James Dudley of The Field & Fly guides some of the best waters of Georgia as well as some rivers in North Carolina. Dudley recently sat down to take on some questions for the Venturing Angler:
Why do you guide where you do?
I guide where I do mainly because of where I live.
What is your favorite fish?
It’s hard to pick just one, but trout are my primary species. I prefer the browns but since growing up, largemouth bass have always been a go-to.
What is your favorite thing about guiding?
My favorite thing about guiding is definitely the people that I get to meet and also just being able to enjoy the outdoors every day that I can. Fishing is something very personal — you always get to learn the background of the people you meet, their story, where they grew up, and experiences they’ve had.
What is the most memorable trip you’ve guided and why?
I’ve had a lot of fun times on the river but the most memorable guiding trip and highlight of my guiding career would have to be guiding former President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions.
What is the funniest thing you’ve experienced while guiding?
I saw a client showing off his brand new Sage rod outfit one time inside the lodge. He got the rod tip too close to the ceiling fan and it proceeded to chew up his fly line and chop his fly rod into tiny sections. It was pretty hilarious at the time.
What makes your guide service great?
I try to listen to my client. I want to make sure they get the experience that they are looking for when they go out on the river with me. I try to make sure to ask a lot of questions before the trip because it’s not always about the fishing — it’s mostly about the experience. On most occasions clients are interested in working on a specific area of their fishing.
If you had only one day off all year, where would you fish and what fish would you target?
Fishing for peacock bass in the Amazon has always been a dream of mine. The familiar species characteristics of largemouth bass and the exotic colors of the peacock seem like a perfect combination.
What are your favorite three flies?
Rainey’s Sparkle Minnow has caught a lot of fish for me.
I have an olive crayfish pattern I’m very fond of.
Blue Wing Olives
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Sunglasses. I never have a good day when I leave my sunglasses at home.
Do you have any other passions?
Although I don’t play much anymore, golf has always been a passion of mine. I grew up in Augusta, Georgia and I worked at Augusta National for a number of years. It’s an experience I will never forget. Working outdoors has always been a passion of mine. I can’t seem to concentrate when I’m locked inside four walls
I learned this at an early age, and when I discovered golf course management and found out that I could work every day outside on a golf course, I signed up to go to college for it. If I would have known how much it would impact my fishing lifestyle I may have reconsidered.
To check out more from James Dudley and The Field & Fly, please click here.