Fly Fishing Guide Profile: James Bradley of Reel ’em In Guide Service in Georgia

James Bradley

James Bradley of Reel ’em In Guide Service guides out of Georgia in a beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain setting. Bradley recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:

1. Why do you guide where you do?

As simply as this is where I was born and raised. I have fished in FL, TN, NC, PA and CO, even lived in CO for three years. Georgia is actually hard to beat with its mountainous terrain of the Appalachians and the trout fishing can be very impressive. Many people do not know this but Georgia has more trout fishing waters than TN & NC combined!

2. What is your favorite fish specie?

I would have to say trout.

I enjoy saltwater fly fishing for reds and snook and enjoy bass and carp as well. I just love being up in the mountains where it is shaded on a stream!

3. What is your favorite thing about guiding?

Have to name two on this. It is the smile on someone’s face after landing their first trout with a fly rod! I love seeing the excitement in their eyes and those big smiles. And I enjoy teaching the art of “how to” fly-fish.

4. What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?

I have been guiding since 2001 and there have been several. The latest one was on Dec 30th, 2013. The big fish were out on the prowl this day and the client quit fishing early because of arm fatigue from fighting so many trout.

5. What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?

Had a client not too long ago that told me how good he was at fly fishing. I always take everyone at their word until proven differently. He was actually taking time to show me (student teaching the guide???) how to euro-nymph and while doing so I had to tell him three times repeatedly that he had a fish on before he decided to set the hook with a “fish on.” The sad part of this is the trout unfortunately swallowed one of his flies.

6. What makes your guide service great?

This is currently unfortunate for Georgia right now, but anyone can call themselves a guide and the majority of them are not “guides!”

I separate my service from others simply by having the best and most professional guides around. We are an insured outfitter and hold a National Forest Permit for Guiding and Outfitting. Our guides not only know how to fish and put you on fish, they enjoy teaching the art of fly fishing, all of them are First Aid/CPR certified, many have been to actual guide schools, and we even have Certified and Master Casting Instructor on board.

We simply set ourselves apart by being “professionals” of this sport!

7. If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?

If only one day, it would have to be somewhere local. I would head up into our National Forest and dry fly for our Southern Appalachian brook trout.

8. What are your favorite three flies?

It is actually the one catching fish on the end of my line but would have to say wooly bugger, girdle bug and prince.

9. What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?

I know this is not gear but it would have to be the right frame of mind for the day’s trip ahead or having a positive attitude no matter the outside temperature, weather, etc.

To me, there is nothing worse than being on the water for a day with a guide with a poor attitude or one that is wishing he was somewhere else!

10. Do you have any other passions?

I enjoy doing anything outdoors from bass fishing to turkey hunting. I have been addicted to fly fishing ever since I caught my first little 5” bow on a dry!

To check out more from James Bradley and Reel ’em In Guide Service, please click here.

Disclosure: Reel ’em In Guide Service is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.

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