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Scott Kesler

Founder & Guide

I founded this organization on the core principles of serving those that have sacrificed so much for this great nation. Our mission is clear and we will accomplish it with your help. My grandfather was a veteran an avid fisherman. I never knew him as anything but. Before age 5, he put a fishing pole in my hand and I've never put it down. He taught me to cast in the pool of his back yard, which also happened to be located on Lake Griffen in Ocala, FL. I grew up finesse bass fishing that lake every time we visited. I grew up in the Mountain Park/Lilburn, GA area fishing local ponds my parents would allow me(sneak) to walk and fish. During the summers, my mother would drop me at Stone Mountain park where I'd fish by myself all day while they worked. As I entered my upper teens/early twenties, I owned several jon boats and bass boats. It wasn't until my mid 20's that I was exposed to trout fishing on the streams of north GA. I quickly realized it was much cheaper than owning a bass boat! That started my passion for trout fishing. I progressed from small "stocker" streams to delayed harvest, WMA, reservation only trophy trout streams. As a father of 2 boys (now ages 18 and 15), I exposed them to the sport at a very young age. We spent many years fishing and camping the same streams I "cut my teeth" on in my 20's. My grandfather's legacy lives on today through me and my boys, as well as his love for service and country. To this day, I carry a fly he tied himself with me on the rivers and streams as a reminder of his legacy and service. I hope to be able to share that same love for service, country, fishing,  and teaching and give back to those who have sacrificed so much for all of us. I'm truly blessed to lead this organization and to have "answered the call".

 

Jim Ivey

Guide

Jim grew up fishing in very different parts of the country. Born in Portland Oregon, he moved to Seattle at the age of 5. He fell in love with fishing in the Puget sound and other small streams around that area. When he turned 8, his family moved to Kenner, Louisiana where Jim fished the bayou's, lakes, canals, and Swamps around Lake Pontchartrain. Firmly in love with fresh water fishing, he started spending his summers in North Florida at Kingsley Lake and other local rivers/lakes. He literally fished every day of his childhood summers and had his first boat at age 8. This was also when he developed a love for fly fishing for bass and pan fish. After his family again moved to Marietta, Ga., Jim was in the 6th grade and ready to explore the North Georgia Mountain streams with his family and new friends. Over the last 25 years, he has visited and fished many of North Georgia and North Carolina's trout streams. Jim currently spends a lot of his fly fishing time on the tail waters of the Tocoaa River, but also enjoys fishing near Asheville and Lake Watauga. Several times a year, he also heads out to Kalispell, MT to visit his Family. He will tell you that fishing the Bob Marshal wilderness and Glacier National Park are always part of his lifetime highlight real and that everyone should get to experience it. In addition to Fly Fishing, Jim routinely fishes for Stripers and Hybrid bass on the reservoirs of North Georgia. He has two children Garrett (6) and Caroline (9) and both are showing a real interest in fishing. His real joy, now comes from teaching his kids and others what an ultra-rewarding, lifelong sport fishing can be! 

 
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Ron Thomas

Guide

I've been fishing the streams and rivers of North Georgia and western North Carolina since I was a kid.
I started guiding fly fishing trips in 2005 and still can't believe I have such an awesome opportunity to fish with folks from all over the world and hopefully to help them be a better angler and enjoy their experience on the water to the fullest.
Guiding is just an extension of my fishing & I believe I enjoy it just as much.
I began tying my own flies in 2008 and became a fly tying instructor not long afterwards.  I use my flies on all my guided trips and sell flies commercially.
I am an endorsed Orvis guide, an Ambassador Guide for Simms, and serve on the Pro Staff for Peak Vises.
I have served as president of Foothills Chapter of Trout Unlimited and stay active in TU programs that involve stream conservation, and programs that are geared especially toward our youth and veterans.

 
 
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Justin McCullough

Guide

I have been fishing in the north Georgia mountains since I was just a
kid. My introduction to fly fishing began in college fishing the streams
around Helen, Ga. That introduction has lead to a passion and obsession
that has lead me all over the United States chasing fish with a fly. The
streams lead to lakes and salt water from Wyoming to Florida. While my
favorite is the backwoods streams of north Georgia, the coastal flats of
the Georgia island’s marshes are also home. Fly fishing and tying
flies lead me with the desire to share the passion with others. I guide
for Casting For Recovery, which takes ladies with Breast Cancer to the
streams of north Georgia to find healing. I am also excited to be a
guide for OR2R and experience the joy of taking Veterans to the streams
to heal.

 

Nick McDougald

Guide

He was born and raised in GA. Nick started fishing around age 5 w his father who was an avid trout fisherman himself.  In fact nicks first fish he ever caught was a rainbow trout on a small stream in NE GA. By age 7 he was trout fishing regularly w his father on the streams around Cleveland GA. Nicks passion for trout fishing dates back to those early yrs. His father to this day tells a story of an inexperienced young boy(Nicky)fishing from the edge of a stream while his father, completely outfitted, was wading in the center of the stream. Nicks father describes throwing "anything and everything" at those fish during that post rain stream but to no avail. Nick watching his dad decides to fish the slower moving water around the backs and shallower water and as the story goes, little Nicky catches his limit and out fishes his father. That began his passion for trout and understanding of the river, trout habits and tendencies...he was hooked! To this day nick remains an avid trout fisherman and campers with more knowledge of the NE GA area and streams than anyone I've ever met. If there is a stream in North GA w trout in it...Nick has scouted it, mapped it and fished it! Nicks is a father of 2 young boys approx the same age as when he started fishing w his father. They too enjoy trout fishing w their dad on a regular basis. Nick specializes in smaller cold water streams In north Ga as well as the chattahoochee rivers northern and Buford dams southern stretches. His laid back personality, patience and demeanor are ideal for guiding and teaching the art of fishing. He also has a passion for grilling and smoking BBQ which he also volunteers that expertise for our events. I have known and fished w him for over 20yrs. OR2R is blessed to have him and his passion for fishing, teaching and supporting our veterans.

 

Cornell Feldesman

Guide

My story begins 30+ years ago in California.  A construction worker 
introduced me to the sport of fly fishing.  What better place to learn?  
I spent the next 15 years fishing Northern California and Idaho.

15 years ago, due to my husbands diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer, we 
returned home to Atlanta to be closer to my family.  I returned to fly 
fishing after he passed in early 02.

I found Smithgall Woods Conservation in Helen, GA and was soon asked by 
the Property Manager, John Erberle, to become a guide.  I've guided on 
Brigadoon and North Carolinas Nantahala gorge waters.

I'm a member of the Georgia Womens Fly Fishers, TU, and FFF.  Have 
served as a Goodwill Guide for Veterans and Fly Fishing for Vets.  I 
volunteer for many causes relating to fly fishing since it's my passion 
and my late husband was a Veteran. I am mentoring a young boy right now 
and was asked by one of our State Biologists if I would help a Special 
Needs Child. Everyone has the right to seek a passion and if it's fly 
fishing, I'm in.
My passion to share with others the serenity and peacefulness it 
provides every time we step into the water.  It's the love of the water 
and woods that keeps me going back.  To guide people who've never fly 
fished before and see the joy in their eyes when they hook a trout for 
the first time.  It's teaching different ways of casting on different 
waters.  It's pure love and the love of sharing it's beauty.