Fly Fishing Guides
Joshua Garris is an Asheville Native who cut his teeth fishing the area water starting around the age of 5 and never stopped. He has been fishing the local rivers and head waters for over 30yrs and is ready to show you what makes him passionate about his home waters. He is married with 2 teenage children and loves to teach. He is wonderful with children and loves to share his knowledge to novices and experts the same. There is always something new to learn with fly fishing and Josh wants to help you find that. Although catching big brown and rainbow trout is exhilarating, Josh can also introduce you to some of the most beautiful fish in the world, our native Brook Trout. They live amongst some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. So whether you are just learning, wanting to learn more, or just looking for the right place, Josh is the guide for you!
After working many years in the culinary field, Josh decided to make a jump to the fly fishing industry to which he has been guiding full time for the last 10+ years. Along with fishing our local area, Josh does a Hosted Western Trip every year. With this and his own travels he has had the chance to fish some of the most fabled trout water in the West. Josh is a member and volunteers for many local nonprofits such as Trout Unlimited, Casting Carolina’s, and Project Healing Waters to name a few. Josh has been featured on the television show Carolina Outdoors on two occasions, writes for Southern Culture on the Fly, and has been featured in several other articles and publications. For more information about the Hosted trip, Questions, or to book a trip, email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Witt began fishing as a young boy in Sheboygan, Wisconsin for species that included trout, bass, walleye, steelhead and salmon. He gained a great deal of fishing experience there which happened to include mastering the art of musky fishing with his bare hands!
Formerly a professional musician, Richard’s musical groups were conveniently booked near a number of the country’s finest fly fishing destinations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Colorado, Montana and Wyoming enabling him to fine-tune his fly fishing skills. He is a former Vice President and member of the Land of Sky Trout Unlimited Chapter, a volunteer for Casting for Recovery retreats, a collector of antique bamboo fly rods and a big fan of the Green Bay Packers.
As a guide and an instructor for our Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and Casting Classes and Fly Fishing Schools, Richard has a great passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge and experience from the 40 plus years he‘s been fishing (20 of which have been in WNC and Tennessee). Whether it’s chasing Backcountry Brookies along the Blue Ridge Parkway or in the Pisgah National Forest, midge fishing for lunker trout on the Davidson River, fighting the acrobatic Rainbows of the Cherokee Trophy Water, catching the Sulphur Hatch on the South Holston River or stalking Smallmouth Bass on the French Broad River, Richard has the knowledge and experience to provide beginners or advanced anglers the Fly Fishing Adventure you’re seeking.
Richard believes in three essentials for a successful guided fly fishing trip:
#1 – Have Fun! Keep things simple, make sure we all enjoy the day and have a good time on the water.
#2 – Learn something – Provide patient personal attention to teach each guest enough about fly fishing so that the next time they go they can do it on their own or advance their existing skills.
#3 – Catch fish! Small fish, big fish, a few fish, lots of fish! Catch fish!
Jacob Rash ~ Jacob, a native of Weaverville, with family roots that trace back to its founding, has spent his entire life fishing the streams and branches of Western NC, starting out with his Great grandfather at the age of 16 months. “Fishing and caring for fisheries has always been a passion of mine”, says Jacob, his school studies were steeped in environmental and natural resources, horticulture and the effects of acid rain in our mountain ecosystem.
Jacob also served for a stent as meetings coordinator for the Land O’ Sky Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
When Jacob is not on the water guiding or scouting the next riffle, you could expect to find him in his basement workshop collecting and restoring vintage split cane rods, tying flys, building fly rods (some of his work has been featured in the Fiberglass Manifesto’s #glassisnotdead list), writing for and co-managing the “Between Two Banks” blog or reading one of John Gierach’s books.
Jacob is a laid back guide that enjoys a good laugh and does things the old school way. For an enjoyable day on the water for anglers of all skill levels and ages give Jacob a call.
“…..let me introduce an idea- just something to kick around: Maybe you stature as a fly fisherman isn’t determined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed, and of course, without losing the faith that there’s a bigger one in there”.
“It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle”. Jacob
Will Loftus ~ Will is a North Carolina native with a life-long interest in the outdoors, and a commitment to the responsible enjoyment of the natural world. Will came to fly fishing after spending time rock climbing, working as a white water rafting guide, serving in AmeriCorps with inner-city children in Atlanta, and assisting with Mountain Challenge, at Maryville College, which provides a wide range of outdoor experiences for young and old, individuals and corporate groups. In his spare time, he enjoys fly tying, and looking for ways to make them just a little more attractive to sophisticated, picky fish.
