Fly Fishing Lessons?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by markp, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Well looks like Santa is being nice to me and is bringing me my first fly rod and reel. Now I'm researching the best way to not be an idiot on the river. Anyone have suggestions on who might be offer classes in January? I live downtown Seattle so any where king pierce or snohomish would be good for me.

    Does anyone have any guide books that might discuss what species to fish for and when? Grew up bass fishing and the occasional trout trip using spinning gear but after my first Steelhead trip using flies decided that thats the way to go.

    So far I have only a rod and reel, no line, flies etc... I am trying to learn on my own at 42, late but still able to learn:)

    Any tips would be appreciated. The rod is an Orvis clearwater 6wt and I haven't been able to peek inside the reel yet;) I love being a kid again. If you have any experience on what that rod would be best used for please pass it along.
  2. Trout, cutthroat and a few Steelhead. I think Avid in Lake Forest Park can teach overhead casting. Check Patricks and Kauffmans near you too.

    See ya on the river.

  3. Ask Santa for a subscription to Northwest FlyFishing. They run articles on streams and lakes in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Northern California. The best where to go book is FlyFishers Guide to Washington by Greg Thomas (Wilderness Adventures Press). Where to go and when and what to use. Trout, steelhead, searuns and salmon. Enjoy.
  4. Go to the fly club meetings and meet people and tell them what you are trying to do. You should end up with a fishing buddy that can help you. Maybe a whole bunch of them.Some clubs have group classes, outings and events.Some of the clubs are listed on the home page of this site, some with links. It's a fun way to learn the game and it will barely cost anything.You could also go the commercial route and look up the shops, most of which have classes, both private and group.Many of them are quite good. Many guides run classes, schools etc. The Federation Of Flyfishers,( has a listing of certified casting instructors in each state, with contact numbvers and information.Many of these teachers are reasonably priced and work very hard at their teaching skills in flycasting.There's another FFF website for suggest making an adventure of it and going to as many differant resources as you can for a while, and this time of year that can be neat as there are allot of slide shows and sportsmans show etc coming up.
  5. Aside from the fact hat it is now my business I cannot impress the importance of being tutored. Spending a day with a competent friend or guide on the river will teach you a years worth of learning in a long day, and you will enjoy the day also.

    The first few years I fished with flies I took a guided trip every month or two for Trout of Steelhead and it got me dialed in in a hurry. In the meanttime I really enjoyed myself.

    If you are so inclined there are many competent guides available locally and I am one of them.

    It is not our abilities which
    distinguish us
    but our choices....
  6. Speyman is correct. If you can afford it, a guide is almost mandatory if you want to come up to speed quickly and cost-effectively.

    If I were starting over again, knowing what I now know, I would do the following, in order:

    (1) Get a fly-casting video for beginners. Look for the big names like Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulf, etc., Practice the techniques on the grass or local water (doesn't matter if fish are present or not). This'll cost about $30.00.

    (2) Once you are casting (even if not reasonably well), go to Trophy Lake Golf and Casting Club (or other private facility) and fish the stocked ponds. You're almost guaranteed to catch [big] fish and come to really appreciate the video instruction. A day at Trophy Lake, while expensive, is still cheaper than a day with most guides. As I recall, fishing at Trophy Lake costs about $12.50 / hour.

    (3) Most importantly (and even if you don't do #1 and #2), go on a guided trip with a guide who specializes in beginning or intro fly fishing. My first guide was an expert casting instructor, but he probably spent more time showing me how to read the waters and how to apply the natural history of the fish I was seeking (steelhead) to my [limited] casting skill.

    Finally, while working on steps #1 thru #3, read, read, read. This forum, fly fishing magazines, etc.

    You're gonna have a ball,


  7. What do I know---I'm just an old man

    Michael. Your thread started out with small type and went to big. Are you having trouble seeing? Or is that your version of yelling. I never took a lesson in my life and it shows. My casting is lousy but doable. When I was starting out I couldn't afford the lessons and now that I can I don't want to as I don't think that I can break any of my bad habits. And being that I'm getting older I have lots of them.

