Little River Outfitters in Townsend, Tennessee is more than a fly shop. We are a very serious fly fishing school, offering classes for beginners and advanced fly anglers alike. Their curriculum ranges from free introductory classes, to two-day schools for beginners, private instruction, advanced fly fishing techniques, and fly tying classes. The school has a dedicated classroom on the second level of the shop.
The LRO Fly Fishing School has been teaching fly fishing and fly tying classes since 1996. They strive to keep tuition low, so more people can afford to participate. They hold beginner fly fishing, aquatic entomology and fly tying classes over 40 days this year. That does not include private or group instruction, which is a significant number.
FREE BEGINNER FLY FISHING 101
This is a free 2-hour introductory class, developed by Orvis, and taught by LRO. In this short class, you will learn to tie a couple of essential knots, learn about tackle and get some fundamental instruction in casting.
BEGINNER FLY FISHING 2-DAY CLASSES - $150 PER DAY
You don’t have to take both days. Some people take the day 1 class, then start fishing. Others take both days. LRO provides all equipment needed both days, and lunch is on us.
Day 1 is held in the classroom and on the casting lawn at LRO. There you will learn about tackle, flies, tying knots, reading the water and casting. This is an all-day school usually held on Saturdays.
Day 2 is held on streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Your instructors will be by your side, showing you how to cast and present flies to trout. You will learn to control your fly line and land a fish. This class is usually held on Sundays, following a Day 1 Class. 2-Day Beginner Fly Fishing is the most popular class at our school.
PRIVATE AND GROUP INSTRUCTION BEGINNER FLY FISHING – STARTING AT $250 PER DAY
Private Instruction is perfect for those who may not be able to work with scheduled classes. Basically, the 2-day school is condensed to one day. Morning is spent in the classroom and on the casting lawn with an instructor. After lunch, you will go to a trout stream in the Great Smoky Mountains for on-stream instruction. One instructor will teach 1 to 3 students. If your group has more than 3 students, we will arrange for a second instructor. We provide all equipment and lunch.
AQUATIC ENTOMOLOGY FOR ANGLERS $100
This class is taught by Dr. Brad Cook at our school for several years. Brad is Professor of Biology at Tennessee Tech University. His passions are aquatic insects and fly fishing. This class is held in a classroom setting during the morning. There you will learn about aquatic insects. After lunch, you and Brad will go to a stream in the Smoky Mountains, where we have a collection permit, and collect specimens, in the stream, using seines and nets. There, you will identify the insects.
BEGINNER FLY TYING FOR TROUT - $85
This class is taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney. Walter has been teaching this class 18 years. You begin this all day class by learning about tools and techniques. Then, you will tie your first fly, a Green Weenie. You will watch an instructor do it twice, then tie three yourself, under their supervision. We have step by step manuals to help you along. They are yours to keep. Throughout the day, you will tie 5 different flies, about 3 of each pattern. All equipment and materials are provided. Lunch is on us.
INTERMEDIATE FLY TYING FOR TROUT - $75
This fly tying class takes you one step further, to being a more competent fly tier. You will learn to tie flies using more advanced techniques. This is an all-day class. All equipment and materials will be provided.
ADVANCED TROUT FLY TYING - $75
Here you will learn the most advanced techniques, and tie more complicated flies. Once you reach this pinnacle, you should be able to tie any fly, or have the ability to do so. As in all of our fly tying classes, equipment, tools, materials and lunch are provided.
NYMPHING TACTICS - $150
This is a new class, designed to make you a better fly fisherman. Instructors include Walter Babb, Bill Bolinger, Dr. Brad Cook, Brian Courtney, Rob Fightmaster, Anthony Hipps, Chuck Kline, David Knapp, Dave Carson, Josh Pfeiffer and John Thurman. The first half of the day will be spent learning all about nymph fishing in our classroom and on our casting lawn, learning to make specialty casts. You will learn about rigging your tackle. After lunch, you will be on a stream in the Smoky Mountains, learning more and using what you learned so far, on the water.