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Old 01-22-2011, 08:37 AM
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Default class starts next week

As the title says, I'm going to be taking a 6 week fly fishing class. I was wondering from those of you that have either taken similar classes or taught them if you have any tips on what to look for. Here's the description for the class:

"Learn to fly fish! Come and gain knowledge that might take years to acquire. Our instructor, an avid fly fisher, will provide an enjoyable, effective way for you to learn the fundamentals of how to fly fish helping you benefit from the lifetime rewards of fly fishing. The sessions will include tying, casting, and of course, catching fish. Your time will be spent inside a classroom and outside practicing. Please bring glasses or sunglasses for protection. A liability waiver is required for this class. Fee includes supplies and equipment rental. (6 Sessions)"

I know it's a broad question but any thoughts would be appreciated.

Vince
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Vince: Sounds like a good way to get started in fly fishing. One thing I would look for if the class provides the fly rods is how the rod feels in your hand while casting and if they have a few different brands of rods, try to cast each one to see how each feels. In the tying portion pay real close attention to the proportions, that is the hardest part when you first start tying and how little a piece of dubbing that is required to properly cover the fly. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress and don't hesitate to ask questions.

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Old 01-22-2011, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Taking a few classes is how i got started. My first class was only about 2 hours long, however, it was a private one on one lesson. The next class was just me and another guy. That class consisted of a few hours in the shop one night and then about 6 hours on the water the following weekend. Both classes were taught by the same guy so i feel i have developed a good relationship with this guy who is also a guide. I intend to go out with him this spring during the Salmonfly hatch. I have only been at is since last summer.

I think me taking those lessons was the best thing i could have done to really start my fly fishing addiction off right. I have since caught quite a few fish and have really enjoyed myself. My first guided 2 day float is coming up this spring and i cant hardly stand the wait.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Be sure you really learn how to set up for different approaches to the water. Nymphing with tight line, with indicator, swinging flies, stripping streamers all require differring leader/tippet strengths and lengths.

Ask for sure about how to change the depth of your flies when nymphing...how to find either the bottom or the depth the fish are holding.

In terms of actually catching fish, concentrate on learning what a dead drift really is. Mending and line management (my opinion only) is the biggest key to enticing a fish to eat.

If you can (1) learn to present (cast) a fly or nymph set up out 30 feet to start with and (2) have the rig set up properly and then (3) manage your line for a good drift, then you're really ready to go fish most anywhere.

Do NOT worry about double hauling for 90' casts. Just concentrate on the straightforward short to moderate length casts and LEARN TO ROLL CAST EFFECTIVELY.

I hope some of the more experienced guys will chime in, but think this advice is pretty solid...-Mike
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Vince,
Were is this class being taught at? if you don't mind me asking....
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Vince, sounds like you're going to be off to a good start with the class-- and you're asking great questions.

There's a lot of book learnin' you can do by reading-- but actually being able to do it is another thing entirely. Getting some hands on instruction sounds like a great idea.

Inside in the class you'll probably discuss a ton of stuff including knots, basic entomology (bugs), fly patterns, maybe a local hatch chart, rigging, casting dynamics etc etc. And you can probably find a lot of this info on line or in books to read up on to refresh or expand your knowledge.

But here are a couple things where hands on in-class demos, or visual aids are going to be helpful:
-knots- at a minimum being able to tie a double surgeon ( tippet to leader) and improved clinch (tippet to fly)
-some pictures of different trout stream insects in various stages of their life cycle. You should be able to recognize: mayfly nymphs, duns and spinners, caddis larva (cased and free living), pupae, and adults, stonefly nymphs and adults, and some examples of fly patterns used to imitate them.
Dry fly vs wet fly vs nymph: recognize the differences between different types of flies.
fly tying: explanation of dry fly vs wet fly hackle, pinch wrap, mastering the whip finish (the final knot to finish off your fly). Examples of different types of vises and tools.
-How to remove a hook from your guide (it would be helpful to know how to "snatch" a hook to remove it if you stick yourself or your buddy)

Outside will probably include some casting on the lawn or pond and some actual time in the stream side.

Getting some coaching on your casting will be very helpful to get off on the right foot-- key aspects, as Rob mentioned will be feeling the rod load with your fly line, the timing (letting line straighten out behind you on your back cast before you start the forward cast), smooth acceleration in your stroke and sudden stops at the end of your forward and backcasts. And having a chance to feel how rods with different actions behave with different lengths of line in the air would be great to find out what suits your casting style best. In addition to the basic cast, it would be helpful to also learn a "reach cast" for presentations on moving water and a roll cast for when you don't have room for a back cast behind you. (You'll need to cast on water to practice the roll cast.)

Streamside- hopefully they'll be some time spent on:
- "reading the water" pointing out holding lies, current seams, and tailouts, lips, runs, etc.
-recognizing water that's likely to be unproductive
- wading to get in position to cast effectively
-how to mend line in order to get a decent drag free drift.
-upstream dry fly presentation
-wet fly swing down and across
-how to fish a nymphing rig maintaining contact with the bottom
- seining for insect life or at least pointing out different caddis cases or active insects to give you an idea of what to look for on stream.
- wading safety and where to stand, where not to stand (one of the most common sins people make... well, OK, that I make ... is standing where they should be fishing)

Hope this helps some-- good luck in your class--- and feel free to ask questions here. Good luck!
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: class starts next week

Guys, thanks for the tips, I appreciate it. I'm really looking forward to it and it's always nice to have some idea what to look for when I'm going into something new. I'm sure there's probably going to be a lot of info to sort though.

Watson: the class is being offered by the Columbia, MO continuing education program.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: class starts next week

If you don't mind my asking... What did it cost?
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