Our Guides

Jon Hooper

A native of Upstate New York, Jon has been fishing, hunting and living an outdoor lifestyle since he was a youngster.  Growing up around the Great Lakes, chasing lake run brown trout, salmon and his favorite, chromed-out steelhead fresh from the lake, was the perfect atmosphere for his career in the fly fishing industry.  Since 2007, Jon’s main focus is serving as the Head Guide and General Manager of the South Holston River Lodge.  During that time he has created the most professional, knowledgeable and  well-rounded guide staff in the fly fishing industry.  His experience and vigorous standards ensures an educational, fun-filled day on the water.  Jon has guided from New York to Alaska and knows the meaning of exceptional customer service and professionalism.  When Hoop is not in the office or on the water you can find him enjoying the outdoors, likely in a tree stand praying on the next big buck to show up.  

Andrew Bright

Andrew’s family resides in East TN and SW Virginia where he was born and raised.  A true natural when it comes to flyfishing and guiding.  His carefree attitude and infectious smile is the reason he is one of the most requested guides at the lodge.  His dedication to the sport and his knowledge make him a true asset. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned angler, Andrew exceeds all expectations. When he is not guiding or spending time with his wife Ashley, daughter Sienna and son Holston, you can find him in the woods scouting for big bucks and gobblers..  

John Stunkard

John grew up in Elizabethton, TN.  Although he always had a fascination with fishing, he didn’t get his first fly rod until 12 years old.From casting to tying, John does it all. While fishing with him, you can expect to learn. His goal is to improve his client’s angling prowess while guiding, and his ability to share information keeps them coming back for more.  Don’t be surprised when you catch him on the river during his few days off. Not only does he love to guide, but he also still loves to fish. 

Jimmy Cheers

Born and bred in Southwest Virginia,  Jimmy has a lifetime of experience fishing our homewaters.  His family has been in the Bristol region for generations and are leaders in the outdoor industry with their business Mountain Sports Ltd.  After college he continued his career as a fly fisherman by working for the Orvis Company for over 5 years, which allowed him to travel and fish rivers all over the US. Jimmy enjoys sharing his vast knowledge of fly fishing and teaching anglers to be successful on the water with his professional approach and proven instruction. It is clear that Jimmy truly understands the meaning of “Southern Hospitality” which is why spending the day with him on the water is not only educational but super fun.  When he is not guiding you can bet no bird is safe with his passion for waterfowl and wingshooting.

Brandon Barbour

Brandon is a native of  Franklin County, in Southwest Virginia just down the road from our tailwaters.  He grew up with an extreme passion for the outdoor lifestyle with fishing and hunting being second nature.  In high school he found his love for fly fishing and has not looked back.  Largemouth, Smallies,  Stripers and Trout captured his main focus growing up.  Brandon, a college athlete attended King University here in Bristol and was a standout pitcher for the Tornado’s.  After graduating college, he moved to Estes Park, Colorado where he began his guiding career.  Although he loved Colorado, the trout of the South Holston and Watauga tailwaters were calling him back to his home water.  Brandon’s knowledge of our rivers combined with his overall fishiness along with his infectious smile is just one of the reason’s he is so regularly requested.   When Brandon is not guiding you can find him scouting the river or chasing that next big buck!

Sam Presutti

Growing up on the water, fly fishing has been a part of Sam’s life from a young age. Calling Ohio’s ‘Steelhead Alley’ his home waters, Sam chases steelhead through the colder months and spends the warmer months focusing on the trout of the famed tailwaters of East Tennessee. After five years sharing his knowledge of tying and fly casting through the Orvis Company, Sam decided to take his expertise to the waterways of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.  Sharing his love of fly fishing to new and experienced angler’s is his true passion. Sam’;s laid back attitude and his exceptional teaching approach makes any day with him super fun and educational. When Sam is not on the water guiding you can find him at the gym or soaking up some quality river time chasing the next BIG ONE!