Fly-fishing schools are all the rage these days, with more and more people discovering the craft. Of course, learning to fly fish doesn’t alway require expert instruction. After all, most of us are self-taught. But imagine being able to flatten the learning curve while enhancing your existing skills and delving into the highest levels of the sport. The School of Trout’s “Tao of Trout” class is a week-long dive into the art and science of fly fishing. It’s the ideal class for anyone who hopes to develop a rock-solid foundation of angling skills while creating a deeper connection to the natural world. In short, the School of Trout provides its students with next-level instruction from the best anglers and teachers in the country.
Consider each School of Trout course the equivalent of a fantasy baseball camp taught by the living legends of the game, or a basketball camp where Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson are the deans of the school. You’ll learn from the likes of Tom Rosenbauer, who has worked for Orvis for more than four decades and is one of the most respect anglers in the world. You’ll get a peek into the fly box of Kirk Deeter, longtime fly-fishing journalist, editor and guide; you’ll look through the viewfinder of renowned angling photographer Tim Romano’s camera. You’ll learn about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem fishery from Craig Mathews, who helped invent the craft in a region full of fly fishing icons. You’ll learn to improve and advance your cast from John Juracek, perhaps the most insightful casting instructor in the country. You’ll gain an understanding of what goes into the art of fly fishing from legendary painter Bob White. Professionals like Hillary Hutcheson, Steve McFarland, Karlie Roland and Pat McCabe will share their unique talents and offer up instruction and insight that will benefit you for the rest of your life. And finally, longtime fly fishing writer and School of Trout headmaster Todd Tanner will help guide every step on your The Tao of Trout journey.
LODGING: You’ll stay at Harriman State Park, the legendary “Railroad Ranch” that was donated to the state of Idaho by the Harriman Family in 1977. The park was a family retreat for the Harriman and Guggenheim families from 1902 to 1977, and the nearby Henry’s Fork is one of the finest fisheries in North America. Students will stay in private rooms with private baths at Harriman’s Scovel Center, which is located in the middle of a 16,000 acre wildlife refuge not far from the western border of Yellowstone Park
FOOD/DRINK: Breakfasts and lunches at the Tao of Trout will be catered by highly regarded private chefs. Dinners will either take place on Harriman or at the renowned TroutHunter facility in Last Chance, Idaho.
CONNECTIVITY: Cell service is generally available for students using major service carriers. The Scovel Center offers WiFi with limited bandwidth.
You’ll arrive at the Railroad Ranch, along with nine other students, on the afternoon of Sept. 25. You’ll get settled into your room, meet your instructors and fellow students, and gather for pre-dinner appetizers. A catered repast awaits, and then you’ll kick off the School of Trout experience with a presentation by legendary fly fisher Craig Mathews. If it’s pleasant outside, the evening may well wrap up around the outdoor fire pit. Don’t be surprised to hear elk bugling, coyotes yipping or, if you’re lucky, wolves howling in the distance.
Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m., and you’ll begin your first full day at The Tao of Trout at 9 a.m. Your morning will include discussions on gear and equipment, along with your first fly casting lessons from the one and only John Juracek. Afterwards, respected instructors like Brant Oswald and Pat McCabe will introduce you to the storied waters of the Henry’s Fork. After dinner at TroutHunter, you’ll enjoy the day’s final forum with Hilary Hutcheson.
Entomology, awareness, reading water, presentation, 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.
If you’d you like to hear about flies and fly choice from Tom Rosenbauer, then today is your day. Tom heads an all-star “day four” School of Trout cast that includes Todd Tanner, Steve McFarland, Karlie Roland, Pat McCabe, John Juracek and Kirk Deeter.
This is the day where you put it all together; where the skills and knowledge you’ve gleaned translate as never before on a beautiful stretch of the Henry’s Fork. You’ll wrap up the day with a delicious barbecue amid the wilds of Harriman State Park.
It’s get-away day for you and your stellar gathering of professors. You’ll take one last morning class from Pat McCabe, who learned at the hip of angling icon Andre “Andy” Puyans, as he guides you through a fly-tying primer. Then, if you decide to stay in the area for a few more days, you can fish the Henry’s Fork (or the Madison, the Gallatin, the South Fork, the Teton or the Firehole) on your own, armed with a week’s worth of knowledge and experience gleaned from the best anglers in the world.
- Expert instruction On-the-water and classroom instruction from fly fishing's best
- Lodging Lodging at the Scovel Center at Harriman State Park
- Meals Catered breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included
- Beverages Non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) 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.