William Collier

Years Fishing?


Who introduced you to fly fishing?

My Dad and Grandfather introduced me to fly fishing when I was 6.  Just about everyone in our family loves to saltwater fly fish.

What's your involvement in the industry?

Employed at The Fish Hawk

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

Living in Atlanta gives me two options.  Locally I fish for largemouth and striped bass, as well as trout.  The Georgia coast has amazing fishing as well.  From Atlanta, we can be in the Keys, the Bahamas, Mexico and Belize in under 2 hours on a direct flight.  My real passion is saltwater fishing. I have been lucky to have been given opportunities to target inshore species such as redfish, snook, tarpon, permit, and bonefish. All of my competitive fishing has been in saltwater.  

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

My favorite time is Summer when the water starts to warm. It's warmth allows me (locally) to target striped bass in rivers. And if I’m lucky, travel for some great tarpon and snook fishing in Florida. The weather allows me to reach different species, whereas other seasons often make it hard with changing temperatures in my area.

What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?

My favorite travel destination is the Florida Keys. I have been going since I was 10 and my favorite thing about the fishery is the diversity in species, as well as the talent of guides - especially fellow T&T pro Justin Rea in Sugarloaf Key. Most of my best fishing days were there and the fishing is like no other place that I have been to.

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

The thing I like most about Thomas and Thomas rods is how crisp and smooth they are. It is one rod that I can rely on to make a great cast and the weight of it allows me to throw it all day with no issues. I fish the exocett which is light as a feather but can still handle big fish. 

What's your current go-to fly?

My current go to fly is the green eyed lady. It was originally tied by Justin Rea and fished by my dad, who has won several tournaments with it.  I have caught multiple personal bests on it and can catch any fish that swims from bass to tarpon, bonefish and redfish.  

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

I always bring my phone because you never know what will happen on the water. It can also capture some pretty sweet moments that will be remembered. I also always bring my Hatch nippers because I am constantly relying on them switching flies to see what the fish want.

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

I have been on many guided trips and I can say the biggest benefit is learning about the behaviors of the target species in that area and the different ways that guides approach them. I have also learned a lot about improving my cast and my presentation to the fish.

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

My ideal lunch on the water would be a good sandwich or Dion's fried chicken if I am in the area. I also usually pack some snacks like beef jerky or chips as well.

What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?

I read Florida Sportsman as well as the Drake

When I'm not fishing you'll find me:

In school because if I am not in school, I am fishing.