I’ve been fishing most of my life but I really didn’t take up fly fishing until I was a young adult. I did a lot of “dabbing”, as my Dad called it, when I was younger with a 7’ fly rod and a dry fly catching native brook trout in some of the small creeks in Southwest Virginia, where I was raised. As years past, I discovered a whole new world of fly fishing.
A couple of years after I truly started fly fishing my Father-In-Law gave me a fly tying kit for Christmas when I was 27. This opened the door to endless possibilities. I remember the first fly I tied, an olive wooly bugger with red hackle. It was a pretty ugly, disproportional fly but it started a passion that has grown into a small side business over the years.
Back in 2014, I started posting my flies on Instagram and people started asking me if I was selling them. Before I knew it, I was selling a couple here and there and then one day I asked myself why not turn it into a legit tying business? I got together with my friend and fly fishing mentor Jeff Wilkins, he gave me some sound advice on running a tying business and that started the endeavor. In early 2015, Blue Ridge Custom Flies was launched. Since that time I have tied for people all over the country, including places like the UK, Canada and Australia. I have tied at several fly fishing shows and demoed for local shops and fly fishing clubs. I’ve also had the honor of joining some very fine pro-staffs. I am currently on the pro-staff of Dr. Slick, Flymen Fishing Company, Hazard Fly Fishing and most recently J. Stockard Fly Fishing.
When I am not tying, I enjoy targeting native brook trout and wild brown trout in the small streams of Western North Carolina, East Tennessee and SW Virginia. Small stream trout fishing has always been in my blood and it’s something I am very passionate about. To me, there’s nothing more rewarding than hiking several miles into a wilderness and catching 8-10” native Appalachian brook trout out of a stream that is generally less than the width of a two lane highway. Some people may scoff at this idea, but if one could just see these beautiful creatures in person and the streams they come out of, it might just change one’s perspective. Sometimes fly fishing isn’t just about catching, it’s about enjoying the creation that surrounds you.
*Adam resides in Kernersville, NC with his wife Erin and their two children Jonah and Olivia. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook @blueridgecustomflies or visit his website at www.blueridgecustomflies.com