While fly fishing schools continue to grow in popularity, most schools only offer a day or two of basic fly fishing instruction. There’s a little bit of information on gear, a little on casting, a little on knots, a little on leaders & tippets, a little on insects and a little on flies. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to cram a week’s worth of instruction into a 7 hour session. As a result, many students head home with a host of unanswered questions and a very limited understanding of the sport.
The School of Trout takes a far different approach. The “Tao of Trout” class is a week-long deep dive into the art and science of fly fishing. It’s the ideal class for anyone hoping to develop a rock-solid foundation of angling skills while creating a deeper connection to the natural world. The “Essential Skills” class is for people who hope to take their casting, their angling, and their fly tying to another level. School of Trout students spend their days working with the world’s finest instructors and then honing their skills on one of the world’s most acclaimed rivers: the Henry’s Fork. When students leave a class, they possess an unparalleled angling education that will pay dividends far into the future. What better way to prepare for a lifetime of fly fishing?
2024 School of Trout Class Schedule
Essential Skills Class: Aug 18-23, 2024
The Tao of Trout: Oct 6-12, 2024
The Tao of Trout
The School of Trout’s “Tao of Trout” class is the fly fishing equivalent of a basketball camp where Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Steph Curry teach the essentials of the sport. You’ll learn from the legendary Tom Rosenbauer, one of the world’s most respected anglers. You’ll delve into author Kirk Deeter’s personal fly boxes. Renowned photographer Tim Romano will help you experience the class through his viewfinder. You’ll hear about the Henry’s Fork and other local Yellowstone-area fisheries from fly fishing icon Craig Mathews. John Juracek, who many experts consider to be the world’s finest casting instructor, will work with you to improve your fly casting. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of fly fishing from Hall of Fame angler & artist Bob White. Acclaimed professional fly fishers like Hillary Hutcheson, Brant Oswald, Steve McFarland, Karlie Roland and Pat McCabe will share their unique talents and offer instruction and insight that will benefit you for the rest of your life. And finally, fly fishing expert and School of Trout headmaster Todd Tanner will help shepherd you through the entire week-long class. The Tao of Trout, which only takes place once a year and is limited to a maximum of 12 anglers, offers an unparalleled personal journey into the heart of fly fishing.
The Essential Skills Class
When it comes to fly fishing, our skills almost always determine our success. Without the necessary skills, anglers who employ the best gear and the perfect flies will nevertheless come up short time and again. The School of Trout’s “Essential Skills” class offers an intensive, hands-on tutorial for fly fishers hoping to take their angling to the next level. The class will focus on fly casting, fly tying, presentation and mending, as well as awareness, leader building and leader modification. If your fly casting falls short of your expectations, or if you’d truly enjoy tying your own flies — or tying better flies — then this is the class for you. If your mends are less-than-effective, or you lack adequate awareness skills, or your presentations need work, or your leaders don’t get the job done, you will grow your skills and improve your results with personal instruction from John Juracek, Pat McCabe, Steve McFarland, Brant Oswald and Todd Tanner. The six day Essential Skills class, which is limited to 12 anglers and which will take place at TroutHunter on the Henry’s Fork, will only be held once in 2024.
LODGING: You'll stay at the legendary TroutHunter Lodge, on the banks of the Henry's Fork.
FOOD/DRINK: Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared at TroutHunter and served by the TroutHunter staff.
CONNECTIVITY: Cell service is generally available for students using major service carriers. TroutHunter Lodge offers dependable WiFi.
You and your fellow students will arrive at TroutHunter for the Tao of Trout class on the afternoon of October 6th. You’ll get settled into your single-occupancy room, then meet your instructors and your fellow students for drinks and appetizers. After your inaugural dinner, you’ll kick off your School of Trout experience with a presentation by legendary fly fisher Craig Mathews. If it’s pleasant outside, the evening may well wrap up outdoors on the TroutHunter patio. Don’t be surprised to hear elk bugling, coyotes yipping or, if you’re extra lucky, wolves howling in the distance.
