well as the lower, middle, and upper sections of the Nantahala.

Heavy rains and flooding provided difficult conditions to test even the best anglers. At the end of day two, the following anglers and teams stood on the medal stand:

  • Individual Gold – Paul Bourcq
  • Individual Silver – Hunter Hoffler
  • Individual Bronze – Hunter Enloe

Team Gold – Team NC Youth (Hunter Hoffler, Hunter Enloe, Andrew Brown, and Mason Simms)

Team Silver – Team North Carolina 1 (Paul Bourcq, Josh Stephens, Joey Walraven, and Scott Enloe)

Team Bronze – Team North Carolina 2 (Chris Lee, Nick Johnson, Bill Strickland, and Chris Smith)

Special thanks go out to JacobWheelerFishing.com and the father/son team of Scott Enloe and Hunter Enloe. As always when the Enloe family is involved, it was a great event.

For more information on this competitive event and others, visit the Trout Legend Competitive Fly Fishing League website at https://troutlegend.com/

Team USA Regional Round-Up: Team NC Places 5 in Top Ten!

The first weekend of June proved eventful as eight Team North Carolina anglers participated in Team USA regionals across the country.

At the North Regional in Syracuse, NY, higher than normal flows on the rivers and bluebird skies on the lake proved little to no factor as twenty-seven of the top competitive anglers in the country scored more than 859 fish in two days. A dominant performance by Team North Carolina’s Paul Bourcq and Hunter Hoffler on day one set the team up for a strong performance on Sunday.

In the end, Team North Carolina’s Joey Walraven led the way with a silver medal performance, winning multiple river sessions and performing strongly on the lake!

Walraven was followed with top ten performances by Scott Enloe (7th), Chris Smith (8th), and Hunter Enloe (9th). Fellow NC and Team USA teammates Paul Bourcq and Hunter Hoffler were close behind with 12th and 13th places respectively. Congratulations also go out to teammate Michael Bradley for an 18th-place finish in his first regional qualifier.

Meanwhile, at the Northwest Regional in Bozeman, MT, teammate Jason Buffkin squared off against twenty-four of the top western anglers on Hepgen and Quake Lakes. Tough wind conditions and large fish were the norm with Buffkin taking 7th overall. His top ten finish positions Team North Carolina with 11 qualifying anglers for the National Fly Fishing Championships!

Full scoresheet available on https://www.flyfishingteamusa.com/

Team Announces George Daniel as Head Coach

Team NC invited George Daniel down to coach the team as a guest instructor. After a weekend of fantastic learning from arguably the best fly fisherman in the country, the talks of Georges’ visit echoed for weeks.

George had just recently left a position as the coach of Team USA. George had stayed in contact with several team members as mentors to their fishing, and progress in the sport. At a team meeting several members mentioned how much we learned when George was here and how it would be “awesome if he was our head coach”. This got my wheels turning. I made a phone call and started in motion the first-of-its-kind coaching program in competitive fly fishing.

Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous investor, the NC Team with George Daniel at the helm, is structuring what will be the largest, most technique-driven coaching program in recent history. It will feature a cadre of international and domestic instructors. I can speak for all team members in saying that we are floored by the realization that an angler like George will be leading our coaching for our team as well as arranging for the other instructors from around the world.

This will certainly up the accountability of all team members and will be another recipe for the key to the NC Teams’ continued success. We are thrilled and looking forward to bringing in the best in the business to teach our team.

More About George

George started fly fishing at age 6 while growing up in Potter County, PA, and credits Joe Humphreys for the bulk of his knowledge along with many national and international industry professionals. George has been seen on ESPN and OLN while competing in the Great Outdoor Games and the Fly Fishing Masters and is a certified FFF Fly Casting Instructor. George’s passion is in Fly Fishing Education and teaching others to enjoy this leisure activity. He logs over 200 days a year on trout waters near and far from his home in Lock Haven, PA. George just recently finished his highly acclaimed book “Dynamic Nymphing”. It can be purchased directly from TCO Fly Shop. George currently resides in Lock Haven with his wife, Amidea, and their daughter, Evangeline along with their golden retriever, Madison.

North Carolina Fly Fishing Team to Host National Fly Fishing Championship

The Fly Fishing Team USA National Championships, which will be held May 19-22 and based on the Reservation of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

This is an invitational fly fishing tournament with invitations going to competitors who finish in the top 5 places in at least one of the Team USA Regional qualifiers. These are being held on various dates and in various locations around the United States. Team USA members get an automatic bid to the National Championship and they will compete against the individuals who get a bid through regional qualification.

