Our Guides

Starr Nolan

Starr NolanStarr Nolan has been guiding and teaching fly fishing in Western North Carolina for the past 18 years. She has extensive experience guiding experienced anglers and has taught hundreds of people from age 7 – 82 how to fly fish.

In 2017, Starr was inducted into the Southern Appalachian Fly Fishing Museum’s Hall of Fame for her fly fishing expertise and for her many years of work in the fly fishing/non-profit world.

In addition to private instruction and Brookside Guides Fly Fishing Schools, Starr has guided and taught in the following programs:

Casting Carolinas: Helping women thrive after cancer by providing a comprehensive program that includes free weekend retreats where women learn to fly fish.. Starr is Executive Director of this program, a local 501 C 3 organization: www.castingcarolinas.com

Rivercourse: Instructor and guide for this week long fly fishing and conservation camp for kids organized by NC Trout Unlimited chapters.

John C. Campbell School: Fly fishing faculty instructing week long fly fishing classes for adults, 2006- 2010.

Being an Outdoor Woman: Fly Fishing Class: a program that teaches women outdoor skills.

Starr with BonefishStarr was a featured angler on ESPN2’s show “Rods and Wheels” in 2008.

Starr is past President and Board member of Land O’Sky Trout Unlimited www.landoskytu.com in Asheville. She is a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Starr enjoys fly fishing all over the world. Favorite spots include: fishing for native brook trout on small streams in Western NC, fishing “anywhere” in Montana and Wyoming, floating the Kenai River in Alaska, and stalking bonefish on the flats in the Bahamas.

When she’s not fishing, Starr is playing fiddle in her band All Strings Re-Considered, playing traditional mountain music in Asheville.


Rick Wedell

Rick Wedell

I graduated from Western State of Colorado in 2002 with a BS in recreation. The Gunnison Valley, CO is where I fell in love with fly fishing.

My fly rod has caught fish in the Trinity Mountain Range, CA, Eureka, MT, British Columbia, Belize and now Western Carolina.

The love of fishing runs a close second to the love of my new family. Gratefully, my wife supports fishing and my two year old daughter, Trinity Lane, has already caught her first trout.

Rick Weddell

Tony Brooks

I am the son of an East Tennessee native and fish with my 80 year old dad often. I have lived in East TN and WNC the last 25 years, the last 12 years in Hendersonville, NC. I have a wife Charlotte and two kids Krystalyn (22) and Paul (17). I also fish regularly with my “World Famous Fishing Dog” according to Linda Michael, Shadow, a Black Lab and Chow mix.

I have been fly fishing over 37 years and tie my own flies. I leaned to fly fish on the Davidson River in the Pisgah National Forest and Big Santeehlah Creek in Graham County, NC. I am a member of the Hilltop Fly Tyers (10 yrs), a Master Angler volunteer for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education (3 yrs), a CFR River Helper (3 yrs) and have served three co-current terms as president of the French Broad Fly Fishers – a FFF Charter Club.
I’ve been guiding friends new to the sport over the last 10 years. I started guiding wade and float trips commercially in 2009. I have a 16′ fiberglass EMR drift boat and enjoy floating the South Holston, Watauga, Tuckaseegee for trout and the French Broad and Pigeon rivers for smallmouth bass. In the last four decades, I have covered hundreds of miles of well known and little known trout streams in WNC, East TN and the Smokies. Occasionally, I find my way to Montana to fish the Big Horn.

I am a fly fishing enthusiast because of the simultaneous simplicity and complexity. Fly fishing offers something new on every trip. It is a sport where one skill is built on another. I consider myself a student first and then try to pass that knowledge along to others willing to learn.

Chris Grose

Chris Grose - guideI grew up in the upstate of South Carolina but my family roots go back several generations in the mountains of Western North Carolina. When I was in graduate school, my father gave me an inexpensive fly rod kit and a book about fly fishing.

The first fish I ever caught with it was a rainbow trout on the Chattooga River that darted out from under the bank to snatch my dry fly. That one fish turned an interest into a passion and I still remember it very clearly even though it was almost 15 years ago. Since that day, I have chased freshwater and saltwater species around the country and world. I tie my own flies as a member of the Hilltop Fly Tyers (8 years) and was invited to the join the Team Stonefly competitive fly fishing team in 2012.

After teaching and guiding friends of all skillsets for many years, I realized that I loved watching someone else land a fish as much as I enjoyed doing it myself. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned about fly fishing have come while teaching others.

Chris Grose - fly fishing guideEvery day on the water is a learning experience whether I am with a client, a friend, or just by myself. It is one of the things I enjoy most about this sport. Becoming a professional guide was an easy choice for me and has allowed me to pass along the skills that were so patiently taught to me.

Seth Drake

Seth DrakeSeth Drake first became interested in fly fishing about ten years ago, when he went to a beginners fly fishing class in Pisgah Forest at their Education Center on the Davidson River. After the class, he went out and bought his first fly rod, and he fished a few days a year for the next few years.

For his 13th birthday, his mother bought him a guide trip with a man named Tony Brooks. After the trip, Tony invited him to a practice for Team Stonefly, a regional team in Western North Carolina. After going to the practice, seeing all the techniques and catching lots of fish, Seth was hooked on this “new thing” called European Nymphing. He entered his first competition after trying this technique for about one year.

That competition was the USYFFT 2015 National Youth Championship. Seth was determined and kept competing, and then landed a spot on the US Youth Team at the USYFFT 2016 National Youth Championship. In 2017 Seth proceeded on to win the Youth National Championships and help bring home Team Bronze from the Youth World Championships in Slovenia.