An optional stretching & movement session with Lindsay Kocka kicks things off at 6:30 am. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m., and you’ll begin your first full day at The Tao of Trout around 8:45 a.m. Your day will include discussions on gear and equipment, knots, leaders & tippets, as well as various angling techniques. You’ll also experience your first fly casting session with John Juracek. Afterwards, respected instructors like Brant Oswald, Steve “Mac” McFarland and Pat McCabe will introduce you to the storied waters of the Henry’s Fork. Following dinner at TroutHunter, you’ll enjoy the day’s final presentation with the one & only Hilary Hutcheson.
Sleep in or start you day at 6:30 am with Lindsay Kocka, then concentrate on entomology, awareness, reading water, presentations, more fly casting … this particular day focuses on absolute essentials. In the afternoon, you and the other students will experience a new section of the river, with new techniques and new challenges to explore — and you’ll learn from one of the most respected anglers on the planet, Kirk Deeter. After a wonderful dinner, wrap up your day with Tom Rosenbauer’s one-of-a-kind evening presentation.
Not many people are fortunate enough to delve into fly patterns and fly design with Tom Rosenbauer, or fly casting with John Juracek, or nymphing with Kirk Deeter. Take full advantage of your time at the School of Trout. Perhaps you’ll discuss your fly casting with John at breakfast. Or ask Tom about his favorite flies while you’re seated next to him at lunch. Or ask Todd, or Kirk, or Pat, or Mac, or Karlie, or Brant about their favorite rivers or favorite hatches or favorite gear. You’re spending all day, from 7:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night, with some of the finest fly fishers to ever walk the planet. Don’t be shy. Oh, and enjoy Kirk’s wonderful end-of-the-day presentation before you turn in for the evening.
Rising fish, matching the hatch, getting the drift … it’s time to put your new skills to work as iconic angling photographer Tim Romano and acclaimed artist Bob White share their hard-earned wisdom with the class. Wrap up your day with Bob’s wonderful talk about fly fishing travel and his artistic approach to the angling universe.
Wake up early to see if the elk are bugling, and then decide whether you want to stretch with Lindsay or simply enjoy an excellent cup of coffee. This, of course, is the day where you put it all together; where the skills and knowledge you’ve gained help you fish a beautiful stretch of the Henry’s Fork. You’ll wrap up the day with a delicious meal at TroutHunter, followed by Tim Romano’s fantastic evening presentation.
It’s get-away day for you and your stellar gathering of fly fishing professors, but please don’t plan to leave early. You’ll enjoy one last morning with Brant Oswald, John Juracek, Steve “Mac” McFarland, Pat McCabe and Todd Tanner. Then, after class wraps up around 11 am, you can either head home or stick around for a few more days on the Henry’s Fork (or the Madison, the Gallatin, the South Fork, the Teton or the Firehole), armed with the knowledge and experience you’ve gleaned from some of the finest anglers in the world.
- Expert instruction On-the-water and classroom instruction from fly fishing's best
- Lodging You’ll stay in a comfortable single-occupancy room at TroutHunter
- Meals You’ll order breakfast, lunch, and dinner off the full TroutHunter menu
- Beverages Non-alcoholic beverages, along with beer or wine at dinner, are included
Guests attending the School of Trout fly into Idaho Falls, Idaho (IDA). Guests can rent a car, or arrange (at additional cost) shuttle service from the airport in Idaho Falls. Travel time from IDA to the School of Trout is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Free transportation to and from IDA is available for guests whose travel times align with The School of Trout's existing schedules. Other arrival airport options include Jackson Hole, Wyoming (JAC)—2 hour and 15 minute drive, or Bozeman, Montana (BZN)—2 hours and 30 minute drive, or Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC)—4 hours and 30 minute drive.