Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide in Lynchburg, Virginia

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Matt Miles

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide

Phone icon434-238-2720 Email iconmatt@mattmilesflyfishing.com Link iconmattmilesflyfishing.com
247 Melody Ln.
Lynchburg, VA 24504

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The Story

Fly—fishing guide Capt. Matt Miles is the owner of Matt Miles Fly Fishing, LLC, in Lynchburg, Virginia. Matt grew up in Lynchburg and started fly fishing in 1993. After graduating from high school in 1996, he moved to Colorado to live out his dream of becoming a fly—fishing guide. In 1997, Matt began guiding at the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado. In 2003, he decided to move back to Lynchburg to guide his home waters where he now runs his own Orvis—Endorsed guide service, fishing for muskies, smallmouth bass, trout, and striped bass. Matt's guided trips are run on the James, Smith, Jackson, and the Roanoke Rivers, to name a few. Matt loves guiding, teaching, being on the water, and tying his own flies. He is also a Fly Designer for Umpqua Feather Merchants.


Trout: September-May
Smallmouth bass: May-November
Musky: October-March
Freshwater stripers: April and May


The Staunton River is an underrated river that doesn't get much press. This river is one of the most diverse in Virginia. The Staunton features smallmouth, largemouth, walleye, white bass, and stripers, just to name a few. In the spring, stripers make an annual journey to Brookneal, Virginia to spawn. This event usually starts around the first of April and runs through mid to late May, depending on water temperatures. The spring is a great time to catch a mixture of species on the fly. You never know what you'll catch on this great river.

The Jackson River is located near Covington, Virginia. This river is the premier tailwater trout fishery below Gathright Dam. From Gathright Dam downstream to Covington, there are 18 miles of prime trout habitat. Rainbows and brown trout are the main target species of this river. The average-size fish on the Jackson is between 10 and 13 inches, typically rainbows, but there are much larger fish to be had. The browns can be well above 20 inches. A good hatch of insects or large streamers will get the brown trout's attention. The Jackson is a large trout river by Virginia standards. Floating the Jackson from a drift boat will offer anglers the best opportunity to cover this unique river.

In the Town of Iron Gate, Virginia the Jackson River and the Cowpasture come together to form the James River. The James River holds smallmouth bass from this point all the way to Richmond, Virginia. I run my guide trips on the James River from the town of Iron Gate downstream to the community of Bent Creek. The James is a great musky fishery and I run trips for musky year around. Although musky are not easy to catch, the right state of mind and a little luck will give an angler the chance to tangle with this beast.


Majority of the trips are float trips either in a drift boat or fishing raft. Wade trips for trout are in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Expect rocky terrain.

Typical Weather:

Winter can range from 60 to 30 degrees F for daytime highs. Spring daytime highs 50 to 75 degrees. Summer daytime highs range from 75 to 90 degrees. Fall daytime highs range from 50 to 70 degrees.

What is Provided:

Picnic-style lunch and drinks on my full-day trips. On half-day trips, I provide just drinks and snacks. Orvis rods and reels will be provided if needed. All tippet, leaders, and flies are provided on all trips.

Gear Recommendations:

For musky, I like a 9’, 11 wt. with intermediate sinking line and 350 to 450 grain sinking lines.

For smallmouth bass, 9’, 6 or 7 wt. rods with a floating line.

For trout, I like 9’, 3, 4, and 5 wt. rods for most of my trout fishing with a floating line. If the day is going to be on a small stream, 8’, 2 or 3 wt. will be great.

Freshwater stripers I prefer 9’ 8 wt. or 9 wt. with a 250-350 grain sinking line.

What to Bring (Additional):

Virginia valid fishing license, polarized sunglasses, rain coat, hat, and sunscreen. Waders, if needed, and rod and reel if you have one you like to use.