  8. Its not for a few months but starting on April 10th WFFC puts on a fly casting class for beginers that goes every Thursday for 8 weeks. It only runs about $30 for all 8 classes. I went through it a few years back and the club does a very good job at a great price. Classes are on the grass at Green Lake. For more information see the Washington Fly Fishing Clubs Home page is the web page.
  9. Wow!! what a response. I have already started much of what you guys suggest. I am really gearing up literally for some late winter early spring fishing. I just spent a few days at my in laws on Vancouver Island and it looks like that may be a fly fishing mecca. Especially nice because I will have a free base to jump off from. Also many streams and rivers are close to the Nanaimo area.

    I am definately going to taking classes and when I've saved enough aluminum cans I will take guided trips.

    Thanks again and if anyone is available mid weeks for some tutorials and fishing the beer will be on me. I generally work a 5to6 days then have 5to6 days off so less busy mid weeks on the water seem appealling.

  10. I would generally echo many of the comments above, with a little bit of a twist.

    I would really focus on casting, and practice that a fair amount BEFORE I hit the water and/or went fishing with a guide. Otherwise, you're learning experience could be compromised and your money wasted with the guide, etc.

    Let's say you hired a golf pro to take you out for 18 holes and teach you how to play golf. If you had no clue, or were very remedial in your stroke or golf swing, most of your time would be spent on trying to get your swing down instead of actually playing golf and learning the nuances of the golf game. Same with fly fishing. If you don't have your casting stroke down, at least some, you're time will be spent on how to cast. Not that that's a bad thing, but it shouldn't be the major focus of that trip or event.

    To me, effective and efficient casting is very big part of effective fly fishing. You've bass fished, so you know how important it is to cast accurately and efficiently. Same thing with fly fishing. If you can't get your fly to the fish, and present it properly, it could be a long day and a pretty steep climb up that learning curve.

    I used to bass fish in Arizona before I moved here in '89. I fly fish 99% of the time for fishes from warmwater salt to NW rivers, and have rods 4 weight to 12 weight and the reels associated therewith.

    If you want, contact me offline at, and I can try and help you a little more.

    Where do you live? If you're looking for some mid-week help, that might be a good thing for folks to know . . . :THUMBSUP
  11. A great instructor at both casting and fishing, and a really nice fellow is John Fiskum of Fiskum Flyfishing. You can reach him at (253)859-2987.

    John does both private lessons and teaches at several of the local Parks & Rec centers and community colleges.

    Have fun!

  12. Well I'm soaking all of your comments and suggestions in. I have already subscribed to northwest flyfishing and purchased many books which I'm trying to decifer. I will probably take the intro lessons at Avid in February. I live downtown Seattle very near the Pac Med ( building. And no I'm not a techie:) I actually do fly for a living:) so I should be a natural! LOL

    I will also be spending quite a bit of time on Vancouver Island as my in-laws live in Ladysmith so if folks have south island spots and experiences they would like to share I would be indebted.
  13. Also I'm feeling guilty as my wife is fully supporting this hobby. I wonder if I should be concerned:)
  14. Reeltrout : Michael: forget about reading any books on learning how to cast. If you want to do some advance prep before you venture out to the water purchase Mel Kreiger's video at any good fly shop called "The Essence of Fly Fishing." Mel is a holyman turned angler. He taught my wife how to fly cast 25 years ago when he used to rep for Fenwick and do classes in Northern California's Fall River. I left her in the morning and came back four hours later to witness her double hauling with perfection on the lawn of Lava Creek Lodge.

    You should also check out working with yarn and a short "teaching" rod of 3 feet (Avid Angler uses this technique). It will make things so much easier for you to get the feel of casting before you venture out onto the water and hook yourself! Good luck and Tight Lines.
  15. Reeltrout :: Where is Trophy Lake?
  16. Hey trophy lake is down south and you do'nt play golf.So is this what you and cindy do on a sat night in the rain . Hep this is what I'm doing. Call me!!!
  17. Mark, by the way, if you plan to spend a lot of time on Vancouver Island, I suspect you'll be chasing anadromous fish primarily. So, you may have to invest in another, heavier, rod and reel outfit!


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