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Home Instruction/Guide Service About Our Guide and Instructor

An autobiography of our guide & instructor

About Our Guide & Instructor 


Picturre of our instructor and guide

 Bill Bernhardt


 Hello Folks,

      I have been an avid (or should I say rabid?) fly fisherman for about thirty-five years now and I have been guiding and instructing professionally for over fifteen years. However, unlike most fly fishermen, I have a passion for small, hidden, mountain streams where the trout are native and very wary and thus demand the utmost skill level from an angler. In addition, I dearly love to teach people about the art of fly fishing or “trout hunting” as I prefer to think of it and thus I thoroughly enjoy every moment I spend with both my students and my clients.


       FYI, I was born in 1960 in small town called Lenoir (named after Confederate General William Lenoir) which is located in western North Carolina in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In addition, my father, who spent most of his life working for the U.S. Forest Service, was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist and he instilled in me from an early age his values and love of the outdoors. Then, at age eight, after watching my father fly fish when we camped on Slick Rock creek, I convinced him to buy my first fly fishing outfit and I have been obsessed with the sport ever since.


       Furthermore, due to my father’s employment with the U.S. Forest Service, I have had the privlege of living and fishing in some of the most exotic locations the U.S. has to offer such as Juneau, AK., Jackson Hole, WY., and Marathon, Fl. which is located in the Florida Keys. But, although my fishing experience is widely varied, it wasn’t until I moved back to North Carolina and discovered the awe inspiring beauty and the profound sense of mystery and isolation that mountain streams offer the fly fisherman that I found my true love in life. Thus, I now consider myself to be a dedicated small-stream specialist. So, while I still enjoy fishing larger streams for Smallmouth Bass and big Browns as well as kayak fishing for trout and smallmouth bass on our local reservoirs, and the occasional trip on saltwater, I find myself returning over and over again to those hidden mountain gems where I very seldom see another person and the sense of discovery is always just around the next bend.


     In fact, it was my love of “trout hunting” on small, mountain streams that first lead me to consider the idea of becoming a fly fishing instructor and guide and my first trip as a guide convinced me that teaching others about the sport of fly fishing was something that I was truly meant to do in life. Since then, I have spent countless hours exploring our local streams and my observations have lead me to many insights that I would be happy to share with you.


      Last, it is very important for every fisherman to understand that Trout are a precious resource and that their habitat is fragile. Thus, I now consider every angler that I teach or gude to be a potential conservationist and I strongly urge each of them to join and become active in their local chapter of Trout Unlimited.










Bill Bernhardt

Guide & Instructor

Harper Creek Fly Fishing Company







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