Who Is Matt Reilly?

Recipient of 2014 OJEFA 4th Annual Lindsay-Sale Tinney Award

Co-recipient of 2014 OWAA Madson Fellowship

Young Va. outdoor writer winning awards, and for good reason

Winner of SFRED national essay contest

2-time winner of VOWA High School Essay Contest

Multiple-time VOWA Excellence in Craft Award Winner

I was introduced to the outdoors at an early age.  By the age of three I had squeezed the trigger of a finely-crafted shotgun, brought squirrels tumbling down from their perch, beheld 24 inches of trout, and cast a fly rod--with a little help, of course.

    Left to my own devices, I spend as much time as possible fly fishing and tying flies, hunting, camping, and writing and photographing the beautiful details I notice and treasure with every adventure outdoors.  While my truest passion is fly fishing, I take pride in striving to be an all-around outdoorsman.  I especially love teaching others about fishing and the science behind the ritual.

    This blog, Adventures Afield, began as a professional suggestion from Lake Anna fishing guide and Woods & Waters Magazine editor, Chris McCotter while bass fishing the Lake in early spring.  Its creation gave me an outlet and a home base.  After winning an essay contest in Feb. 2012 sponsored by the wonderfully supporting Virginia Outdoor Writers Association, home base turned into a professional gig as a columnist with the Rural Virginian in the summer of 2012, and has since been flooded with weekly columns and reflections.

    It was Chris, too, who gave me my first chance at writing, a feature article in the March 2012 edition of Woods & Waters.  Ironically, it was friend-of-family, the late Bob Gooch, who gave Chris his first shot at professionalism; and though I can only hope to be the writer Bob was, from his hometown of Troy, Va.--from the same street, actually--I now assume the job of informing the sporting residents of Central Virginia.

    Since that time, I've established a name as a freelance writer and photographer, with credits in Woods & Waters, Fly Tyer, Virginia Wildlife, JAKES Country, and Eastern Fly Fishing magazines.  Travel and fly fishing have been my best subjects, but I regularly write on an array of topics.

    I would not be where I am today without the support of those in the community and those that I call friends and associates.  Help bring that circle closer.  Send me a line, whether to critique, ask a question, suggest a topic, share a story or photo, or just say hey!  I'm readily available, if I'm not fishing!  So don't hesitate!

Tight Lines,

Matt Reilly

Adventures Afield

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Anonymous said...

I admire and envy you very much,What a wonderful journey you are on. We continue to pray for your safety and success.


Matt Reilly said...

Thank you very much for your support, and for the comment! I hope you enjoy! And I welcome feedback!

All the best

Chris Swanson said...

I enjoy reading your blog and learning from your articles.Keep up the good work brother. You're going places with your talent/skill of writing, and being a versatile, resolute outdoorsman.

Matt Reilly said...


I appreciate the comment and your friendship. Thanks for reading, and keep up your good work at SwansonOutdoors.blogspot.com. Make something happen!

Eric Megahan said...

Matt keep up your amazing work around writing and being a great outdoors man. You worked hard on the soccer field and have worked even harder with your passion. Don't stop!

Your FCHS teammate,

Eric Megahan

Matthew Reilly said...


Thanks, brother! Those were great days, and there are always better ones ahead. Good luck in life, my friend.

Dilbertnomore said...

Matt -

Just enjoyed reading your 10/19 column in The Rural Virginian.

I had no idea Hillary Clinton had a black lab or shopped at The Orvis Company in Charlottesville! You must have felt so very honored by her engaging you in her customary manner.

Keep up the great work. Adventures Afield is a great entertainmnet.

Rick Arllen
Scottsville, Albemarle County

Fonste said...

Matt I have enjoyed your style of writing since I discovered your column about a year ago, it peaked my interest. I hope you will always be writing in some form, whether in newsprint or book form.
I have just read your latest column and boy did you hit the subject right on the head!!! I totally agree with you and it has always baffled me why these "privileged" persons think they have the right to act the way they do???? From my prospective I think they are very insecure. Anyway, keep up the great writing. I look forward to the next column in the Rural Virginian.

Matt Reilly said...


You'da thunk such things as dog ownership and proximity to fly fishing influence would turn some people out better than they are. Unfortunately it's not always the case.

Thanks for your readership!

Matt Reilly said...


Thanks so much for the words and for your readership. School and freelance assignments make the column a hard commitment, some weeks, but I do enjoy cranking it out, especially when it means connecting with people around my home.

Glad you enjoyed it!