Meet the Team

Still Just Anglers


Yes, our team members have awards and records and collectively, we’ve spent decades in manufacturing, engineering product and fly design and, maybe, way too much time on the water—all innocent and welcomed vices.

We take experience to heart, both from our veterans who forget more than most of us know about fly fishing and new anglers who experience what we all love in a way we all can appreciate. Listening to everyone is invaluable to our experience.

Advancements in materials and methods will always offer us advantages. What comes through in our fly rods is our constant drive to keep improving, the wisdom to know when the feel is right and our creative ability that comes from our decades of experienced angling.

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 Shanandoah 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.

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 Fishing, Fly Tyer, Blue Ridge Outdoors, Hatch Magazine, Virginia Wildlife, and a number of other national and regional publications. His outdoor column in The Rural Virginian has seen more than 300 editions. He can be reached via:

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.

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.

Joe Mahler

Marshland Maestro


Joe Mahler is a fly fishing author, illustrator, casting instructor and freshwater guide living in Fort Myers, Florida. His work appears in Fly Fisherman Magazine, Salt Water Sportsman, Outdoor Life and other publications. Joe is also the author and illustrator of “Essential Knots & Rigs for Trout” and “Essential Knots & Rigs for Salt Water” (Stackpole Books).

As one of the nation’s leading fly casting instructors, Joe has been seen casting away in national television commercials for Bass Pro Shops, Tracker and Mako Boats. When not fishing the historic backcountry of Southwest Florida and the Everglades, he can be found teaching fly casting to enthusiasts of all levels at through private lessons and clinics. Joe’s easy-going napproach and effortless fly casting style have made him a popular guest speaker at fishing clubs and sports shows.

Joe is currently a member of the Dyna-King Professional Tying Team. Mahler’s popular fly pattern creations–the Straw Boss and the Single-strand Monofilament Shrimp have been featured in several magazine articles and books.

In 2018, Reilly Rod Crafters released the Mahler Signature Series fly rods. The series features two rods, the Lily Pad 5/6 weight and the Cypress 7/8 weight. Both models feature a unique grip designed for comfort and stability and come in colors pulled directly from nature.

To learn more, visit www.joemahler.com

Learn more about our [R]evolution:
[R]esponsibility
[R]espect
[R]esearch
[R]ight