For Steve Grose, fly-fishing is more than a hobby, it’s therapy. Steve has been fishing since he was a kid growing up in Florida, and, now, as the “Grand Poobah” of fly-fishing at Luthi’s Outfitters, he spends his days surrounded by rods, reels, leaders, and tippets. “I’ve been fly-fishing for forty years,” Steve says, sitting behind a fly-tying rig at Luthi’s on Laurens Road. “It’s a very active endeavor. You’re constantly casting, constantly looking, constantly trying to find fish. It requires a great deal of concentration because you are not just flipping a bait out there and waiting for the bobber to go under, you’re actually having to feel the fish take the fly. It’s a lot more fulfilling because of that.”
Triangle(r) // Steve Grose fishes in the Chattooga River, one of three that are his go-tos for rainbow, brook, and brown trout.
While it might appear complicated, Steve says fly-fishing is actually fairly easy to learn—it just takes patience. “I think getting out there and doing it with someone who is an expert is the best way to start,” Steve says. “A good guide can teach you more in a day than you could learn in six months on your own. But you’ve got to learn more than just the technique; you’ve got to learn the nuances. It takes commitment.”
While catching fish might be nice, for Steve fly-fishing is more about unwinding and communing with nature while being a responsible steward of the environment. “I’m very strong on conservation,” he says. “These streams are a valuable resource, and if we don’t care for them, we won’t always have them. I’m a staunch believer in catch-and-release. That being said, I just love the experience of fly-fishing. It’s very relaxing. It’s the opportunity to leave all your troubles and worries somewhere else for a little while.”
STEVE’S FAVORITE RIVERS
CHATTOOGA RIVER // ENTRY POINT : BURRELLS FORD
The natural border between South Carolina and Georgia is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in the Southeast. The area from Burrells Ford downstream to the connection with Reed Creek, Georgia, is stocked once annually with sub-adult brown and rainbow trout.
CHAUGA RIVER // ENTRY POINT : CASSIDY BRIDGE ROAD
The Chauga forms in the Mountain Rest community just south of SC Hwy 28, eventually flowing into Lake Hartwell. Even though it’s primarily a hatchery-supported trout stream, some wild trout can occasionally be found.
DAVIDSON RIVER // ENTRY POINT : AREAS ALONG HWY 276 IN THE PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST
One of the most heavily-fished streams in the Southeast, the Davidson is also one of the most beautiful. The Davidson holds some of the largest fish in Western North Carolina and has been listed as a Trout Unlimited Top 100 Stream of America for several years.
“There’s a lot of fishable water within a couple of hours’ drive of Greenville,” Grose says. “But trout don’t live in bad places, so it’s always beautiful on the river no matter where you go.”