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Fly Fishing 101 and 201 - Red's University of Fly Fishing





Ever seen A River Runs Through It? Or met someone who is simply crazy about fly fishing, a real fly fishing addict? Ever thought, "I'd like to try that too!" Well, this is your chance to find out what all the excitement is about. 

Fly Fishing 101 - The Foundation

Fly Fishing 101 is a survey of our sport, an informative, hands-on stream-side introduction into the world of fly fishing and fly casting. It is fun, low pressure, and makes a great starter class or review for rusty anglers.

With conventional spin fishing, effective casting depends on the weight on the end of the line. Fly fishing is different. Fly casting works because the weight in the middle moves the fly to the target. Once a student understands this, casting is easy and fun!

In order to go fly fishing... you need a fly on your line. To get a fly on your line.... you need to tie a knot! Understanding a few basic knots is all that is needed to go fly fishing. We teach the knots you need to know and tie them together. If knots are "not" your thing, you really only need one (the easiest) and you are good!

We cover reading a river to understand where to cast. Fish congregate in certain areas to feed, regardless of how expansive a river is. Once you understand this, you can read any river and catch fish anywhere.

Fly Fishing 201 - Essential River Skills

In Fly Fishing 201 the lessons will be brought to the next level.  Students learn how and when to false cast, shoot line, and cast much further than they did in 101.

Students learn to set up an entire fly fishing leader and line.  When to fish dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Our instructors demonstrate correct rigging and set-up so that you know exactly how your leader, line, and fly should look. The work in class focuses on presenting the fly correctly to the places where fish eat.

The art of achieving a proper fly drift requires a technique known as mending. Mending is demonstrated and each student learns how to get a "drag-free" drift. In 201 students spend time with the instructor to review progress and ask questions.  These classes are typically a bit smaller and this is when you will get more 1:1 attention. There is a comprehensive Q & A session to prepare students for the final core class which is.... 

Trout feed below the surface each day, in fact 90% of what a trout eats is under water. When fish are not active at the surface, anglers target fish below the surface to simulate insect movement under water. Participants learn nymphing skills including rigging, casting to the feeding lanes and seasonal fly patterns.  

When trout grow larger, they cannot get sufficient nutrition from an insect diet. Large trout will actually eat eat smaller fish to sustain their diet. Streamers represent smaller fish in the water and are used to attract larger fish. We will identify good holding water and proper rigging for targeting fish on streamers.  Often we even use a screen to show the students some of the actual forage fish that big trout eat like a Sculpin or even a Crawfish!  There is no substitute for seeing the real thing. 

What Should I Bring to Class?
  • Fly rod and reel (if you have one, but we provide gear for anyone that needs it)
  • Sunglasses
  • Visor or hat
  • Jacket (class is outside)
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Lunch/Dinner available at Canyon River Grill!