For people looking to learn how to fly fish successfully and the right way, the Fast Track to Fly Fishing Program at Northwest School of Fly Fishing is the most extensive, informative and simply the best way to learn fly fishing in the Northwest. Most “Beginning Fly Fishing Classes” taught at shops, stores or internet sites put a fly rod in your hand and spend an hour or two teaching a group of students how to cast and impart a little information on fly fishing. When you are done you can wiggle a fly rod and know a little about fly fishing.
The Fast Track to Fly Fishing Program is designed to make you a successful fly angler who will be able to, within minutes, know exactly how they are going to fly fish a river and know exactly what fly they will use. It’s the goal of Northwest School of Fly Fishing and the Fast Track to Fly Fishing Program to make you a competent fly angler, a competent fly caster and give you the poise and confidence to fly fish any river in Idaho or Montana.
This is a unique program. We will take you from novice to a point where you will be able to fly fish any stream or river. When you are done with the Fast Track Program we continue to work with you throughout your fly fishing season to mentor you with advice and direction through Treasure Valley Fly Fishing. The Fly Fast Track to Fly Fishing Program is 15 to 17 hours of fly fishing instruction which consists of 6 classes designed to take a cerebral and physical approach to fly fishing. These classes are the following:
Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing
There are many secrets, mysteries and critical concepts in fly fishing that can take many years to learn on your own. To pursue fly fishing as a sport, passion or hobby and not understand these concepts will only make your time on the water frustrating and difficult. Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing consist of 3 sessions that are broken down into 3 major aspects of fly fishing that are not taught anywhere but are the backbone in fly fishing. The first session is on dry fly fishing, the second is in emerger fishing and the last is nymph fishing (sub-surface). Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing is the foundation or base upon which your fly fishing skills are based on. Completion of Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing will give you the knowledge to be able fly fish any river or stream with confidence and poise. Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing is a core class in the Fast Track Progam and is taught in a class room environment with other anglers. Each session (3) can last up to 2 hours.
Fly Fishing Entomology for Southwest Idaho
As in Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing, this program is designed to give you the knowledge to fly fish any river. Fly Fishing Entomology for Southwest Idaho is designed to give you the knowledge of what flies you should be using once you get to the river. 98% of what a trout eats in rivers and streams are aquatic insects and as fly anglers we are trying to imitate these insects and trick a trout into eating them. Understanding exactly what these insects are, how they live and how trout react to them is critical to being a successful fly angler. If imitating the various stages of aquatic insects’ life cycles is our goal, then we need to be educated on those life cycles in order to fly fish successfully.
This class is broken down into 2 sessions; the first session is on what are these aquatic insects trout are eating in our rivers, how trout react to them and their life cycles. The second session is on what are the flies we, as fly anglers, use to imitate these aquatic insects and how we memorize, organize and use them.
These final four classes are held one on one with instructor and student at a time that fits their schedule.
There are only 2 things that catch fish; the fly and presenting the fly. That’s where fly casting comes in. Casting consists of a minimum of 4 casting sessions with home work. This is not a meet me in the park with one instructor and 10 would-be casters class. Casting catches trout and is held very reverently here at Northwest School of Fly Fishing. You must be able to present a fly to a rising trout in order to catch that fish. Fly casting is like a wheel; it consist of both a rim and a tire. One can’t work without the other. Fly casting is the same; it has two parts, casting and presentation. You must be able to perfect both. There are many components to casting and trying to perfect each one in an hour with one instructor and 10 students in the park just can’t be done.
We perfect each part individually and then put them all together to perform the art of casting. Fly Fishing is two things that go by several different names – surface and sub-surface, or visual and non visual or dry fly and nymph fishing. Most, if not all formal casting instruction consists of only one. At Northwest School of Fly Fishing we teach both dry fly casting and sub-surface casting. If you only learn how to dry fly cast and are not taught how to properly cast sub-surface then you are only prepared to fly fish half the time.
Understanding Flies and Fly Box Organization
There are only 2 things that catch fish; presenting the fly and the fly. Understanding Flies and Fly Box Organization is a one on one instruction between the instructor and student. Emphasis is put on understanding why flies catch fish. Your fly boxes are your books. Each session is spent going over how important our flies are to catching fish, which flies to use when, types of flies, fly selection and entomology. If the student does not have any fly boxes or flies then buying fly boxes becomes important. Usually $12 is all that is required. Each fly box and each fly are organized by type and labeled so that they can be found and memorized. Understanding flies, knowing what fly to use and why you need them for a certain river can make the difference between catching a few fish and catching many fish. Again only 2 things catch fish, presenting the fly and the fly itself. You must be proficient at each and Understanding Flies and Fly Box Organization is the first step.
Equipment Evaluation is done in a one on one session. This session is designed to give you a perspective on what type of fly fishing equipment you have and how it will be used. Equipment Evaluation also covers what fly fishing equipment you need right now to be effective on the river and what you may need in the future. Emphasis is also put on how much or how little you should be spending for the fly fishing equipment you may want.
Northwest School of Fly Fishing encourages you to buy your fly fishing equipment wherever you wish. What’s important to us is that when you shop, you know what you need and what you should be spending for that equipment. Considerations are made for each student’s financial situation or budget . Fly Fishing, unlike many hobbies, is not necessarily an expensive hobby or sport. Comparing it to say, woodworking, photography, sewing or shooting you can get into the sport quite reasonably. Purchasing your fly fishing equipment smartly with an understanding on what you need is the key.
The weakest part of the leader is the knot. Knot tying is simple when you know what knots you need to perfect and which knots are a waste of your time. You will perfect the Clinch, Turle, Spring and Surgeon’s knots. You will learn theses knots they way they are tied on the river (in the wind-standing in deep, flowing water) and not how they are tied from a book.
Treasure Valley Fly Fishing
All Fast Track to Fly Fishing students will receive one year’s free membership into one of the largest fly fishing groups in Idaho, Treasure Valley Fly Fishing. Treasure Valley Fly Fishing Group is dedicated to just fly fishing. There are no meetings, no president or officers, no fund raising or extracurricular activities outside fly fishing. Treasure Valley Fly Fishing’s mission is to simply go fly fishing. Typically Treasure Valley Fly Fishing goes fly fishing to all the rivers close to the Treasure Valley once or twice a week. It’s an opportunity to learn to fly fish with others who are learning to fly fish themselves. Plus the added perk of fly fishing safely with a fishing partner if you wish. It’s a great way to learn on the water, make new friends and to learn when, where, how, and what flies to use on the great waters of Idaho.