A beautiful “Gloria” getting ready for release.


 “Gloria” is a name you might hear being yelled when fishing any number of rivers surrounding Asheville, North Carolina. Sometimes its a coaxing whisper, other times it’s shouted out of  frustration, and on the best of occasions, it’s exclaimed in a cheerful G-L-O-R-I-AAAAAA!

My client is a dry fly purist and a wonderful person to vicariously fish through. She calls all of her trout “Gloria.” On this particular day, I heard Gloria’s name being called several times from the back of the boat on the South Holston River.

The first time I heard it, “Gllloooriaaa” echoed off a rock bluff, and as I turned around, I saw that her rod was bent and the reel was singing. “Oh Gloria!” she exclaimed and I chuckled and I netted a beautiful 18 inch wild brown trout caught on a size 18 sulfur mayfly emerger.

A few moments later, I hear “Gloria” again. Same deal, same fly, same exclamation. My client tapped her feet, clapped her hands and dipped them in the water for a quick photo with “GLORIA.”

While all these browns were solid fish, I knew there was an extra special “Gloria” a mile or so downstream.

I saw her in a particular location I had been two days prior with my client’s husband. He and I spent about 2 hours working the fish on dry flies. We trusted the process, rested the picky eater, and tried again and again. We gave it our best but the stars just didn’t align during those 2 hours.

This day, as we pulled up to Gloria’s piece of water, she was waiting for us. We spent over an hour presenting flies and resting the fish when it refused each presentation. Of course, eventually, Gloria did eat HER fly. If we weren’t the last boat on the water, everyone on the river would have heard Gloria’s name sung in unison by all three of us at the top of our lungs. It was such a joyful noise you’d think we were at church or a Van Morrison concert.

Cheers to all the G-L-O-R-I-A-S out there!

Galen Kipar owns and operates Asheville Fly Fishing Company, a unique Southern Appalachian guide service offering a wide array of experiences, including immersive multi-day safari-style trips for Smallmouth Bass, Musky and Trout. For the last 15 years, he’s shared his passion and specialized knowledge of warm water smallmouth bass and trout species on the French Broad River, South Holston and Watauga Rivers with clients. He’s also partnered with regional conservation organizations to raise awareness of habitat protection and water quality. Fly fishing has led him all over the US, Bahamas, and Belize in piscatorial pursuits. Galen is a Field Advisor for Winston  and a Bauer Reels Ambassador. On and off the water, he works with True Wealth Mentorship bringing together the life lessons of leadership and fly fishing for his guide staff and guests.