Your name or any nicknames you have?

Kevin Nunnelee. Some friends have started calling me Trout Beard, though, because of my Instagram handle.

Where are you at in the world? Where will you be fishing this year?

I live in Southern Oklahoma. I just got back from New Mexico and Colorado, and I’m planning trips to Michigan, Arkansas, and back to Colorado. 

What river(s) and lake(s) do you guide/fish?

The Lower Mountain Fork River in Southeastern Oklahoma and the Blue River in South Central Oklahoma are my home waters. I am also lucky enough to have five lakes in about a 15 mile range from me, which I hit up almost everyday before or after work.

How long have you been guiding/fly fishing? 

I’ve been fly fishing for only about 3 years. I think guiding will be my next endeavor.

What got you into fly fishing? When did you start? 

I’ve always been interested in fly fishing. So, a few summers ago, after I got really bored with gear fishing, I picked up an old fly rod and started practicing my fly cast in my backyard and then started targeting bluegill in local lakes. I have never looked back.

Why do you fly fish?  What does it “do” for you?

Fly fishing helps me escape everything. While fishing, I become completely submerged in the rhythm of the fly cast and the scenery around me. It helps to recharge me and acts as my therapy.

If you own and use a Rod Vault, what do you like about you Rod Vault?

After I get a camper shell for my truck, a Rod Vault will def be my next purchase!

What is a piece of advice you want to give to other anglers or a tip/trick that has helped you grow as an angler?

Fly fishing is a constant learning experience, and you can learn things about it from newbies as well as seasoned guides. Don’t approach the river wondering how many fish you’re going to catch that day. Instead, approach the river wondering what you’re going to learn about fish and fishing that day. And don’t be afraid to talk to other fisherman. If nothing else, you walk away with a funny story.

Who has influenced you most as an angler?

My dad. As a kid, I hated fishing with my dad. Every trip he would drag us over and under barbed wire fences, through briers and poison ivy, down steep banks, and through snake and tick country, all while lugging around 5 tackle boxes and 7 or 8 rods. However, I’ve realized that I’ve turned out to be the exact same type of fisherman as my dad. I will go through all kinds of stuff to get to the perfect spot and carry way more gear and flies than I’ll need.  Also, my dad has instilled in me a lifelong love and respect of nature and the outdoors. 

What’s your favorite new piece of gear?

My Rising net. Tough as hell, made in USA, and comes with awesome custom engraving. I’ve got the “lunker” size because I like a longer handle, and the bag is large enough to handle everything from 10″ browns to Great Lake Salmon. 

What is your favorite fly? (To tie, or catch fish on?).

Bunny Leeches. I’m a streamer junkie most of the time and these flies are really quick and easy to tie. You can practically fill a box in an hour! The rabbit fur has really nice action underwater, and the fly can be used for multiple species.

Best catch of all time?

The 24″ male Rainbow I pulled in this January.

What’s your “Dream Trip”? 

My dream trip is simple: Swinging for steel in the PNW. One of the first fly fishing articles I ever read was about swinging flies for steelhead on the Deschutes River, and it has been my dream ever since.

What are some of the best places you’ve been fishing?

Small streams in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico. I spent a few days casting dries on a 2wt glass to brownies and cutties. The fish and the scenery were both beautiful!

How do people follow you on social media or reach you?

Instagram: @trout_beard

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