Alyssa Adcock, president of the Appalachian State University Fly Fishing Club, was selected as one of the top five Costa ambassadors for the fall 2018 semester. She went above and beyond to help her club complete the 5 rivers requirements of community involvement, fundraising, Costa ambassadorship, TU involvement, and conservation. The fly fishing club at Appalachian State has seen tremendous growth and has some exciting events planned for this year. Alyssa currently guides for High Country Guide Service and is a strong advocate for the Orvis 50/50 on the water movement.
Major: Communications major with a minor in business management, graduating in December 2019
Plans for after graduation: I would like to continue guiding for High Country Guide Service in Boone NC in addition to pursuing destination guiding in places like Alaska and New Zealand!
Do you have any big fishing trips planned for this year? I’m hoping to fish for browns on the White River, target tarpon in Florida, and possibly travel to New Zealand.
When was your club started, and how did you become president? We have been in operation for 3-4 years. I’ve been part of the club for 2 years. Last semester was my first semester as president. I took over the club about mid-summer of 2018.
How many members do you have? When I started my presidency, we had about 60 or 70 participating members. Now we have almost 200 members. We’ve had a lot of growth this past semester. We just had a winter club expo where we had 52 people sign up for the club.
How often do you meet, and what does a typical meeting look like for your club? Our typical meetings are anything but typical; we try to stay very involved with our community. Most meetings are spent tying flies, learning from community members, fishing as a club, or doing stream cleanups!
How long have you been fly fishing? I started fly fishing when I was 9 years old and I’m now 23. I had a lot to learn when I first started but it was something that I could do with my dad and grandfather. When I moved to Boone and started college, I chose to pursue it professionally.
How do you manage being both a fly fishing guide and a college student?
Right now, we’re in the off season. It gets a little crazy in the spring when the season picks up. During our full season, I’d take two or three guide trips a week. With guiding, you have to put in your time before you’re allowed to work your way up. This year, I’ll be doing 3 or 4 trips on the water each week, if not more. Our season lasts between the beginning of March through the end of November. This past week we had a training day for our guide service. I spoke with my professors and explained how the industry works, and they were willing to work with me on my assignments. I was able to turn in my assignments early, so I didn’t have to miss the training. It’s a delicate balance but I’m still learning.
Have you always lived in NC, and have you done any fishing in other areas of the country?
Yes, I moved to Boone my last year of high school. I’ve fished in Montana and other places out west. It was an incredibly humbling experience. You can’t even put into words how gorgeous that area is.
Do you have any club trips planned for this year?
We’re planning on doing a trip to Cherokee, NC or to the Smoky Mountains. We did a weekend trip to Tennessee this past semester as well as the 5 Rivers Rally. We’re also possibly doing a spring rally.
What are some conservation projects that your club has gotten involved with?
Right now, we’re in the process of adopting a stream. This will enable the club to do regular trash walks and help improve buffer zones. I’m super excited about the fact that we’ll be legally adopting this stream through the town of Boone. We’re also partnering with the Overmountain TU chapter for their tailwater roundup on March 23rd. This is an awesome opportunity for our club members to network within the community and the fly fishing industry. We are going to be hosting the Fly Fishing Film Tour with the Lees McRae Fly Fishing Club on May 3rd. We’re also partnering with our beloved community Park, Valle Crucis Park, to help with trash pickup and stream restoration.
5 Rivers would like to congratulate Alyssa for all her hard work in bringing fly fishing and conservation opportunities to students on her campus!