Fly Fishing School at a super affordable price! Only $495 for 2 1/2 days of instruction by Certified Casting Instructors and guides on the beautiful White River in the Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas. All instruction, lodging and meals are included!
Have you always wanted to learn to fly fish? Or improve on the fly fishing skills you have? Or add new skills? You can read all the books and watch all the videos you like, but there’s no substitute for on-the-water instruction from a patient, helpful, experienced guide/instructor. Our Fly Fishing School will take your fishing to the next level, no matter how much experience you may have. (Unless you are one of the lucky few who fish 200 plus days a year.) We’ll walk you through fly selection, reading the water and picking the prime spots, casting and presentation — all while fishing one of the nation’s finest trout streams. These trips are a great way for people of varying experience to enjoy fly fishing. You will receive one-on-one casting instruction, not group instruction. Seasoned anglers can focus on improving already known techniques, while less experienced anglers can learn the skills on which to base a lifetime of fly fishing.
Our 15th annual Fly Fishing School – April 6, 7, & 8, 2018 – There will be 12 – 14 spots available. As of 1/4/2018: Spots available, 14. The School will be held at Riverside Retreat on the White River in Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas.
Is this Fly Fishing School for me?
The focus of our information is how to catch fish while fly fishing. In each session we divide those new to fly fishing and those who have intermediate skills. We consider intermediate skills as those anglers who may have fly fished for 6 months up to many years but have limited casting skills, limited knowledge where feeding fish are located and are only comfortable with one or two methods of flyfishing. Even if you are an advanced angler you will learn new things because the truth is that life only offers you a limited time on the water. If the only time you can learn are those few precious moments your knowledge will be limited. At our Fly Fishing School you will be able to access the knowledge of guides who spend 200 plus days a year on the water. These trips are a great way for people of varying experience to enjoy fly fishing. You will receive one-on-one casting instruction, not group instruction. Seasoned anglers can focus on improving already known techniques, while less experienced anglers can learn the skills on which to base a lifetime of fly fishing.
What the our Fly Fishing School doesn’t teach: Information like wading safety, basic fly rod and reel set-up, basic rigging and elementary information that the novice can learn in many places. We feel that information does not require a hands-on approach and just takes up valuable time. The focus of our information is how to catch fish while fly fishing.
What’s included in our Fly Fishing School:
Personalized, private instruction. Great Guide/Instructor to student ratio. You will receive personal casting instruction directed at exactly what you require or request. This is not a ‘cookie cutter’ experience. Between Friday 3 pm and Sunday 2:30 pm you will spend:
- 7 hours in classroom presentations learning fly fishing techniques and the how, when and why of fish habits in moving waters.
- 6 hours with FFI Certified Casting Instructors to teach you basic casting skills or improve and add to your current skill set.
- 7 plus hours of actual on-the-water time with your Guide/Instructor to help you fully understand and perform the fishing, casting and line control techniques taught in the classroom. During these guided fishing trips you will learn how and where to: catch fish on streamers, dry flies, nymphs, and wet flies while fishing rivers and streams. You will be accompanied by a guide who is very qualified and will show you how to catch fish with each method. Guides will demonstrate and you will practice techniques taught earlier in the classroom.
- Two nights lodging in the White River Lodge at Riverside Retreat, on the White River just south of Norfork, AR. See map. Rooms accommodate 2 – 4 people and have a private bathroom. You can specify your roommates.
- All your meals (Friday evening through Sunday’s brunch) including a steak dinner cookout on Saturday night!
- We’ll furnish any gear you may need. Just let us know in advance if you need a rod/reel or other gear. Bring your own if you have it, but if you need something, we can get just about anything for you, except waders.
- A pdf file handout containing all information covered.
Cost of our Fly Fishing School
April 6, 7, & 8, 2018 – Cost $495 (Double occupancy) $695 single occupancy. If you bring a guest with you who will not attend the school, the cost for them will be $250 and will include food and lodging. If you are local or wish to lodge elsewhere the cost is $400. Price includes all instruction, guide time, lodging and meals.
To reserve, a 50% deposit is required. Full payment is required by March 5, 2018. Reservations cancelled 30 days in advance will receive full refund less a $50 cancellation fee. Reservations canceled inside of 30 days will forfeit all payments.
Reserve your spot, call 870 499-3056 and speak with Chris or Carol at Riverside Retreat. You can mail a check or use a Visa or MasterCard.
In addition to this great value, Riverside Retreat will donate $100 for each Fly Fishing School attendee to Southern Council of Fly Fishers International for conservation efforts.
Children under 18 will need to be accompanied by an adult. If you have to come in a little late or leave a little early, that’s okay.
This will be a rain or shine event! If anyone desires to add on additional nights to their stay (before or after the school) it can be arranged. Additional nights will be offered at our lowest ‘5 night rate’. If you would like to schedule a Guided Fishing Trip before or after the Fly Fishing School just give me a call. If I’m already booked I can recommend other guides.
