Fly Fishing Guide

Becoming a fly fishing guide was not always on my list of future career choices. However, by the time I was in my mid-teens, I knew that I would at least consider that option. When college took me into a career path as a secondary mathematics teacher, I never dreamed I would actually guide someday. The thought was always there, and I found myself day dreaming on occasion about being outdoors. The biggest reason it took me a while to become a guide is because I genuinely love teaching. Watching young people become proficient at math while gaining self-confidence and enthusiasm for the subject was very rewarding.

A big Caney Fork River brown trout for fly fishing guide David Knapp of Trout Zone Anglers

Beginning My Career as a Fly Fishing Guide

My career took an abrupt turn when I decided to leave the classroom and take my teaching skills into a different field. One of my favorite things about being a fly fishing guide is that I am still teaching. Only the content and classroom have changed. As I love being outdoors, this has been a great transition.

The first season was difficult because I decided to begin the hard way. I started my own business instead of going to work for another outfitter. Trout Zone Anglers officially became a business in 2014. Building a business is never easy, but I have been extremely grateful for good friends such as the people at Little River Outfitters and Southeastern Fly who both believed in me and sent me business.

Thankfully, my business has grown rapidly every year and that looks to continue in the coming years. God has blessed me tremendously, and I owe Him my gratitude for His guidance in my life and career.

Fly fishing guide trip clients doubled up on the Caney Fork River

Growing My Fly Fishing Guide Business

The last three years have brought tremendous annual growth to Trout Zone Anglers. This year we are already on pace for another record breaking year. Due to more business than I can handle, I have brought on a second highly experienced guide, Travis Williams. This will enable Trout Zone Anglers to keep more business in house, a crucial step in gaining and retaining repeat clients.

Guide Trip Offerings

Trout Zone Anglers currently offers guided fly fishing walk/wade trips in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as on area tailwaters such as the Caney Fork River and Clinch River. We also offer guided float trips on the tailwaters and walk/wade trips for smallmouth bass on the Cumberland Plateau and streams of east Tennessee.