About The Coaches

Paul Bourcq, Head Coach

paulbourcqPaul Bourcq was raised in Franklin NC, the heart of some of the best trout fishing in the southern Appalachian mountains.  As a self taught fisherman, Paul learned from an early age how to catch fish with very little gear or formal training.  This adaptive “outside the box” style has been crucial to his success as a competitive angler.

In the spring of 2012 Paul was selected as Head Coach for Team USA Youth.  He travelled to the Youth World Championships in France that same summer and successfully lead the team to a silver medal.

In addition to his duties as Head Coach for Team USA Youth, Paul is an avid single-hand and double-hand caster and enjoys instructing as much as fishing. He is a FFF Certified Casting Instructor and one of fifteen members of the men’s national fly fishing team, Team USA.

When he isn’t competing, Paul guides and teaches casting at Rivers Edge Outfitters in Cherokee, North Carolina as well as the Highland Hiker in Highlands North Carolina.  Between guiding and training Paul averages 150+ days a year on the water.

Chris Smith, Team Manager and Assistant Coach

Olympiad-Fly-Masters-Casting-Competition-300x200Chris Smith joined Team USA Youth as an assistant coach in June of 2012 and was named Team Manager in 2014.  A competitive angler and fly caster at the adult level, Chris has a long history of competition success, including multiple appearances at the U.S. National Fly Fishing Championships.  Coupled with prior experience as a classroom teacher and athletics coach, Chris brings an educator’s perspective to the sport of competitive fly fishing.

When he isn’t competing or casting, Chris “moonlights” as a seasoned tournament organizer, having served on coordinating committees for US National Fly Fishing Championships, the US Youth National Championships and multiple Team USA regional qualifiers. He is also a member of the Thinkfish Network, a collection of respected international fly anglers chosen by Thinkfish Ltd. to test and represent their products and services.

A member of Team North Carolina and Team USA Youth, Chris’s mission is to contribute to the growth of competitive angling while pursuing the dream of fishing for Team USA.  He currently resides in Fort Mill, SC with his wife and two children.

Chris Lee, Assistant Coach

paulandchrisfranceBorn and raised on the fabled trout waters of Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountain National Forest, Chris Lee has been avid fly angler his entire life.  His passion for the sport led  to competitive angling, where in 2006 Chris reached the semifinals of the Fly Fishing Masters Tournament.

Today, Chris is a recognized as a seasoned veteran on the competition circuit and has competed in multiple National Fly Fishing Championships.  In 2011, Chris was one of fifteen anglers qualifying for a spot on Team USA.

In the spring of 2012, Chris became an assistant coach for Team USA Youth.  Along with head coach Paul Bourcq, Chris helped lead team to a silver medal performance in France.

Josh Stephens, Assistant Coach

joshnewzealandThere are few active competitors on the American Competitive fly fishing scene with more World Championship experience than Josh Stephens.

Josh began his competitive fly fishing career in 2005, quickly garnering a spot on the men’s national team.  In 2006 Josh was the bronze medalist at the National Fly Fishing Championship, and in 2007 he followed that performance with a silver medal.

As a member of Team USA, Josh has been to four World Championships,  and in New Zealand (2008) he finished 20th in the world.

Josh fishes” because to me it’s a great big game that applies to all aspects of life.”   He currently resides in Robbinsville, NC with his wife Jennifer.