Tennessee on the Fly is a family fishing guide service ideal for the expert and novice alike.

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100% Customer Satisfaction

has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.

James Johnsey

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide

Phone icon406-546-1463 Email iconJames@TennesseeontheFly.com Link icontennesseeonthefly.com
Nashville, TN

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

Go fly fishing in Tennessee and soak up the wisdom of Orvis—endorsed guide James Johnsey:

"Our mission is to create a professional and personalized experience for every client. We balance the excitement of fly fishing with gaining quality skills and understanding. Come share the beauty of the outdoors and the magnificent fish that inhabit the Middle Tennessee waterways. What makes us different from most outfitters is our DIVERSITY! With some of the most ecologically rich rivers in the country, our guides are not limited to one river or species. We are known for creating fly-fishing opportunities for all species on all rivers with the right equipment and expertise. This means a completely tailored experience for you, every single time! Add to that our lifetime of fishing experience, our twenty years spent guiding, and our professionalism and patience, and you have yourself the BEST fly-fishing experience in Middle Tennessee!"

What is Provided:

Local knowledge, techniques, and casting instructions alongside a patient, happy guide. Rods, reels, tackle, and flies.
A great riverside lunch, as well as drinks and snacks
Please note: we are not an ‘on the clock’ guiding service, but prefer to spend as much time with our customers as desired.

Gear Recommendations:

We provide all the gear and flies needed for your trip, and we have honed in on tying the right pattern for each game species we target. If you have a favorite rod or flies you would like to bring to incorporate into your day, you are welcome to do so, but no equipment is ever needed for your all-inclusive trip.

What to Bring (Additional):

We do NOT provide fishing licenses. You can visit tn.wildlifelicense.com or find your local license sales holder. If fishing for trout, you will need to choose the 'all species' fishing license.

Depending on the time of year, always bring layers of clothing, from shorts (in summer) right up to warm fleece layers and stocking caps (in winter). Clothing with UVA/UVB protection is a recommendation during hot and sunny months.

Rain gear is always a must, along with sunglasses, a hat or cap to protect the head and sunblock.

Feel free to bring your favorite rod or flies, but count on us to provide the right equipment for each situation. This is our area of expertise.

If you have any further questions about gear, please ask when you book your trip.


In Middle Tennessee, we are lucky enough to have year-round fisheries on world-class waters. Depending on the weather, all species can be fished year-round. Prime months for smallmouth will be May, September, and October. Musky are more of a winter fish with the best opportunities falling between December and April. Trout are year-round with prime seasons falling in spring and summer. Key months for stripers will be April through September.


Tennessee Rivers are full of America’s favorite game fish. We have an abundance of wild smallmouth, largemouth, and striped bass, along with one of our favorite native species, the musky! The state has also created world class trout fishing for rainbows, browns, and brookies in Tennessee’s beautiful tailwaters. Depending on the weather, all species can be fished year-round.


With thousands of miles of fishable rivers, creeks, and streams, Middle Tennessee boasts the most diverse game fish species in the country! Fishing includes primary tributaries of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The Duck, Buffalo, Caney Fork, Collins, and Elk Rivers are our favorites for that perfect bite, not including the endless reservoirs and creeks that can provide exciting occasions for fishing on the fly.

Typical Weather:

Spring: Our favorite seasons in Middle Tennessee, but it can also be the wettest. Always be prepared with rain gear and extra layers. Temperatures can range anywhere from 50s F at night and early morning to upper 70s and 80s during the day.

Summer: Usually humid with lots of sun and temperatures primarily in the 70s to 90s. Don’t forget your UV protection gear and sunscreen!

Fall: Another great time of year with our fish fattening up for winter. With the leaves turning you can expect cooler mornings in the 40s and 50s, and daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Fall can be windy so be prepared with wind blockers.

Winter: Don't let it fool you. Winter can be an excellent time to fish Middle Tennessee! Be prepared for days anywhere from 30s to 60s, and bring ample layers.

Rates start from: $425. You can find all pricing information at: http://tennesseeonthefly.com/fly-fishing-rates

What do I need to bring?

Just yourself and a Tennessee fishing license! We provide all your gear and supplies. Wear adequate attire for the time of year and weather.

What is the best time of year to come?

Time of year that is best changes depending on the species targeted. Please contact us for more information.

What rivers do you guide?

We guide most all tributaries of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. This includes, but is not limited to, the Duck, Buffalo, Elk, Caney Fork, and Collins.

Where is the closest airport?

Nashville International Airport

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