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A Day in the Life of an Orvis 101 Fly Fishing Student


This summer is the time to get into fly fishing with Orvis 101 classes at your local Orvis endorsed fly fishing shop and outfitter.

Always curious, but never taken the plunge? Well this is the summer to get into fly fishing with Orvis 101 classes at your local fly shop. Fly fishing has never been more accessible or easier to start and learning the basics right will make it an enjoyable journey.

When you sign up with an Orvis-endorsed instructor, you are going to be instructed by the best in the business. This was recently proved when my entire family went through 101 training with Green Drake Outfitters in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

Cindy and Tony the Guide
Cindy and Tony the lead Green Drake Outfitters Instructor

The day starts

The Orvis 101 training follows a tried and proven methodology, beginning with classroom work. My families' day started with some basic theory on the dynamics of working a fly rod followed by basic knots and explanation of fly types, fly line, leaders and tippets.

All this was done over some great coffee and muffins to get our brains warmed up and ready for learning. The subjects were all delivered by Tony, a master instructor, in a well-taught and interactive manner. Just as my kids were getting restless, the instructors switched gears and got into the juice of the day: the basic cast.

The Class in action learning the basic cast
The Class in action learning the basic cast

The practical bit, or making your fly do the right thing

Out of the class the students went to a nearby park for the highlight of the gathering, working on the basic cast. Under three expert instructors the students began working on the basic cast. All the gear was provided if needed and my family went to work with Orvis Recon rods, a great fly rod to start a fly fishing career on.

What I observed as an old-hand at fly fishing is that the basics were taught bang-on and set the foundations without bad habits right from the get-go. With care and precision, yet in an easy-going manner, the instructors worked with each neophyte angler and the basic cast was soon grasped by all. With just enough instruction to not reach the saturation point it was time to head back to the class for a hearty lunch, which was included in the cost of the lessons, a nice touch indeed.

Author's son learning the basics under pro guidance
Author's son learning the basics under pro guidance

Learning about the water, flies, and insects

After a great lunch it was time to learn about the basics of entomology and how the angler matches the hatch for fly fishing success. The basics of reading the water of a stream or river were also taught with well laid out diagrams and instructor descriptions.

Critical to this section was working through when dry and wet flies are appropriate and how to identify what to select in real-time conditions when on the water.

Back out casting to close the day

After the class the group headed back out to the great outdoors to work the casting to end the day. After learning the basics in the morning, this was the final part to refine the work with the instructors getting the students up-to-speed and river ready for their first independent solo trip. The topics of mending line and dealing with light wind conditions were covered and students finished the day empowered, excited and ready to become part of the fly fishing obsession.

Taking Orvis endorsed fly fishing 101 at your local outfitter is the best way to get the foundations to start in this exciting sport. You will be instructed by highly qualified instructors who take the mystery out of this angling pursuit and will put you on journeyman status for a lifelong outdoor adventure.

For more information on an Orvis endorsed outfitter near your hometown see this link. For those of you who want to get the professional training from Green Drake Outfitters in Ottawa see their website; they are ready to get you started.


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A Day in the Life of an Orvis 101 Fly Fishing Student