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How to Fly Fish: A Lifelong Hobby

You will learn everything you need to know to get started fly fishing. No prior experience required!
4.8 (10 ratings)
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1,057 students enrolled
Created by Chase Thornock
Last updated 3/2016
$10 $200 95% off
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 7 Articles
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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If you have ever wanted to learn to Fly Fish or you have been stuck next to the guy on the pond who is catching fish after fish with a fly rod and you want to know what magic he is using then this course is for you. I will take you out on the river and teach you everything you need to know. You can even download portions of this course and take it on the river with you! It's like having your own professional guide with you on the water. Makes a great gift for a new fly fisher!

I have loved fishing for my entire life, but I didn't know how to fly fish. All I knew was that people who were fly fishing always caught more fish than me and it drove me crazy. When I was 12 years old I got my first Fly Rod (the WalMart Special) and after spending hours online and on YouTube I discovered that there was far too much scattered information and the videos on YouTube were too disconnected to make sense of as a whole.

The Fly Rod went into storage for almost a decade. When I moved next to a Blue Ribbon River (in other words a really good fly fishing river) a few years later I decided that I was going to tackle it once and for all. I went out on the river all by myself, every day, for three weeks straight and didn't catch a single thing! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Finally I ran into a few guides on the river who were kind enough to show me some basics and I have been fly fishing ever since.

I promised myself that I would pay forward the kindness of those guides and that's why I have made this course. I hope you will enjoy learning the art of fly fishing and pay it forward as well!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for begining to intermediate fly fishers. You do not need to have any previous fishing experience or gear. We will teach you all of that here. If you think fish are "icky" or think fly fishing is stupid this course is probably not for you.
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What Will I Learn?
Slay big fish!
Learn everything you need to know to get geared up
Tie all the basic knots you will need to start fly fishing (merit badge not required)
Cast a fly rod
Read the water
Hook fish!!
View Curriculum
  • This course is intendended to walk you through everything from equipment to actually fishing on the river. If you already have gear great! If you don't, we will show you what to get. You should probably know what a fish is, other than that we've got you covered!
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 41 Lectures Collapse All 41 Lectures 01:04:43
Fly Fishing Gear
12 Lectures 10:49

After this course you will know the basics of Fly Rods and which one to get to start fly fishing.

Preview 01:27

This lecture talks about what to look for when picking out a fly fishing reel.

Fly Reel

I've got your back(ing)! What the heck is backing? Watch this lecture to find out!


Did you know there are as many types of fly line as there are species of fish?! After this lesson you will know the right fly line to get.

Fly line

Listen to this lecture to learn about tapered leaders (and no, I am not talking about strangely proportioned politicians).

Preview 00:37

We are going to need something at the end of the leader. Just tip it with tippet!


After this lesson you will know what a strike indicator is and what it is used for.

Strike Indicator

A wise man told me once; "all waders leak...eventually". Watch this lecture to learn about the different types of waders and what to look for when buying some.


"Boots and cats and boots and cats". If you want to learn how to beat box, that's all I've got. If you want to learn about the different types of boots for fly fishing then this is the lecture to watch!


Oh my

Flies, Foreceps, and Pack

Learn why weights are so crucial to fly fishing success!

Weights and Sunglasses

Download this handy dandy guide to make sure that you have everything you need to get started fly fishing!

Gear Check List

This quiz will test your knowledge on fly fishing gear.

Gear Quiz
3 questions
Rigging Up Your Fly Rod and Reel
16 Lectures 30:26

After you watch this video (and practice a bit) you will be able to attach your backing to your fly reel using the Arbor Knot.

Attaching the Backing to the Fly Reel (Arbor Knot)

Check out this helpful diagram of the Arbor Knot.

Preview 00:19

Albright albright already! Check out this lecture to learn how to attach your fly line to your backing.

Attaching the Fly Line to the Backing (Albright Knot)

Here is a diagram of the Albright Knot for your enjoyment.

Albright Knot Practice

After this video you will be able to attach your tapered leader to your fly line.

Attaching the Tapered Leader to the Fly Line (Loop to Loop Connection)

After completing this lecture you will be able to tie the Surgeons Knot. You can download this lecture and take it with you on the water so that you don't forget this knot. This is a knot that you will use all the time on the water so practice up!

Attaching the Tippet to the Tapered Leader (Surgeons Knot)

Here is a diagram of the Surgeons Knot. Make sure to practice this one until you have it down!

Surgeons Knot Practice

This lecture will teach you how to tie the clinch knot. This knot is use to tie your flies onto your line. This is another one that you will want to practice a lot before you hit the water!

Attaching the Flies to the Tippet (Clinch Knot)

"Perfect makes practice!"... It goes something like that.

Clinch Knot Practice

Now that you have seen the big version of the knot lets show you how to put it all together on your fly reel!

Preview 04:11

Attaching the Fly Line to the Backing Demonstration

Attaching the Tapered Leader to the Fly Line Demonstration

Attaching the Tippet to the Tapered Leader Demonstration

Download this guide for how to rig up your line and take it with you out on the river (don't drop your phone in the water though...I have done that too many times). This will help you remember how to rig up your line if you forget.

Your First Fly Fishing Setup - The Inline Rig

Inline Rig Diagram

Safety, safety, safety.

Tips Before you Hit the Water

This quiz will test your knowledge of the vocabulary you have learned and the knots you have practiced.

Rigging Up Your Fly Rod and Reel Quiz
3 questions
Fly Fishing Techniques: Nymphing
13 Lectures 23:29

Check out the diagram of the layout of a river. After watching and understanding the concepts in this video, you will be able to go to a river for the first time and understand the basic layout of the river and where the fish will be.

Reading the Water

River Layout

Wait, fish eat bugs? Yes they do and lots of 'em!

Screening the Water for Bugs

Just in case you missed it; safety, safety, safety. No fish is worth your life!

Wading Safety

No, not that kind of weight management. In this lecture you will learn how to weight your line so that your flies end up in front of the fish.

Weight Management

After this lecture you will learn the basics of line management. This is one of the more tricky parts of fly fishing. You can download this course and take it out on the river if you need a refreasher.

Line Management

You will know how to cast your fly rod after you watch this lesson. Rock on!


The difference between a mediocre fly fisher and a great one can often be found in mending. The concepts in this lesson will help you achieve a "drag-free drift" and make your flies look as natural to the fish as possible.


This one is a big deal. Learn how to set the hook effectively.

Preview 02:18

Once you have the fish hooked the game is on! In this lesson you will learn how to fight the fish.

Fighting the Fish

Watch this lecture to learn how to release your fish and make sure it survives.

Releasing the Fish

Woot woot! Fish on!

Catching Our First Fish!

We can't help it. With all the cool stuff you have learned we just keep catching fish. Watch this lecture to see us put it all together!

Preview 02:26
About the Instructor
4.8 Average rating
10 Reviews
1,057 Students
1 Course
Fly Fishing Expert

I have been fishing for 2 decades. I have guided dozens of trips and taught many people how to fly fish over the years. Additionally I have taken several fly fishing and fly tying courses from both universities as well as various fly fishing shops.

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