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Meet the Team

Chris Reilly, President

Chris Reilly has spent his adult life in search of a realm where art and science exist in harmony. After a formal education in physics and a fruitful career in manufacturing, he found that realm and founded Reilly Rod Crafters. Chris has always been known as a creative problem solver – a guy that sees things a little differently. In Reilly Rod Crafters, Chris has built a company where personal relationships reign supreme and corporate decisions are made on the water. By staying intentionally small and keeping home base in rural Virginia, Chris is dedicated to supporting the local economy, or as he puts it, “Just being a good neighbor.”

A lifetime of fly fishing adventures have taken Chris around the nation and back to his home waters of the Shenandoah Valley, where he first cast a fly at age 13. Chris is best described as a responsible sportsman and a lover of all things wild.

Visit the Articulate Fly with Marvin Cash to hear Chris’ story of how Reilly Rod Crafters came into existence and what it’s like to work with many of fly fishing’s elite legends.


Matt Reilly, Chief Executive Trout Bum

Matt Reilly is a highly regarded guide, freelance writer, outdoor columnist, and photographer based in Virginia and northeast Tennessee. His work has appeared in Eastern Fly FishingFly TyerBlue Ridge OutdoorsHatch MagazineVirginia Wildlife, and a number of other national and regional publications. His outdoor column in The Rural Virginian has seen more than 300 editions.

Give a listen to Matt’s bi-weekly Southwest Virginia Fishing Report with Marvin Cash of the Articulate Fly


Stu Apte, Legendary Bluewater Giant

Stu has been a member of the “Royal Family” of high profile fly fisherman since many of us were in diapers. He’s designed flies, fly rods, boats, written books, filmed television shows etc…And all are first rate!

In the sport-fishing world, Stu is best known for tarpon and, more specifically, tarpon on the fly! But like the rest of us, Stu loves to be on the water and it just doesn’t matter if it’s the Cuban flats, the blue water off the Costa Rican beaches, or trout streams in Montana. If Stu’s there and there are any fish in the vicinity…It’s going to be a one sided fight!

Stu has held 44 IGFA World Records and has guided other anglers to over 100 more. He is an inductee of the IGFA Hall of Fame as well as the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.


Dirk Fischbach

Dirk Fischbach, National Sales Coordinator

Dirk Fischbach began fly fishing at age 12 and dedicated himself to that method of angling by age 18. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he guided at Montana’s legendary Lone Mountain Ranch, helping to earn them their Orvis endorsement. Returning home to Michigan, he established the first professional guiding service on the Huron River system in Southeastern Michigan in 1987 and worked those waters for 30 years. He co-founded the Painted Trout Fly Shop in Dexter, Michigan, before forming Advantage Angling Services to represent manufacturers in the fly fishing industry.

Dirk is the author of Last Saturday in April and the Fly Fisher’s Huron, as well as countless newspaper and magazine articles on all aspects of the sport.

Chuck Kraft, Legendary River King

Chuck is one of the unsung heroes of the fishing world. He has guided for smallmouth bass and trout in the Mid-Atlantic for several decades and for trout in Chile during our off season. He very quickly became one of the most sought after guides in the country — and for some very good reasons.

1. He’s an amazing coach with a work ethic that is second to none.
2. He regularly puts his clients on trophy fish. In fact, so much so that you had to book him a year in advance.

Because of his guiding success, Chuck chose to keep a very low profile and swore his clients to secrecy about where they fished and what flies. This was only done to protect himself and his clients from hoarding mobs of fisherman that might do anything to see what they were doing that was so darned successful.

Now that he has mostly retired from guiding, Chuck has become widely known as an extremely innovative fly tier but, truth be known, most of his designs that have gained fame over the last several years were actually designed by Chuck twenty or more years ago specifically for his guide service. Several of those designs are now staples in many vests across the country and around the world. You might recognize them as the CK Nymph, the ClawDad, the Kreelex, the CritterMite, the CK Baitfish, the CritterClaw, the Parakeet, and many more…

There is so much more to this man than could be written here so do yourself a favor and seek him out at one of the shows, spend a few minutes with him, and prepare yourself to be educated.

Everyone might not know Chuck’s name but rest assured, the likes of Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulff, Bob Clouser, Stu Apte, Flip Pallot, etc…definitely do! And for a darned good reason! Just ask any one of them and they’ll tell you about Chuck Kraft, the LEGEND.