A Fly Fishing Boot Camp Perfect for Beginners
You’ve been thinking about getting into fly fishing? Jump in with both feet! Well, maybe don’t jump. You’ll spook the fish, and the rocks might be slippery. Better to wade in quietly like a ghost, but excited. Get started with our fly fishing Boot Camp on the Bow River!
This is a lot of fun! We’re going to have plenty of laughs while learning and practicing new skills. This is fishing! For most of us it’s a relaxing pastime and a lifelong learning opportunity. Enjoy the process, make mistakes, and laugh at yourself! Most guests tell us, they’re completely focused and immersed in the experience and life takes a break while they’re on the river. This is a good thing! It’s okay to check out once in while.
The Bow River Boot Camp combines outdoor classroom learning with actual fishing experience. This isn’t really that intense, but “boot camp” sounded right. No one is going to yell at you, and you probably won’t sweat too much.
Hanging out in our outdoor classroom, dressed like we know what we’re doing, we’ll get into everything you’ll need to get you started and make you dangerous!
Your classroom is 6 acres of waterfront along our home waters on the Bow River just outside of the Calgary City Limits. We’ve set up your adventure at our ranch located on a beautiful stretch of water and provide everything you need to explore for the day. We include all the equipment, but you’re encouraged to bring your own gear if you have it.
We load up the drift boat and fish one of our favourite stretches of the Bow River. You’ll have the opportunity to battle with hard fighting Rainbow and Brown Trout with your new skills.
That all sounds great right? What exactly are you getting yourself into?
Here is the course outline with some added detail. Try to contain your excitement!
Day One Itinerary
Gear Identification: Fly Rods come in different sizes for different applications. We’ll talk about a balanced set up for your needs. Fly Rod outfits are identified in “weights” which refers to the overall strength or size of the rod. We’ll show you how to put it all together.
Casting: We’ll teach, and you’ll practice the four principles of fly casting. We start in the field adjacent to the river, and then head to the water, where you’ll get the real deal experience. Repetition of good habits is the goal here. The good news is physics can help us. The bad news is physics can help us.
Knots: You’re need to know how to tie good, strong knots. Knot an option. (sorry) This is typically very light line, so the knots are critical. If you’re going to fly fish, you need to know how to tie two pieces of line together and you need to tie your line to the flies. There are so many knots and debates on which work best but we teach the IMPROVED CLINCH KNOT, NON-SLIP LOOP KNOT and the TRIPLE SURGEONS knot. Being on the river daily, these knots do the job. You’ll want to practice knots away from the water to become proficient. I guess you don’t have to but standing on the riverbank for 30 minutes trying to tie your fly on might dampen your spirits a little while your buddies are casting to happy fish!
Rigging: Now that you have your knots dialed in, what the heck are you supposed to do with them? We’ll teach you some techniques for rigging single and multiple fly applications and when to use them. You’ll use those knots to tie these rigs: Dry Fly. Dry Dropper. Deep Nymph Rig. Drop Shot. Streamer. On day two, you’ll fish all these rigs.
Bugs N’Flies: It would be kind of helpful to know what, exactly, to tie onto our rigs wouldn’t it? We’ll give you a down and dirty entomology overview to learn the difference between Mayflies, Caddis Flies, Stone Flies, Terrestrials, Annelids etc.
Reading Water: Now you need to find the fish. The river gives you clues to where stealthy trout like to be. Trout want a steady supply of food, they don’t like to use too much energy to eat, and they need cover or protection close by. Throwing your line where the fish are is the difference between hunting and hoping. Let’s hunt!
River Etiquette and Safety: Sharing our resources and being responsible is a must while you’re out there. A few Dos and Don’ts will help you enjoy your days on the water.
Day Two Itinerary
Let’s work on putting it all together and go fishin’! We’ll pack a semi-healthy lunch, and head out for the day. We’re fishing a great stretch of river, with plenty of trout, amazing scenery and we get to keep learning! Our goal is to get you more and more comfortable as the day progresses. Landing trout is part of the agenda today while your cast and presentation steadily get better. We cover approximately 15k of trouty river where you’ll fish from the drift boat with plenty of stops along the way to wade fish.
Check out our website, stalk around our social pages and see if we’re a good fit for your next adventure. Please get in touch directly with questions etc. We love talking about this stuff and our spouses won’t listen anymore. Explore videos, different guide sites, visit fly shops, and you’ll soon find a pretty cool group of people of all age groups and walks of life enjoying our sport. You’ll also realize quickly there is no substitute for being out there!