Phil Anker-Nogee

Years Fishing?

I’ve been fishing as long as I can remember but I got into fly fishing about 15 years ago. 

Years Guiding?

I have been guiding float trips for Harrison Anglers the past 5 years full time, before that I was doing some wade trips of my own in my off time. 

Who introduced you to fly fishing?

I got into fly fishing around the age of 10 at the Virginia Fly Fishing show. Lefty Kreh brought me up and taught me how to cast…I was converted from there on. After that the Trout Unlimited youth camps taught me a lot, where I continue to volunteer and teach other kids for a week each summer

Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?

My home waters I guide on are the tail-waters and freestone rivers of Western Massachusetts, specifically the Deerfield and Swift rivers along with many other smaller rivers in the area. Out here we truly have a 12 month fishery. Depending on the time of year we might adjust location or tactics but theres always something to do out here, which is one of the main reasons I love this area. The large wild brown trout of this area are the prime target in some months but these rivers have excellent populations of Brook and Rainbow trout which provide consistent action all year round. 

What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?

The height of my season is definitely the spring from late March into early July a day off is hard to come by, fishing is electric depending on water conditions and its nice to get out there without freezing. My favorite season though has to be winter, from January into April I spend my time hunting the giant brown trout in the local freestones and tailwaters. Hunting these fish keeps me constantly excited and the cold months definitely give the best shot at crossing paths with one.

What do you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?

To me Thomas and Thomas is what a rod company is suppose to be. The thought and effort put into the design and craftsmanship of the rods is apparent when you fish them. This is really a local American company and I can take pride knowing my rods are made just down the river from my house. The people at Thomas & Thomas really care about providing the best product out there and I think once you own one you really understand what that means. For the most part when targeting trout I like to use the Contact 2 1003 and 1094, it is the best rod I have fished and will do anything from mono rig euro nymphing to dry fly fishing, tightline streamers or even chucking long bobber rigs. If im targeting larger fish from a boat or throwing heavier rigs I prefer a 1004 or 1005 Avvant for its backbone. Targeting predatory fish and throwing sinklines the Exocett SS is hard to beat, for trout I like the 200 grain.

What's your current go-to fly?

My current go to fly is the creature but you’ll have to come on a trip to see it. 

Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?

An insulated water bottle nothing nicer than ice water in the summer or hot coffee in the winter.

My favorite thing about guiding is:

Guiding is just about all I want to do. I love to row boats and float on rivers. Most of all its cool to interact and connect with so many different people from all walks of life. One of the best parts about fly fishing is no matter where you come from if you like to fish we’ll probably get along great. 

From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?

I think guide trips are the best way to learn about a river system. Theres nothing that can match seeing the same water day in and day out a local guide will have small tips and tricks to figuring out a new river or even an old river you’ve struggled on in the past. For beginners, having someone to show them rigging and to deal with tangles and snags can be a more frustration free introduction to a rather complicated activity. 

What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...

Clients can expect to have a fun experience out on the water regardless of skill level. I like to teach clients that they dont need to cast a mile and be a great angler to have a good day on the river. I find starting slow usually ends up with great success and much less frustration. 

What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?

My ideal lunch would be a riverside cookout but I usually settle for a protein bar and a cigarette 

When I'm not fishing you'll find me

When im not fishing im most likely tying flies or drinking beer in town