The White River Lodge is 2,500 square feet and has 6 bedrooms; each bedroom has its own full private bath. There are 2 fully furnished kitchens, 2 dining areas, 2 comfortable sitting/TV areas & wifi. There is also an 8′ x 60′ front porch for outdoor seating. The Lodge has plenty of common space to enjoy sitting and visiting with other guests, but your bedroom and bathroom will be private. If 2 people who know each other, attend together, they will be roomed together. We have other lodging options available for an up-charge. Call for additional information – Chris Jackson 870 499-3056
Fly Fishing School Testimonials
Below are comments from previous Fly Fishing School attendees from an exit survey ranking 1 (lowest quality) to 5 (highest quality).
I’ve attended several instructional seminars before and this experience was by far the best. While a lot of superfluous information like wading safety, basic fly rod and reel set-up and some very elementary elements that the novice can learn in many places was missing at this school, the information was priceless. I’ve fly fished for 7 years and never heard of the proper presentation or hooking techniques using streamers. I went from missing most of the strikes to catching one fish after another!! I read 3 fly fishing publications a month and learned techniques (that worked) that I’d never heard of. Nothing but 5′s. Gary T., Memphis, TN
Fives all around for me. Casting instruction on and off the water was best for me as a relative newbie. You seemed to have thought of everything. Instructor/guide to student ratio was very good. Food fabulous and plentiful. Comfortable accommodations. A 5 ++++++++ experience. Linda F. , Little Rock, AR
Great stuff! Many thanks, Chris. I am having a copy bound and added to my fishing library. I will have room to add my personal notes and drawings from your lectures. I will return my evaluation on Wednesday with annotations but I can’t see you and the other coaches getting anything less that a 4 + in any category and many more 5s than 4s. With warmest regards, Nelson S. , Dallas, TX
What single part of the school did you consider the most beneficial in making you a better fly fisherman? While not intending to give less credence to all the other topics, I appreciated “Reading Streams” and “rod/line handling when fighting fish”. Sue says she particularly appreciated the casting instruction. What one thing would have made your experience better? Perhaps (and only perhaps) changing the time of year of the school (to late Oct??) …fall colors, more predictable(?) river flow, etc. Obviously I’m stretching to find the “one thing”. It was obvious that you guys and had done a lot of prep and planning. 4.5 Thank you! Ed’nSue K.
Great instruction, great food, great lodging. I only wish the school was offered when my school age son could attend. 4.5 Bob T. Houston, TX
I rate the school a 5 . The last fly fishing instructional school I attended offered 6 hours of classroom instruction and breakfast. It was OK, but for $250 it did not compare to this school. Having the opportunity to learn while fishing really brought it home. This is a real value. William P. St. Louis, MO
Fly Fishing School Itinerary (subject to minor changes)
3 pm – 6:00pm
As you arrive the casting instructors will spend one-on-one time with you to look at your cast and get your input on improvements that you would like to make, followed with casting instruction. While some are working on casting, there will be a ‘knot seminar’ for novices and an ‘open question forum’ with the guides on the Lodge’s front porch.
Dinner at Lodge –- Cheesy chicken & salad, green beans, fresh bread & dessert
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday evening programs
Reading a river – Learning where the gamefish are going to be in any river.
Line control – How to improve your presentation with special casts and mending.
You’ve hooked a fish: Playing, Landing, Photos, & Release
Saturday 8 am :
Casual breakfast at the Lodge –
Cereal, toast, oatmeal, muffins, bagels, coffee, tea, etc.
Attendees will divide into 2 groups, novices and intermediates, and will rotate between fishing technique classes and casting classes.
9am – 12pm – Fishing techniques classes and outside casting instruction.
Dry Flies: Fly selection, presentation techniques, overcoming problems of of getting a natural drift.
Fishing nymphs under an indicator: Fly selection, indicator selection, rigging single and multiple flies, overcoming problems of of getting a natural drift.
Outside Casting instruction: Novices will work on basic cast. Intermediates will get instrucion on roll cast, tuck cast & reach cast. Distance casting and one-handed spey techniques upon request.
12pm – Lunch – Build your own fresh deli sandwich from a selection of breads, meats and cheeses, chips, and dessert
1 pm – 5 pm – On the water with your guide/instructor. The focus of our time on the water will be to put into practice the fishing and/or casting techniques learned that morning in the classroom.
6:00 pm – Cookout at the Lodge. Steak or chicken, baked potato, fresh salad and dessert
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Fishing technique presentation
Streamers – Fly selection, rigging, presentation techniques
Wet Flies – Fly selection, rigging, presentation techniques
Sunday 8am :
Casual breakfast at the Lodge –
Cereal, toast, muffins, bagels, oatmeal, coffee, tea, etc. Eat light, brunch is at 10am!
8:30am – 10am – Fishing technique and Casting instruction
10 am – Brunch – catered onsite – Mexican Breakfast casserole or build your own burritos, fresh fruit salad with scones or cinnamon rolls
11 am – 2:30 pm – On the water with your guide/instructor. The focus of our time on the water will be to put into practice the fishing and/or casting techniques learned that morning.
2:30pm Go home or continue to fish on your own.