Days on the Water Fly Fishing Courses

Most courses are 8 sessions. Each session is 2.5 hours long, from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm; Tue and Thu. After the course, an optional field trip is scheduled to private fly fishing-only water with your instructors and your classmates. See Field Trip Details for more information. Below is the tentative schedule. Dates that we expect to be in the gym for casting are included as are dates for our “on the water” outings. Course descriptions are below!

Course Day(s) Time Dates Gym days Field trip date
Warm Water Fly Fishing Tue & Thu 6:00PM-8:30PM Start date is:  07/13/21; 4 Sessions total with 5th session “on the water” TBD (or casting outside) 07/24/2021

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Warm Water Fly Fishing

Warm water fly fishing refers to fly fishing in waters that aren’t cold enough to support trout or other cold water species like salmon and steelhead. In this course, you will learn how to target panfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, musky, and carp with a fly rod. Why fly fish in warm water? Pound for pound, warm water game fish are some of the hardest fighting fish that swim! Warm water game fish are usually found close to home.

And finally, fly fishing for warm water species can extend your fishing season well into the summer months – after the trout streams have warmed up. All aspects of warm water fly fishing will be covered, including: tackle, fly selection, retrieval techniques, casting, knots, habitat, and catch and release. The last session will be “on the water” at a private fly fishing only bass and panfish lake with your instructors.

Introduction to Fly Tying

Tie your own flies and catch more fish! Introduction to Fly Tying is designed for the beginner who is interested in tying his or her own flies. In this course, we will teach you the basic techniques of fly tying. With practice, you will be able to imitate many insects and bait fish that trout eat. Each session will cover one type of fly and one or two fly patterns that represent that type of fly. We hope that this course will make you a better fly tier, fly angler, and ultimately increase your awareness of nature along the stream. Some tools are required: vice, scissors, bobbin, hackle pliers, bodkin, whip finish tool, and hair stacker. Students will not need to purchase tools for the first day of class. Materials and hooks will be provided.

Learn to Fly Fish

This introductory class explores the fundamentals of fly fishing. Aimed at the novice  fly angler, topics include equipment selection, knot tying, basic entomology and fly selection, reading the water, and where to fly fish in Western Pennsylvania. Fly casting, the most important aspect of fly fishing, is taught.

Intermediate Fly Fishing

This course picks up where our Learn to Fly Fish course left off. At least two full sessions are devoted to fly casting for distance and accuracy. Specific casts, such as the tuck cast, reach cast and slack line cast are taught. Students will build their own leaders during one session, including one for trout and one for warm-water species. Additional knots will be covered. Finally, equipment, rigs, and techniques for success in specific fly fishing scenarios will be discussed: fishing with multiple flies, “dry-dropper”; retrieving streamer flies; fly fishing for other species like smallmouth bass and steelhead.

Advanced Fly Casting Techniques

Designed for the fly angler who wishes to refine their fly casting techniques to effortlessly cast at all distances and to comfortably present flies when faced with on the water obstacles and situations. Specific topics to include: casting tighter loops, learning the single and double haul and when to use them, casting a fly in tight quarters, casting longer distances, dealing with wind, casting weighted flies and sinking lines, fly casting from a seated and / or kneeling position, casting a fly with accuracy, roll casting techniques, and specific presentation casts. Beginner or intermediate fly fishing class experience and/or some fly fishing experience is needed.