Hooked on Matt Reilly Fly Fishing

Posted by Monica Hoel
Matt Reilly says of his job: “I take people fishing.” But is that ever an understatement.

He is the owner and proprietor of Matt Reilly Fly Fishing in Abingdon, so he does take people fishing. But he also teaches, scouts out locations, writes about fishing, does speaking engagements about fishing, and, because he’s really good at his job, he brings along a French press on the boat so his clients can enjoy fresh, hot coffee.

Matt Reilly, E&H '18, with a muskie. He says fly fishing is an industry where people like to learn, and he loves teaching. So he serves as an in-person instructor on fishing excursions, but you will find him using any opportunity to educate people about fishing, fly tying, rivers and every nuance that makes fly fishing a great experience. He writes a blog on his website and you’ll find his byline in national publications like Hatch magazine.

He grew up fishing with his dad, but he began taking fishing seriously in high school. He started writing a weekly fishing column for the Daily Progress (Charlottesville) while still a teenager. And at some point he noticed that serious anglers and even other fishing guides were beginning to ask to go fishing with him. Those same folks encouraged him to consider making a vocation out of his hobby.

The movie A River Runs Through It created a bit of mysticism about fly fishing. Matt says that for him the more spiritual aspect is not in the casting and working the line, but rather in making a meaningful connection to what he calls “the natural systems you’re trying to infiltrate.”

“The definition of catching a fish on a fly is to trick that fish into fulfilling a natural process of chasing down some sort of food and eating it like it would normally do. So you have to have a fairly significant knowledge of fish biology, the biology of that fish’s prey, stream flow – you have to imbue yourself in nature.”

You can enjoy a conversation with Matt on the Duck Pond Wall podcast, and find out more about his thoughts on fishing, running a business, and conservation.

  • Matt Reilly
    Emory & Henry Class of 2018

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2322-phyllis-spiegel-eamph-88-named-bishop-elect-of"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.jpg" alt="Rev. Phyllis Spiegel E&H Class of 1988 (This headshot was taken by E&H alumna Brenda Kiek..." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/104,700,1200,1796/11191_Phyllis_Spiegel.rev.1651497615.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1096" data-max-h="1096" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2322-phyllis-spiegel-eamph-88-named-bishop-elect-of">Phyllis Spiegel, E&H ’88, Named Bishop-Elect of Utah Diocese</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The announcement was made on April 30, 2022, and Rev. Spiegel is excited about what comes next. <a href="/live/news/2322-phyllis-spiegel-eamph-88-named-bishop-elect-of" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/971-on-the-cover"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/113,24,959,870/6895_lindsay_powers.rev.1568661161.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/113,24,959,870/6895_lindsay_powers.rev.1568661161.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/113,24,959,870/6895_lindsay_powers.rev.1568661161.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/113,24,959,870/6895_lindsay_powers.rev.1568661161.jpg" alt="Lindsay Powers, E&H Class of 2016." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/113,24,959,870/6895_lindsay_powers.rev.1568661161.jpg 2x" data-max-w="846" data-max-h="846" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/971-on-the-cover">On the Cover!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Lindsay Powers was just featured on the cover of Kingsport’s <em>Livability</em> magazine! <a href="/live/news/971-on-the-cover" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1352-emory-henry-invited-to-participate-in-swva"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,65,635,700/6707_jack.rev.1565308906.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,65,635,700/6707_jack.rev.1565308906.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,65,635,700/6707_jack.rev.1565308906.jpg" alt="Tennessee Hills Distillery?s canine mascot, Jack. We?re going to virtually visit the distillery t..." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="635" data-max-h="635" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1352-emory-henry-invited-to-participate-in-swva">Emory & Henry Invited to Participate in SWVA Higher Ed College for Older Adults</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> E&H Alumni invited to participate in online College for Older Adults FREE in the Fall of 2020. <a href="/live/news/1352-emory-henry-invited-to-participate-in-swva" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>