Jeff Konst: Jeffrey Konst, a native of Morganton, North Carolina, has been fishing local and distant waters for two decades now. In that time his interest in bass fishing has transitioned to an intense passion for everything trout. He’s been fly fishing for 5 years, everywhere from tiny mountain streams on NC 181, to the Gunpowder in Baltimore, MD.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Go Heels!), and forever a student in everything fly-fishing. Jeff says “From the first time John took me fly-fishing on a blustery 20℉ October day at Wilson Creek, I knew this was the sport for me. I appreciate catching the giant trout available at the Casting For Hope Retreat Center, but my favorite trout to chase are the tiny mountain gems hidden in the headwaters of Western NC and VA.”
Jeff is now the full time operator/guide/rod-builder/fly-tier for Upper Creek Angler after being handed the reigns by John Zimmerman and Taylor Sharp, after John and Taylor have needed to path more of their time and energy into the non-profit they started together, Casting For Hope. Jeff has guided off and on for UCA for several years now and is very excited to pursue this full-time and share his love for fishing with others!
For those interested in tight-line nymphing, or ready to take the next step in their pursuit of being a better fly fisherman, Jeff is excited to share his knowledge on the skill, and happy to show you how to catch many more fish regardless your skill level!
John Zimmerman: John grew up following his dad into the woods in pursuit of hunting and fishing grounds. His earliest memory is of walking along a stream bank in growing darkness after some hunting or fishing endeavor. Today, John’s primary outdoor pursuit is fly fishing for trout in the southern Appalachians. According to fly fishing legend Bo Cash, “John is a passionate small stream expert.” John can be booked for guide trips most weekends from August-May and most days during the summer months. Given good notice, weekday trips can be accommodated. See our “What People Say” link about John’s guide work. More than anything, John’s express mission as a guide is to teach clients how to fish better and better so that as soon as possible, clients no longer need a guide! John earned his Bachelor’s degree from UNCG in 2005 and his first Master’s degree from ASU in 2008 and his National Board for Professional Teaching Standards recognition in 2009.
Taylor Sharp: John started fishing with Taylor in the fall of 2010 and quickly found him to be one of the most natural fishers he’d ever fished with. In our small streams, Taylor just has a sixth sense for where fish are going to be hanging out. Couple that with a latent talent for reading water and making rifle casts, and Taylor is a vacuum to fish behind. Even on highly pressured native water, when Taylor and I have been fishing together and he’s been behind me, he’s caught many fish I missed and which should have been spooked off. In addition to being one of the best fishermen I’ve fished with for small streams in WNC, Taylor has fished extensively in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming and backpacked through Yellowstone National Park and fished also in New Zealand. I’m excited to say that Taylor now has his guide license and endorse him through UCA. Now graduated and in college, Taylor guides and builds rods during school breaks and summers. He’s at UNC Chapel Hill with a Morehead-Cain Scholarship–the oldest and most prestigious scholarship in the United States!