This is the first time the event has been hosted in the South East. May brings some of the best fly-fishing in the region and spectators will be treated to southern hospitality. Competitors and judges will be treated to a considerable discount when booking their hotel at the Holiday Inn- Cherokee.

The tribe will be providing Simms National Championships logo gear to competitors and judges who judge each session. Rivers Edge Outfitters will provide the space for the conservation symposium and more support has poured in from other local and national businesses.

Judges are needed to help make the event run smoothly. This is your chance to get to know and learn from the best fly anglers from around the country. There is no experience necessary; all that is required is a pair of waders. Judges will also receive Simms National Championship logo gear.

Competitors will follow rules set forth by the international regulatory body for sport fly-fishing, Fips-Mouche. For more information, you can “Like” the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team and Fly Fishing Team USA on Facebook. You can also follow the North Carolina Fly Fishing Team on Twitter.

Lessons

Barbless Hooks: The Key to Upping Your Catch Rate

In the world of fly fishing, there is a lot of controversy on the subject of barbless hooks. Here are a few facts on these hooks that could make a significant impact on the number of fish that you bring to the net.

Barbless hooks are required to fish in competitions. However, I have come to love them for, exactly what you weren’t thinking, their ability to “stick” or stay in the fish’s lips. Think about the gauge of a barbed hook. The barb makes a very significant increase in the size of the hole poked through the fish’s mouth upon setting the hook and less friction holding it in.

Essentially the same thing that you think is preventing the hook from exiting the fish’s mouth is actually aiding in its ability to slip out. A barbless hook allows you to get a hook into a fish’s mouth with half the effort in the setting of the hook.

If you take note of the shape of a competition-grade barbless hook such as a Hanak or a Dohiku you might notice the length of the hook point and its long taper to the point. This is no manufacturer’s defect; this is designed so that with one easy hook set you have a long point (more hook that the fish needs to shake to get off) and more friction in the fish’s mouth to keep the hook secure.

There is nothing more rewarding to me than watching a fish, making a cast to it with your own fly, catching it, and releasing it unharmed. This brings me to the more humane part of the argument. “a barbless hook is less harmful to the fish.” As I attempted to point out earlier, these hooks make noticeably smaller entry holes and are less likely to rip the flesh around a fish’s mouth.

These hooks can get expensive (between 6 and 9 dollars a pack), but I assure you, if you give these things a go you will know where that money went!

For the sake of catching more fish and preserving our fisheries try some barbless hooks and put my theories to the test!

Echo Shadow PE Fly Fishing Rod

To start this is a rod built with the competitive fly fisherman in mind for sure. I chose to purchase the 10ft. 3wt. because I was looking for a rod that could be useful in many different types of fly presentations.

First, the Echo Shadow PE is not made for looks it’s made for performance although it does have a stealthy look. It’s a flat black with a blank with a black graphite reel seat so no exotic reel seat here. The guides are all single-foot guides that help when using hand-tied leaders. Lastly, the grip is made of high-quality cork to complete the rod.

As for how the rod fishes now that is where this stick shines. The 10 ft. 3 wt is the most versatile tool in my arsenal right now. Fly fishing is a demanding sport where having the right tools makes your time on the water productive. If you are just starting out, you can buy the Best Fly Fishing Combo for Beginners. That’s how simple a beginner fly fishing rod is. It is built for one thing and that’s fishing.

No matter what style of fishing you are doing you feel less fatigue with this rod because it only weights
around 92 grams. The length gives you the reach that you need when using many euro nymphing techniques. I personally use about a 20 ft.-25 ft. leader most of the time and Shadow PE cast great. This is considered to be a fast-action rod but that does not tell the whole story. The butt section is stiff and the tip is soft. This is the best of both worlds.

Having a stiffer butt section that allows this rod to handle bigger fish without even noticing that this is a 3wt. I have landed multiple 20+ trout with no problem. As for the tip, this is the best attribute of the Shadow PE. The tip is soft so it helps protect the light tippet that we all seem to have to use when fishing a Euro setup. The Shadow PE is a Euro-stlye nymphing machine but also works well with a dry dropper.

But the best thing about the tip on the Shadow PE is the strike detection. The tip allows you to feel even the slightest strike. There have been times I was fishing with the leader stretched tight and using a sighter and saw no movement in the sighter but I felt a strike. This is why this Shadow PE is built for the competitive fisherman it’s a tool that used the correct way can help you catch that one extra fish. And as you know that one extra fish means a lot.

The Shadow PE is one of the best fly fishing rods on the market today. This rod was built for competition and designed by a competitive fly fisherman and it shows. From top to bottom, this is what a competition fly rod should be.