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Death by Fly Fishing and How to Avoid It with Wanda and Gary Taylor


Whether you realize it or not, fly 

fishing is definitely an athletic sport. Now it’s not a bruising contact sport, but we all need to accept it is not necessarily 100% soft or completely safe. In fact, statistics bear out that it is 100 times more dangerous than golf, as dangerous as mountain climbing and almost equally as dangerous as hunting. The adventure factor of our sport is one of the tantalizing things that draw the wild at heart to fly angling.  We enjoy reveling in the thrill of being successfully deceptive scam artists in order to hook, land and look our prey in the eye, unashamed with delight and even a little smugness in its capture. What we might tend to forget is that in our sacrifice for this exhilarating moment, we just might inflict ourselves with bodily harm . . . and, in some cases, even death.

          For our April 2015 presentation we are going to learn about some of the dangerous situations that need to be acknowledged and prepared for. And our guides in this important examination of valuable potential dangers in our sport are perfect for the task. Wanda and Gary Taylor have fly fished all around the world and witnessed injuries, natural disasters, wild animal attacks and deceptions. They will share with you how to avoid some of these unexpected situations and how to prepare for some of the elements of dancing with the dangers of fly fishing.

Wanda Taylor has been fishing since she was four. Her grandmothers taught her to fish in the mountains of north Georgia. Even while going to North Whitfield High School near Dalton and then onward to Dalton State College. She enjoyed water skiing and fishing the lakes and rivers near her home. However, her love for fishing increased when she agreed to marry Gary Taylor, a professional fly angler. Within their partnership she became a fly fishing guide, fly casting instructor, Fly Fish TV hostess and has been featured in many fly fishing videos, online podcasts and is also a published outdoor writer.

Wanda teaches fly fishing and conducts instructional guiding classes locally in Tennessee and Georgia, as well as nationally at International Federation of Fly Fishing (IFFF) expos, Trout Unlimited festivals, club events and fly fishing conclaves and shows. Her topics range from how to fly fish in fresh and saltwater, destination fly fishing, mentoring others into the sport and her fly fishing life story.


Her awards and achievements of “Firsts” are many. Wanda was the first woman certified by the IFFF as a Master Certified Casting Instructor (MCCI). She was the first woman Orvis-Endorsed guide in the Southeastern United States. She was awarded the Southeastern IFFF 2005 Woman of the Year Award and in 2008 the IFFF South East Council Award of Excellence. This award was given to Wanda for her work with breast cancer survivors of “Casting for Recovery,” the Georgia Women Fly Fishers “Casting For Confidence,” as well as, for her teaching and testing activities for the IFFF Certified Casting Instructors program. Wanda is also an ambassador for the Goodwill Guides and Project Healing Waters nonprofit organizations.

Wanda has been an Advisory Staff Member of Temple Fork Outfitters rods and equipment for many years and is also on the Pro Staff of Chota Outdoor Gear and is an Ambassador for Aqua Design and Maven Fly technical clothing for women anglers. She is a staff member of Dry Flyer Outfitters and co-owner of Taylor and Taylor Fly Fishing Schools.

Gary Taylor grew up in the mountains of Blue Ridge, Georgia and taught himself to fly fish at the age of ten. He never looked back. While he was in high school at Fannin High and onto college at Atlanta’s Southern Tech, he would hone his fly fishing skills during weekends on the Noontootla, the Toccoa and Lake Blue Ridge. After twenty years in antique furniture reproductions and European cabinet manufacturing, he surrendered to his dream of becoming a professional fly fishing guide on the wild and scenic Hiwassee River in Reliance, Tennessee, where he helped develop Dry Flyer Outfitters. The lure of saltwater and bigger faster fish called him to South Carolina and Florida where he became a saltwater guide, a Master United States Coast Guard Charter Captain and a published outdoor writer.


Gary has taught fly casting as an IFFF Master Certified Casting Instructor and lectured from the east coast to the west coast, and internationally in Canada and Australia. He was awarded the Orvis Guide of the Year Award in 1993-94. He also was the first Orvis-Endorsed outfitter, and initiated the first Orvis-endorsed lodge in the Southeast.

Gary has also been on the TFO Advisory Staff for more than ten years and is a pro staff member of Chota Outdoor Gear, Patagonia and Aqua Design. He is co-owner and founder of Dry Flyer Outfitters and co-owner of Taylor & Taylor Fly Fishing Schools.

Many of you may remember the wonderful presentation Wanda and Gary made at our club in November of 2002 when they gave a program about the wonderful fly fishing throughout the southeastern U.S. You can ook up more about Wanda and Gary at, or