I already know how to cast. Do you think I’ll really gain much from casting instruction?
There’s no question that everyone can improve their casting stroke with professional instruction. We can assure you that the Academy’s instructors are incredibly accomplished fly casters, and they have a lifetime of experience teaching in a clear and understandable manner that will benefit anglers of all skill levels. Experienced casters will refine their technique, and gain a thorough understanding of the mechanics and principles of high-level fly casting.
I’m a beginning angler. Is this the right class for me?
The Anglers Academy is designed for folks that have already been introduced to fly fishing and are curious and eager to learn more. This school does delve into advanced topics and will skip over some basics. We do encourage the course to students of all levels, but we’ll likely offer a 101-type course for true beginners in the summer 2022.
How much fishing will I do?
We’ll be on the water everyday, covering a wide range of topics. Students will do some fishing with the instructors, but those short fishing sessions will be focused on the lessons and techniques of the day rather than on catching fish. If you’re hungry for more fishing, we recommend staying additional days in the surrounding area in order to explore some of the best public fishing accesses available to a wide variety of rivers and lakes.
Do you recommend staying additional days in the area to fish on my own or with guides?
Absolutely! There are incredible wade fishing opportunities in the immediate area and some excellent fly shops that offer guiding services. Rivers that we recommend fishing in August include the upper sections of the Henry’s Fork, Madison River, Gallatin River, Slough Creek, Lamar River and the Yellowstone River in the Park. There are also some excellent stillwaters to consider fishing that will likely have good hatches for dry fly and sight fishing such as Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake and Henry’s Lake. Rivers to float with guides include the Henry’s Fork, Madison, Teton and the South Fork of the Snake.
How is the fishing in the area at that time of year?
July and August is an excellent time of year to fish and explore the Greater Yellowstone region. There are good hatches on certain river sections in the mornings and evenings, and plenty of hopper and terrestrial action in the afternoons.
How much time will be spent indoors vs. outdoors?
The first three mornings include 2.5 hours of presentations on various topics in the conference room at the ranch. Otherwise, the group will be outside everyday from 10:30 AM until the end of the day. On the final day, the group will spend the entire day on the water, using all of the new skills acquired throughout the week.
I have a dietary restriction. Is the ranch able to accommodate special requests?
Elk Creek Ranch and Harriman State Park will work with any and all dietary requirements. Each student will receive a pre-trip questionnaire to fill out so that we can learn about your dietary needs, condition of health, favorite drinks and any other concerns, to make sure that the lodge is equipped to accommodate everyone’s unique needs.
What fishing license do I need?
Students will need an Idaho fishing license valid for four (4) days. There are several fly shops in the nearby area where you can purchase a license in person before arriving at Elk Creek Ranch or Harriman State Park. Alternatively, you can purchase a license online in advance and print it out before you arrive.
What local fly shops do you recommend for purchasing additional gear, licenses, flies, maps, and guide trips?
Henry’s Fork Anglers - Island Park, Idaho
TroutHunter Fly Shop - Island Park, Idaho
Big Sky Anglers - West Yellowstone, Montana
Jacklin's Fly Shop - West Yellowstone, Montana
Will I have the chance to meet and spend time with the instructors and presenters on staff?
Yes! Everyone listed above will be present at varying times over the course of the four days. Most of the staff have written books, tied famous fly patterns, work as artists and photographers and all will be available to meet and chat with students. Books, flies and artwork will be available for purchase with the opportunity to have the work signed just for you!
Is this school available for everyone?
This course is for people from all walks of life that love to fly fish.
Is there an age limit for The Anglers Academy?
Yes, the minimum age is 14 and students between the ages of 14 - 17 will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
What will you have to drink?
Beer and wine will be provided after 5 PM. If you prefer something else, you’ll want to bring it with you. There’s a liquor store just down the road if you need to make a last minute run. Whether you are drinking whiskey or water, the cocktail hour will be a nice time to relax, unwind and reflect on all that you’ve learned over the past day with instructors and fellow students.
Are there any additional costs that I should know about?
No. The rate includes lodging, all meals, wine and beer, and all instruction. We do recommend bringing cash ($100) to tip the lodge staff at the end of your stay. There will be an opportunity to purchase books and art directly from the instructors if you wish--cash only.
Is there a laundry service at the ranch?
There’s not a laundry service at the ranch, but if anyone needs something washed the staff is happy to take care of it for you. You’ll want to pack enough clothes for the five nights / four days.
What is the appropriate attire for the fishing days and what do I wear in the evening?
July and August days are generally warm (80’s and 90’s) and then it cools down at night (40’s and 50’s). We recommend long sleeved, lightweight fishing clothing, along with a hat, rain jacket, fleece or light puff jacket, and something to wear under your waders. We will likely be in waders everyday. The evening dinners are not formal, and most folks will continue wearing their hats and fishing gear, possibly a pair of blue jeans or khakis.
Is a Covid vaccine required?
What if I have to cancel my spot?
A 50% deposit is required to confirm your spot and the remaining 50% is due 30 days in advance. All payments are non-refundable, but if you must cancel your spot, we will do our very best to find a replacement student so that we can reimburse you in full. Please note that The Anglers Academy only accepts checks at this time.
If I’m coming alone, do I have to share a room or are single cabins available?
Single cabins are available, but limited.
Will instructors have first aid kits and/or epi-pens on them during the day?
The instructors will have first aid kits and are trained to administer first aid.
Will we be using boats?
We do have a short session scheduled to talk about boat fishing, but we will not be fishing from boats.
How much walking do we do? Do I need a wading staff?
We will be walking and wading everyday, but none of the locations require long walks to or from the river. If you normally use a wading staff, we suggest that you bring it.
If I break a rod will there be extra gear available to borrow?
Absolutely! We recommend packing your own rods, reels and equipment, but we will have lots of gear available to demo and borrow.
What, if anything, can I do to prepare myself for The Angler’s Academy?
Be prepared to have fun and learn a lot! We plan to cover all topics in a clear and easy to understand manner. We’ve put a lot of time into thinking about these topics and how to relay the accumulated knowledge of many years guiding, traveling and fishing into a format that is both comprehensive and interesting. We would bet the farm that you will walk away a better and more confident angler after attending The Anglers Academy.