Each month we will share an interview with a local fly fisherman that has done many things for the sport.


This month we highlight Nadine Bourg. Trout Unlimited member, fishing guide, and one of the most awesome persons we know.


TU640:  We know you are passionate about fishing, but what would you call you day job?


Nadine:  My day job consist of part-time fly fishing guide and shuttle driving for Appalachian Trail hikers.


TU640:  Where do you call home?


Nadine:  Home is Bryson City, North Carolina.  I am nestled in the Nantahala National Forest 2 miles from the Nantahala River.


TU640: What are some of your favorite activities to do? 


Nadine:  I enjoy a host of things:  I love all things outdoors.  Fishing, rivers, lakes, planting flowers/veggies, photography, reading, writing, teaching, and learning and dicovering really cool places and people. 


TU640:  How did you get into fly fishing?


Nadine:  I was invited by a friend on a late fall day to fish the upper Hiwassee.  Suddenly, I discovered a new relationship to the river!  I spent years as a whitewater raft guide and whitewater canoe instructor.  It was about discovering what existed below the surface that fascinated me.


TU640:  What is it about fly fishing that has you hooked?


Nadine:  Being hooked by fly fishing involves the whole package.  I am intrigued by learning where fish lay, discovering the insect world, the art of fly tying, the pull of the water, and immersion into infinite beauty.


TU640:  What is your favorite species of trout and why?


Nadine:  I do not have a favorite species of fish.  When fishing the Nantahala, I marvel at the beauty of wild fish.  The color palette is remarkable.  When fishing Lake Fontana, I love the fight of bream and their spectacular yellow bellies.


TU640:  How long have you been fly fishing/guiding?


Nadine:  I took a beginner fly fishing class with Ken Kastorff for Endless River Adventures 11 years ago.  In hindsight, it was a choice that led to a fork in the road of my life.  I began guiding on the Nantahala river with Endless River Adventures in June 2021.  I started my guiding career at age 66.


TU640:  What barriers did you break through to become a female fly fishing guide?


Nadine:  The primary barriers as a female guide were "being taken seriously" and the perception that I was physically not up to the task.  


TU640: Have you faced any prejudices as a female guide?

Nadine:  My first attempt in pursuing guiding, I still vividly recall being told by a male guide "well, I'm really tired at the end of the day" meaning you can't possibly be up to doing the job if he gets tired.  I was told we will give you a call, followed by the sound of crickets.

Ken Kastorff is the first person who gave me a chance to prove myself.

TU640:  Why is fly fishing a great sport for women?

Nadine:  Fly fishing is a great sport for women for the same reasons it's a great sport for men.  It's an opportunity to be present and define one self again without the normal multituded of distractions.

TU640: What are you thoughts on the industries response to the growth of women in fly fishing?

Nadine:  The industries response to the growth of women is a mixed bag.  There are both people who are supportive and others still don't take women seriously.  I appreciate those who have supported women and hold them in high regard.


TU640: Do you have any words of advice for a female audience who wants to spend more time outdoors this year?

Nadine:  For women who might wish to pursue this sport, I would say, join Trout Unlimited, join Women on the Fly, join Fly Fishers International.  There are a host of wonderful opportunities and adventures.  Go for it!! 


TU640: Who has been your greatest inspiration in your fly fishing journey?

Nadine:  I have three fly fishing inspirations.  My first is my dear friend, Tammy Lewis, who got me started.  Ken Kastorff and Bob Bernandt made themselves available and showed me the ropes. 


TU640: What motivates you to be a great guide and fly fisher?

Nadine:  I love to teach, I love to empower another person, I love to row whitewater, I love to offer river access by boat, I love to be surrounded by spectacular beauty, and I love to be reminded to be in the moment.


TU640: What does your average day on the water look like?


Nadine:  My average day on the water involves my comfortable NRS 13 foot otter raft and 9 foot oars.  My primary river is atheist Nantahala running at 635 CFS.  It can be a 4 mile or 8 mile run through class II whitewater with a class III finish.  The Nantahala National Forest is worthy of National Park distinction in my estimation.  The scenery is remarkable and the water cold, clean, and clear.

Most of my guests are first time fly fishermen.  I navigate them through the "Rigors of combat fly fishing": fast water, tree coverage, variable waterdepth, euro technique, and other boats.


TU640: Where do you most love to fish?

Nadine:  I love to fish both the upper and lower Nanatahala Rivers and Lake Fontana in the summer evenings. 


TU640: Give me a life lesson you have learned from fly fishing?

Nadine:  My best lesson from fly fishing is, there is always something to learn. Be humble! 


TU640: As somebody who loves to be surrounded by nature, have you noticed any enviromental decline in recent years?

Nadine:  Sadly, I do see environmental decline as water temperatures are rising and we have frequent high water events with lots of sediment.  The other challenge includes increase in fishing pressure as the popularity of fly fishing increases.


TU640: How do you want to be remembered?


Nadine:  I would like to be remembered as someone who loved sharing the sport.


Thanks for the opportunity!!