As well as being relaxing and a lot of fun, Will shares the opinion of Christopher Rownes in “The Perfect Loop,” where he says that fly fishing “stands for values such as respect for nature, for tolerance, tranquility, self-composure, the ability to enjoy, and a readiness for measure and self-contemplation….the rivers keep us humble…and the trout teach us gratitude.”
In addition to being great fun, whether you’re fishing alone, with family, or with a group of friends or co-workers, you lose yourself in nature, in the river, in the cast, and in the competition with the fish. Whether you’re a beginner or an old hand, fly fishing can be whatever you want it to be — exciting or relaxing, a challenge to be faced, or a Zen moment to be appreciated.
Like a complex corporate problem, fly fishing requires that you, the river, the rod, the fly, the weather, and the cast all come together in just the right way to produce the result you want — everything from quiet satisfaction to sweet success, and all the space in between!
Craig Byers was born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Weaverville, NC. He learned to fish in the waters of these mountains for trout, Smallmouth Bass, largemouth bass, and anything else that was willing to bite. His true love of the sport has always involved the “Big Fish” and his spare time consists of either fishing for the big boys or formulating new strategies to catch them which involve tying flies, making baits and scouting his next fishing hole. No fish is safe from Craig! He’s caught them all from the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee to the coasts of the Carolina’s and everywhere in between. Craig’s love of the outdoors – which includes a good hunting adventure from time to time – gave him the ambition to obtain an Associates Degree in the Fish and Wildlife field from Haywood Community College in western North Carolina. Craig also leads clients on Hunting Trips in Western North Carolina.
With approximately 10,000 miles of water to fish in North Carolina Craig’s fishing tip is simple. Try all types of water, pick the ones you love the most and spend a lifetime enjoying those waters be it streams, rivers, creeks or the ocean and practice catch and release in doing so. As the old timers say – you’ll save a few for seed. “Take a kid fishing!”
Charlie Downs builds high-quality custom bamboo fly rods at the CWO location in Weaverville. He and his wife Marnie moved to this area from Lexington, KY. in May of 2008. One of the primary attractions of the area for Charlie is the plethora of wonderful fly fishing opportunities within an hour of his home…He enjoys fishing to the point that he “would rather fish than eat”, and he self admittedly REALLY likes to eat. Charlie would be happy to take you on a fly fishing trip using one of his custom bamboo fly rods. CharlieDownsCWO@gmail.com.
Shop Employee Staff
Jeff T. Curtis– Prior to launching Curtis Wright Outfitters in March 2003, Jeff worked as an independent fly fishing guide and instructor in Western North Carolina and an innkeeper at Sourwood Inn, a thirteen room inn on 100 acres of land in Asheville, NC. As part of the design and development team at Sourwood Inn, Jeff was instrumental in creating an outdoor-oriented atmosphere, blending a rustic feel with the amenities of a luxury inn. His responsibilities as innkeeper included advertising, bookkeeping, and guest relations. Prior to innkeeping, Jeff worked at two psychiatric facilities, Park Ridge Hospital in Fletcher, NC and Marshall Pickens in Greenville, SC. While employed at these institutions, he worked with other team members to create and implement a comprehensive treatment program. Jeff has also served as Director of Programs at Project SOAR, a wilderness-based therapeutic recreation program near Waynesville, NC. His responsibilities included leading team building exercises and ropes course elements, as well as developing and implementing group initiatives. Jeff also served as partner and manager in a multi-store chain of clothing stores in Florida. He received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Furman University. Jeff runs the two Curtis Wright Outfitters shops from the main office in Weaverville. Jeff makes his client’s trip fun and has even been know to catch a fish or two! JeffCurtisCWO@gmail.com
Carlton Wright Murrey– Prior to launching Curtis Wright Outfitters in March 2003, Carlton worked in the Retail and Consumer Products investment banking division of Wachovia Securities. Prior to business school, he was a manager in Client Services and Business Development for U.S. Inspect, a national property inspection company based in Northern Virginia, and also in the International Project Development Group of the Smithsonian Institution. Carlton has designed, implemented, and participated in outdoor programs throughout his formative years and professional career. Carlton received a bachelor of arts degree in German from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where he was awarded the Russ Reynolds Foreign Language Award and the Manly E. Wright Award for Outstanding Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with distinction. Following graduation, Carlton was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study in Münster, Germany. He received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Carlton is head of the Guide Services division of CWO and he is the one that will help you book your next guided fly fishing adventure in the WNC area. CWMurrey@CurtisWrightOutfitters.com