WINNER OF THE 2023 WASHINGTON COUNTY BUSINESS CHALLENGE
Riverfeet Fly Fishing is an independently owned family run business. Founding guide, Dan Rice, is a third generation angler of the fly, and has spent the better part of thirty years learning the craft. We are big believers in the concept that each trip with us should not only focus on catching fish, but also provide memorable outdoor experiences. We take fly rods to the river not only to catch the biggest and most fish, but to fully engage in the natural world. As such, our trips are focused on wild places and wild fish. From stalking trout in backcountry streams, biking mountain trails in order to reach sections of river rarely fished, and to our remote valley river floats, we live for the serene outdoors and aim to share this experience with our clients. As conservation-minded recreationalists, we are active volunteers of riparian clean-up, and all of our trips are catch-and-release only (with the exception of camp trips, where clients can select to keep a fish to fry over a fire).
OWNER/LEAD GUIDE: Dan Rice has spent the better part of 30 years focused on seeking out fishy places. From his time in Ely, MN guiding fishing trips into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, to his work for the Department of Interior in Wyoming studying the hydrology of remote high mountain trout streams, to working as the Fly Fishing Trips Sales Manager for the largest fleet of guides in the state of Montana, and the summer he spent living in a wall tent in a wilderness beside a river with musky and smallmouth bass. He now resides in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia where he enjoys fishing and guiding the mountain streams and valley rivers for wild fish, and also teaching fly tying and rod building classes. He's passionate about the craft of fly fishing, and is focused on providing clients not only a great day on the water, but ensuring they walk away with some new intel that can be applied to the rest of their angling lives. He's the founding editor of Riverfeet Press, a contributing writer to the Big Sky Journal annual Fly Fishing issue, editor of the book Familiar Waters: A Lifetime of Fly Fishing Montana, and author of The Unpeopled Season: A Journal of Solitude and Wilderness.
FISHING GUIDE: Paul Zimmerman was born in Buffalo New York and has spent most of his life on the Western Slope of Colorado. He began working as a professional fly fishing guide in 2003, and guided on the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan, Eagle and Colorado River as well as other bodies of water. When he moved to Abingdon, VA in 2023, he already had 8,000 river miles under his boat. He’s been active with numerous fishing and river non-profits, such as Reel Recovery, Casting for Recovery, Roaring Fork River Guide Alliance, plus Trout Unlimited. When asked why he became a Fly Fishing Guide, he says, “I enjoy teaching fly fishing not just to newbies but to experienced fly fishers. When guiding my biggest satisfaction is to provide clients with a great experience that they will remember for a long time. My years of guiding experience have taught me a lot about myself so that I can better serve others properly.”
FISHING GUIDE: Ken Fairbanks began his piscatorial pursuits at the age of five in upstate New York when he first baited a hook on Seneca Lake. He moved to Abingdon, VA with his parents in 1979 and stayed to raise his own family. Ken's love for catching fish has taken him from fishing lakes, rivers, and streams to coastal waters and deep sea trips. Ken started fly fishing ten years ago when his youngest son took up the sport. In Ken's words, fly fishing seemed a little "fussy." However, his curiosity was piqued, and Ken decided to give fly fishing a go. "When I first hooked a trout on a fly rod and that floating line zinged off the top of the water... I was hooked." Ken hasn't looked back. Fly fishing and fly tying have been his obsession ever since.
These days, Ken spends much of his free time exploring and wading the trout waters of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. Ken loves introducing new fly fishermen and fisherwomen to the sport and educating them about the biodiversity of our Appalachian Mountains. "One of the greatest things about fly fishing for me is that I'm always learning something new."
When Ken isn't wearing waders and chasing trout, he and his wife, Beth, work at Virginia Highlands Community College. They have two grown sons.
Ken's motto is "Make it INCREDIBLE!" Delivering an incredible fly fishing experience for his clients is always his goal.
Fishing Guides Tony and Cathy Miller are a husband and wife team who grew up in Southwest Virginia. They live on a small beef cattle farm and have raised two sons in the Damascus area. They now enjoy time camping and fishing with three grandkids. Tony grew up fishing for trout and walleye on South Holston Lake with his dad and uncle, and Cathy knew early on in their relationship that fishing would be a big part of their life. While Tony and Cathy enjoy all types of fishing, their passion is trolling for trout on South Holston Lake. With over 50 years experience fishing the lake, they have developed knowledge of catching Lake Trout, Rainbows and Browns using trolling techniques. They enjoy teaching anglers of any age or level the excitement of trout fishing. “When we are on South Holston Lake surrounded by the mountains and watching bald eagles, it reminds us why we have always stayed here.”
Casting Instructor/Ambassador, Earl Simpson grew up in upstate New York on the upper Hudson River. He began fishing off his family dock at the age of five, and started trout fishing the legendary upstate streams in his teens. He began fly fishing and tying flies in his mid-twenties, which introduced him to the Clearwater Branch of Trout Unlimited. He’s been an avid volunteer of stream improvement on the trophy section of the Battenkill, as well as an instructor of fly fishing classes for TU and Orvis. Now making his home in eastern Tennessee, he enjoys exploring new waters while catching fish on feathers and fur and exercising catch-and-release ethics.
Let's go fishing.
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