Rated 5 out of 5 by from 1st Float Trip on the Jackson River Towards late autumn most, if not all, leaves have fallen and have been flushed out of the rivers, creeks, and streams. That makes fly fishing easier. Since the Jackson River been on my radar for a while and I was on a business trip in central Virginia (Lynchburg, VA), I deemed it a good time to go fly fish the Jackson once I was done with business. Oh, my decision was also influenced by the forecast for good weather (sunny, high of 67 F, and little wind). So, with those three factors favorable, I elected to give Matt Miles Fly Fishing my business this time. My fiancé and I had hired Matt about two years ago for a trip on the Maury River for smallmouth bass. Based on our experiences with that float, I knew Matt was worth his salt. For this trip, Matt was already committed to another customer, but one of his employees, Mike, was available. So, Mike and I met up at the take-out ramp at the water treatment plant in Covington, VA. We drove up to and launched from the ramp at Petticoat Junction. It was around freezing when we launched, but the temperatures warmed up nicely. Fishing was good! We landed double digit numbers of fish. The two "prize fish" were a 17"-18" brown and a 16"-17" stunningly colorful 'bow. See the pictures below. I landed more trout throughout the day. We used dry droppers, double nymphs, and a streamer. None smacked the dry (which was a hopper). As a side note, all trout in the Jackson are wild. That is likely why they all looked so pretty. Later in the float, I requested to try my "secret fly" (see the picture below). Mike said he had never used that fly and was not certain it would work on the Jackson. I shared with him that I had landed trout in Montana, Wyoming, and many other rivers in the south on that nymph. The most notable catch was during a snowfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in December five or six years ago. Anyway, two fish later (one was a 1.5-2 lb. chub, the other a 'bow) Mike was convinced that my "secret fly" does work on the Jackson. I let him have the one I was using since he had none in his arsenal. Again, see the photo below. In closing, it was a good trip. The weather cooperated. The trout cooperated. Most of all, I was satisfied. So, Mike, like Matt, is worth his salt!
Date published: 2020-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Fly Fishing Guide! I highly recommend hiring Matt as a fly fishing guide. He’s very knowledgeable, patient (no matter how many times you snag or tangle), encouraging, has a passion for teaching others the art of fly fishing and wants to see you hook a fish. On my latest float with Matt, what really impressed me was his willingness to answer any and all questions. Matt gave me a brief overview on insects & hatching, understanding the current and depth of the river water, fly recommendations, and more. No question went unanswered. I think that’s what really sets Matt apart. He wants you to absorb all you can during your trip, take it to river & practice on your own, and come back again to deepen your understanding of the sport. You won’t regret booking a trip with Matt.
Date published: 2019-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-Experience/Well-Mannered/Well-Prepared Guide Matt Miles knows how to prepare for a fishing trip! He observes the river conditions and will make changes to original plans if necessary in order to give his customers the best opportunity to catch fish. His friendliness and courtesy is matched by his knowledge and skill. My fiancé and I enjoyed our outing on the Maury River despite the less-than-ideal conditions (water level was somewhat low). But, Matt knows how to adjust. I landed double digit numbers of fish while my fiancé landed the biggest fish. She also honed and enhanced her fly fishing skills thanks to Matt's instruction. So, he is a great teacher, too. He also knows how to prepare and pack a good "river side" lunch! Thank you, Matt. We enjoyed our time with you on the river!
Date published: 2018-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Expert Fishing Guide This was my 1st time fly-fishing for Smallmouth Bass. Matt is a great teacher and took the time to go over some techniques to assure I caught the most fish. He also made some other suggestions to improve my fly-fishing skills. Had a super day of fishing and learned a lot! Would highly recommend Matt.
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun trip Went on a striper fishing trip on the Staunton River with Matt about a month ago. It was a great trip. We caught some nice fish and had a great time. Matt was very patient and offered helpful suggestions for my much less than perfect technique. I look forward to doing more trips with Matt.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Finally a great day of fishing My first time with Matt and won't be the last. I am new to Virginia and wanted to find a guide who can put me on some trout. After a search, I found Matt's website and liked what I saw. Booked the trip for April but the weather didn't cooperate. Had to reschedule twice. We even had to change rivers because of the high water. What a great day. I brought 10 Browns to the net and lost another 6. I was in heaven. Matt had the experience and knowledge I needed for wild Virginia trout. Can't wait to book a musky trip. Thank you Matt. You da Man!!!
Date published: 2018-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome service, knowledge, and personality! I fish with guides all over the country. Occasionally I run a cross a true professsioanl who knows how to customize guide trip s based on his client's needs. I'm new to fly fishing, but feel very competent after picking up tips from Matt. We book two days a year and just wrapped up our 4th trip. Looking forward to next year.
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Great day on the James Great Father's Day gift from my Son Jim. It was one the most beautiful fishing days I have ever spent on the James'. Matt worked harder than almost any guide I have ever been with to make sure we had every opportunity possible to catch fish. I was truly awed by his total knowledge of fly fishing and last but not least his thoughtful and courteous manner.
Date published: 2017-08-01
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