Smoky Mountain Weekend Fly Fishing Schools

Smoky Mountain Weekend Fly Fishing Schools

Your Journey as a Fly Fisher

I have taught the fly fishing schools for training others since 1987 in Bryson City, NC. Fly fishing has been on a regression since the mid-90s throughout the United States. Part of this is due to the beaded nymphs and bobber splat anglers that literally stay stuck with either tight line methods or bobbers and never move forward. Sure it is effective for taking fish and can make anyone look like a superstar in short order. It will limit you not being able to present with proper layouts which match various water currents at a distance.

Practice is often lacking from even the so-called accomplished badge collectors of fly casting disciplines. Competent instructors is also a big fault of the regression in my opinion. Teaching several hundred dates a year is similar to creating a fine wine in that it gets refined over time. Fly casting does define the sport of fly fishing. Most fly fishers fall into the entertainment side of things for trips and destinations as opposed to the improvement of their fly fishing journey through education.

I have observed this even in my own region with Delayed Harvest popularity since the early 90’s. Pay and play fisheries of private waters with huge disfigured trout for those living the delusion that “I am great” because of all my hashtags with huge abnormal fish. Who are we kidding? I mean the entertainment crowds would be just as well off staying on a trout pond right?  As a professional guide and educator, I have steered my client workload to include those that seek improvement through education over entertainment.


Duncan Upper Nanty
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Itinerary for Smoky Mountain Weekend International Fly Fishing Schools

There are multiple techniques with various facets that make up fly fishing as a whole. All of the schools put a heavy emphasis on fly casting and line control. They are designed for professionals to have a crash course with the various tactics from water reading, entomology, strategies of working the water, techniques, tactics, and methods of either nymphing, wet fly, streamer, or dry fly. They begin Friday afternoon to include your travel time to the Smokies and conclude Sunday afternoon. The schools are all-inclusive with the exception of your NCWRC fishing license. They are broken down as a progression because the topics are vast and I feel it is not doing the techniques any justice adding them all into only a few days.

I usually put them on with the order of a series if you will of what I perceive entry or beginner techniques through more advanced skill-sets. I also customize clinics for groups with specific goals. By example, last Fall I ran a Switch and Spey Casting weekend clinic as well as a whitewater rowing clinic. This coming year I decided to offer those in the offseason of the summer months which is out of the trout season.

Take the Journey or Look for “Big Box Chain Entertainment” Schools

Most of the big chain popular fly fishing “brands” pay huge dollars to be the guide of the year, shop of the year, and other ridiculous endeavors which really means nothing at all. If you are into the trendy “entertainment” end of things then, by all means, go find out. I have met thousands of these folks over the years that are near quitting the sport because what they were shown was not sufficient.

If you are serious about truly learning what it will take to achieve greater skill then look no further. I am passionate about sharing it all with those that want it. It is a team effort as I simply facilitate what you will practice gaining huge dividends of fish. Oh yeah, practice is up to you!

Advanced Nymph Fishing Clinic

July 27-29 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering strategies, tactics, and multiple techniques for learning to trout fish using nymphs.

Advanced Streamer Clinic

August 3-5 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering strategies, tactics, and multiple techniques for learning to trout fish using streamers.

Advanced Wet Fly Clinic

August 10-12 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering strategies, tactics, and multiple techniques for learning to trout fish using wet flies. Wet flies are the most productive technique overall because you can fish them throughout the water column and at a great distance.

Advanced Dry Fly Clinic

August 17-19 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering strategies, tactics, and multiple techniques for learning to trout fish using dry flies. Dry fly drifts tend to be the pinnacle of the sport and I can assure you that very few fly fishers have truly mastered the layouts to achieve a drift that remains drag free. Learn all about the cast and line control that catches more trout for your fly fishing adventures.

Advanced Fly Casting Clinic for Single Handed Rods, Switch, and Spey

August 24-26 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering pause, power, and path for understanding a multitude of layouts with the fly line. The fly casting clinic covers all three methods of single handed rods, switch, and spey rods. Learn to execute long distance line control from roll casts to aerial fly casts. Perfect for improving your personal “perfect practice” regime or pursuing the Certified, Master, or Two-Handed Instructor through the FFI testing procedure. I have a 100% record for candidates that have successfully passed these exams.

Whitewater Rowing for Fly Fishing Clinic

August 31-September 2 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering whitewater safety techniques for putting folks on fish. Boat control is the name of the game for attempting your fly fishing adventure. I can guarantee you will have greater confidence in buying your oar frame or drift boat for fishing the rivers near you and remaining relaxed while rowing. We spend most of the class actually rowing waters near Bryson City, North Carolina.

Saltwater Fly Fishing School

September 7 -9 Location of Bryson City, North Carolina. Covering the saltwater casts and techniques for understanding what it will require to have success fly fishing the salt. Rigging and knots for gaining the necessary leader understanding for salty critters. The biggest complaint from 98% of saltwater captains attempting to guide fly rodders is they cannot cover fish when it counts. This course is designed to teach others what that will entail for taming the wind and hitting your target when it counts!