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Turning Stones Fly Fishing

  • Otto, North Carolina 28763
  • Vendor Type: Fly / Tackle Shop, Guides
  • Fishing Type: Freshwater
  • Fishing Style: Fly Fishing
  • Targets: rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout
  • Amenities: Equipment, drinks and snacks included. Waders available to rent.
  • Phone: (724) 986-2652
  • Website: www.turningstonesflyfishing.com
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We are Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing. Welcome. It is our goal to make each day on the river one that you will remember forever. We want you to have stories to tell others. After all, a good fishing story is always a favorite.

We are a full service, independent fly fishing guide operation in the town of Franklin, in Western North Carolina. Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing was started in 2007 by Gordon Vanderpool. It was Gordon’s goal to help others with the sport that he loved so much. We hope you will look around the website, and come visit and fly fish in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

It doesn’t matter if you are from just down the road, or from across the globe. We want you to see the wonderful fly fishing that Western North Carolina has to offer.

Your Guide

Gordon is the head guide/owner of Turning Stones Fly Fishing, LLC!  He was raised in Southwestern, Pennsylvania where he fell in love with the trout streams of the Northeast.  Gordon found fly fishing in a unique way as a teenager.  One day him and a close friend were out fishing for smallmouth bass, and his buddy pulled out a fly rod from the truck and said,  “Try it Gordo, I cant figure it out!!”  Gordon grabbed the rod, tossed it in the current and gave the popping bug a twitch, and bam!!!  A 9 inch largemouth bass was on the end!  Needless to say, Gordon was hooked and the rest is history as they say!

He has since fly fished all over the world!  From Bonefish in Belize, to giant Brown Trout on the East Walker river in California and Nevada!  He has learned from some of the best anglers in the country along the way.  He settled here in Western North Carolina with his wonderful wife back in 2007, and started the fly fishing guide business right away.  Since then, Gordon has guided hundreds of people on the rivers here in the Great Smoky Mountains!  Gordon is an ASSISTANT COACH of the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team!!  These are anglers 18 years of age and under that have the desire and passion to be the best competitive fly fisherman they can be!  They are world champions I might add!!  Gordon also holds the position as a CCI, Certified Casting Instructor for the Federation Of Fly Fishers!

He is also a diehard Pittsburgh Steeler’s fan, enjoy’s spending time with family, and playing table tennis. He also likes to get out in the woods and hunt whenever he gets the chance.

Gordon is married to his wonderful wife, Suzanne and has 2 terrific dogs. They live in Otto, NC.

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The Fish

Turning Stone’s Fly Fishing guides waded fly fishing trips on many different streams, rivers and creeks across Western North Carolina. The areas we fish vary from dense Rhododendron forests with small tributaries meandering about that are filled with tiny wild brook trout, to large rivers that are rough and tumbling that hold massive wild brown trout. We also frequently fish areas that are stocked with massive fish that increase your odds of catching a monster.

We mainly guide wade trips on 3 different rivers, but we sometimes go off the beaten path based on the experience of the angler, and the current conditions.

The Tuckaseegee River is commonly fished between the town of Dillsboro and Sylva in Jackson County North Carolina. This is big water with lots of stocked fish. Anglers have the chance at catching lots of fish, and there are big fish spread throughout. This river is often called “The Tuck”. It is located near Western Carolina University and is convenient to Highlands, Cashiers, Waynesville, Sylva, Maggie Valley and Dillsboro. This is a classic southern trout tailwater.

The Nantahala River is an excellent classroom for beginners. There are 2 main sections of the river. These 2 sections are separated by a power plant. Above the power plant there are numerous stocked fish at certain times of the year, and a plentiful amount of wild fish year round. At the powerhouse, a large pipe brings water down from a high elevation lake. The water comes from the bottom of the lake. The water is very chilly year round. Below the powerhouse, many rafters and kayakers spend time on the river. It has some of the best Brown Trout in the east. The wild rainbows are some of the healthiest fish east of the rockies. While fishing here you will enjoy being surrounded by the steep mountain terrain of the Nantahala Gorge. It is a wonderful setting and one of the prettiest rivers that we fish. It is located near the towns of Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Topton, Franklin, Bryson City, Robinsville, Cherokee and Whittier. The close counties to the Nantahala River are Clay, Macon, Jackson, Swain, and Graham.

Big Snowbird Creek has a large population of wild and stocked fish. It also has a run of steelhead. It houses a large population of brook trout. It is located near the towns of Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Topton, Franklin, Bryson City, Robinsville, Cherokee and Whittier. The close counties to the Nantahala River are Clay, Macon, Jackson, Swain, and Graham.

The Cullasaja River doesn’t receive much fishing pressure but has a big population of wild Rainbow Trout. This stream is beautiful with many waterfalls. You’ll enjoy this stream and the immense beauty that surrounds it. Most of the stream runs inside a gorge with stone walls that surround you. This is conveniently located near Sylva, Franklin, Highlands, Cashiers and Waynesville. It is close to Macon, Haywood, Jackson

The Raven Fork of the Oconoluftee River flows directly out of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and is on the Cherokee Indian Reservation. This stretch of river is stocked with massive numbers of fish. Most of the fish stocked in this section are monsters. This is an absolute must for a fly fisherman who likes to have a chance at giant fish. This river doesn’t require a North Carolina fishing license, but requires a Cherokee tribal trout license. This is convenient to Jackson, Macon, Haywood and Swain Counties.

We also fish lots of streams that are small and off the beaten path. To reduce fishing pressure, we don’t disclose the names of these areas. This provides anglers with a secluded day on a small stream with little foot traffic. These are found throughout Western North Carolina.

We also fish the Chattooga River. This is near the town of Highlands. This river provides an angler with with the opportunity to catch very large wild browns. It’s a remote stretch of river and is truly one of the most scenic rivers in North Carolina and North Georgia. This stream is only for experienced anglers. This is the closest river to Clayton, Georgia.

The Hiwassee River is close to Hayesville, Murphy and Andrews NC. We often fish near Mission Dam. This river provides the opportunity for large wild rainbows, and has some browns mixed in as well.


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