Anytime we cross over the South Carolina state line and head into North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains to cast some lines, we're calling Harrison Beckwith.
Harrison left his pursuit for a career in medicine 4 years ago to become a full time guide and today this Free Fly Ambassador and Brookings' Anglers Guide holds the keys to some of the best fishing knowledge in Western North Carolina.
And, while most of us are sitting inside working office jobs, Harrison is outside everyday living life to the fullest and guiding and exploring some of the best freshwater streams in the country.
Q: Where do you guide?
Cashiers, North Carolina is my home base. The majority of what I do is trout all over Western NC, with an occasional trip to my hometown, Clemson, South Carolina on Lake Hartwell for striper on fly. And a few trips to the Lowcountry each year for reds on fly.
Q: How long have you been guiding?
What made you decide to be a guide?
What started as a part-time gig in college, turned into a career. I was on the path to medical school, while guiding on the side and working two other jobs in the medical field. One day it hit me that I just didn't want to give up guiding to pursue medicine, and I took a leap of faith to try do it full time. I haven't looked back since.
Most rewarding part of guiding?
Being outside in beautiful places every day.
I would not be where I am today without learning the ropes from the best in the business.
Favorite place you've fished?
Hands down Patagonia.
Where's your dream trip?
I'd like to chase GT's in the Seychelles.
Dream fish to catch?
My dream fish is the SC state record striper...on fly.
What's your favorite piece of gear right now?
Probably have to go with the Hardy Zephrus 9' 4wt. Sweet rod.
Funniest guiding story?
I was guiding an older gentlemen years ago on a small wild stream. I was preaching the importance of stealth, and accurate presentation when approaching wild fish. My client was very defiant and not interested in what I had to say. I looked downstream to check on his counterpart, and when I returned to his direction he was stomping upstream recklessly. I ran after to catch-up to him. As soon as I did, I noticed a very irritated, basketball sized hornet's nest next to his head. I immediately dove in the water, and rose up slowly only exposing my eyes above water to watch this man learn his lesson. Listen to your guide people.
Favorite Free Fly item?
I couldn't live without the Bamboo boxer briefs.
Advice to people who want to become a guide?
Befriend an OG that has been in the business a long time and learn from them. I would not be where I am today without learning the ropes from the best in the business.
How should people get in touch with you to book a trip?