Our fishing program, guides, and accommodations
Tar River Co. was started in 2020 by eastern North Carolina native Capt. Will Paul to create an outfitter that specialized in the regions unique freshwater resources. We operate primarily on two of the states most productive and wild coastal river systems- the Tar & Roanoke Rivers. This gives us hundreds of miles of water to target both resident and migratory fish throughout the season.
Our base of operation is in Rocky Mount, North Carolina which puts us within two hours of all the regions most productive waters. We strive to provide the most complete service anywhere in the state- quality lodging, airport shuttles, premium equipment and of course professional fishing guides.
Come explore the wild & scenic North Carolina.
OUR FISHING PROGRAM
Eastern North Carolina's coastal rivers provide us with wild scenery and productive fishing
Our fishing program has been developed over the course of many years to give anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to experience this incredible resource. Many species of gamefish call these waters home- with many more migrating in from the ocean every year for annual spawning runs. We specialize in target all these species with the fly rod. Our guides are dedicated to developing each of our clients as an angler- we want you to get better. Along with providing a safe, fun and productive day on the water, we want you to leave with a better understanding of fly fishing. Our goal is not just catching fish, but helping you to understand why we are catching fish. Each one of our trips we tailor to what each specific client wants to get out of the experience; sight fishing, top water tactics, specifically targeting trophy sized fish- the list goes on. While fly fishing is our speciality, we do not hesitate to employe light tackle techniques where it is appropriate. We operate a number of watercraft to safely and comfortably get our anglers to the most productive fishing. Large skiffs, Jon boats with jet drives, and rafts are all used throughout our season. All of our guides are US Coast Guard licensed Captains and fully insured.
season: Winter January & February, pre-spawn March & April, post-spawn May
tackle: 7 - 9 weight rods with a variety of sinking, intermediate and floating lines
locations: Roanoke & Tar Rivers. Weldon, Jamesville, Plymouth, Washington, Tarboro
rates: $600/ 6-7 hours (longer & shorter trips available upon request)
Migratory Striped Bass - Tar & Roanoke River systems
Our two main river systems are home to incredible spawning migrations of Striped Bass, locally referred to as 'Rockfish'. Beginning in late December schools of Striped Bass begin to enter the lower ends of our rivers to feed and prepare for their annual runs upriver. Through the spring these fish congregate in the upper reaches of our rivers and tributaries and engage in their yearly spawn before heading back out to the Atlantic of the rest of the year.
Targeted these fish in a river setting makes for a unique angling experience. Our fish average 18"-26" and can reach 40"+. We use a variety of tactics to target these fish throughout the migration but we are primarily using heavy sinking lines and large baitfish imitations. These fish pull hard and can even give us topwater opportunities if the conditions allow. You can experience this fishery January through May.
Large Mouth Bass- Tar & Roanoke River systems
Largemouth Bass are the backbone of our resident fishing program. These fish are an underrated target species on the fly rod- especially in a river setting. Part of the allure of Bass is the variety of techniques you can use to catch them. In our waters we have opportunities to throw frogs, cicadas, large streamers, and much more. We have over 300 miles over river we fish specifically for Largemouth Bass. Depending on what you are looking to get out of your trip our guides can put you on large, high volume sections of river or smaller more technical sections ideal for hunting trophy Largemouth. The fall and spring provide the best opportunity to target these fish with success in our waters.
season: Fall September through November, Spring April through June
tackle: 6 - 8 weight rods with a variety of sinking, intermediate and floating lines
locations: Roanoke & Tar Rivers as well as their tributaries.
rates: $600/ 8 hours (longer & shorter trips available upon request)
American and Hickory Shad are migratory herring species that make prolific spawning migrations into eastern North Carolina's coastal river systems. These fish are renowned by anglers up and down the east coast for they fight on fly tackle.
We target primarily American Shad in the Tar River and have developed an incredibly productive fishing program to target these fish on fly. Both single and two hand rods are used and we have opportunities to target these fish both from the boat and wading.
On the Roanoke River we target primarily Hickory Shad. These fish can be found in abundance throughout the season and provide an action packed day for kids and novice fly anglers. Don't let their size fool you- Hickory Shad pull hard and provide some impressive acrobatics on the end of a line.
American & Hickory Shad - Tar & Roanoke River Systems
season: Late February through early April
tackle: 6 - 7 weight rods with sinking lines
locations: Roanoke River for Hickory Shad, the Tar River for American Shad
rates: $600/ 7 hours (longer & shorter trips available upon request)
Gar, Bowfin, Carp and other warm water species
While we have great opportunities to fish for a number of different game species over the course of the season, some of our most unique species are often overlooked. Longnose Gar and Bowfin provide some great sight fishing situations for large, predatory fish. Our population of panfish is some of the best anywhere- numerous species from shell crackers to bluegill can be found crushing popping bugs most of the year.
Many of these species are what we enjoying fishing for on our days off. We are always excited to show people some of our more overlooked fisheries.
Capt. Will Paul - Owner, Guide
Will is the owner of Tar River Co. He is an Eastern North Carolina native, born in Greenville, North Carolina. Since a teenager, eastern North Carolina's warm water and migratory fisheries have captivated him. Will has spent his years exploring and learning every part of this unique region. He started his career in the fishing industry with The Orvis Company as a fly fishing instructor in Raleigh, NC. Shortly after Will accepted a seasonal position as a guide at one of Alaska's most prestigious fishing lodges, Tikchik Narrows Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska. After cutting his teeth in Bristol Bay Will left Orvis to start his own operation on the rivers of eastern North Carolina while still migrating to Alaska every summer to work with and learn from some of the best guides in the world. In 2020 Will made the decision to
expand and open the Tar River Company in hopes of further developing and protecting his home waters in Eastern North Carolina. Will holds a USCG Captain's license and spends 300+ days a year on the water between North Carolina and Alaska. Will is also an Orvis Endorsed fishing guide. His goal is to help his guest become better anglers that have a more intimate understanding of the fish they are targeting and the waters they call home.
Capt. Caleb Hofer - Guide
Capt. Caleb Hofer is a North Carolina native from Raleigh. He now resides in Wilmington, NC but spends his year following the best seasonal fishing opportunities. Caleb joins us for our spring season to take anglers fishing for our migratory shad & striped bass. Caleb also spends his summers at Tikchik Narrows Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska guiding a number of different waters. Caleb's enthusiasm on the water is contagious- wether it's helping a new angler catch their first fish on a fly rod or dialing in a new technique with an experienced fly fisherman, Caleb brings the same level of excitement.
Accommodations for visiting anglers
Looking to experience the best of the region's fisheries while enjoying an all inclusive lodging experience?
We offer multi-day packages for anglers to explore multiple sections of river targeting a number of different species throughout the year. These packages are all inclusive- food, beverages, and guided fishing while staying at a beautiful property in the heart of Eastern North Carolina.
We can accommodate up to 6 guests and offer these trips from March through May.