For those of you that are new to fly fishing, I highly recommend checking out the links below for fly fishing groups in your area, You’ll learn a ton, and it’ll take years off your learning curve. You’ll also meet some new friends, as well as get some satisfaction from helping to conserve and protect the resource and support advocacy for the sport on things like public access etc.
’s mission is “cold water conservation” and it’s orientation from a national and local perspective is to fight the fight to protect trout/salmon fisheries, and is open to all who’d like to join including spin and bait fisherman. But from a practical perspective most of the local chapters are very oriented to fly fishing for trout and anything else that swims, and have regular meetings with topics like where to go, tactics, etc. with casting clinics, tying classes, group trips to local and far off waters etc. Here’s a search page to find a chapter near you:
Council/Chapter Search | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries
Federation of Fly Fishers
is another excellent organization. In addition to being an advocate for the resource, it’s main mission is the education and promotion of fly fishing as a sport. Local clubs offer regular casting clinics, tying classes and a host of programs and activities. The FFF also runs a national fly casting certification program and maintains a database of certified fly casting instructors. Because the mission of FFF is broader than TU’s “coldwater” orientation, you’ll find FFF chapters in trout free areas more oriented towards warm water, as well as trout areas., and many saltwater oriented clubs are also affiliated with FFF. You can do a search for FFF affiliated clubs here:
Locate a Club
The Izaak Walton League Izaak Walton League of America
is another group that might be worth checking out. Named after the dude that wrote the Compleat Angler back in the day, 1653. (A very interesting read, and I’m sure he’d be posting on this board if he was still around.) Here’s a PDF of their affiliated clubs:
There are also many other clubs and orgs out there. You can do “the google” to hunt them up in your area, or check in with your local fly shop, and of course post questions here in the forum if you’re looking for some leads for groups in your area. Chances are there’s a group out there near you.
There are also a ton of orgs out there worthy of your support depending on your interests with more of a conservation focus--- Coastal Conservation Association, CalTrout, Atlantic Salmon Federation etc etc. but these are less focused on fly fishing skills.
Over the years I've belonged to a few. TU, some SW clubs affiliated with FFF, and some more regional conservation groups like the American Littoral Society which runs a fish tagging program to monitor movements of striped bass up and down the coast-- you get a bunch of plastic spaghetti tags to tag fish, record data (length where/when caught) send it in and get notified of growth date and location if recaptured.