Clearwater Lodge Schools

Clearwater Lodge provides the most extensive fly fishing school in the West. For more than 25 years the name Clearwater has been synonymous with fly fishing instruction. We have taught hundreds of guests the skills and pleasures of fly fishing. Whether to refresh your angling ability or take up the sport as a beginner, Clearwater Lodge offers both structured courses and custom guide days to meet any anglers instructional needs.

  • Dates: Please Contact Us
    Arrive any Tuesday through Friday

    Discover Fly Fishing

    $1,750 per person single occupancy or $2,250 for a party of two.

    Includes 2 nights lodging, all meals and beverages beginning with dinner the first night through lunch the final day

    • Tuesday - Thursday, Wednesday - Friday, Thursday - Saturday or Friday - Sunday. Class begins at 1:30 on arrival day and ends after lunch on day 3
    • 1 full days plus 2 half days of instruction
    • Includes all instruction and equipment (waders, boots, rods and reels and tackle)
    Prerequisites:

    None

    Course Description:

    Fly fishing is a sport for a lifetime. The beauty of being on a sparkling trout stream, the rhythmic motion of casting, the thrill of the trout's rise to your fly, the bright colors of the trout itself: fly fishing is a captivating pursuit and can be as complex or as simple as you wish to make it. This weekend outing is a carefully-considered introduction to fly fishing. You will learn about tackle and knots, about casting and presentation, about trout habits and habitat, trout flies and the real insects they represent. You will wade and fish in some of the many trout waters near the Lodge, all with instructors who are patient, engaging, and skilled at teaching adults. Come discover why fly fishing has so engaged men and women for centuries.

    Curriculum:

    • Short-line dry fly fishing
    • Nymphing with an indicator
    • Knots & Rigging
    • Reading the Water
    • Wading Safety & Use of Wading Staff
    • Basic Entomology
    • Casting to 20'
  • Dates: Please Contact Us
    Arrive Tuesday or Wednesday

    Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing

    $3,400 for one, or $4,300 for party of two. Includes 4 nights lodging, all meals and beverages Includes 4 nights lodging, all meals and beverages beginning with lunch the first day through lunch the final day, all equipment and instruction

    Choose Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing if you are a beginner or rusty fly fisher. This class starts with the basics: gear, knots, casting, basic entomology, reading the water, wading safety and more. This is a five day school that focuses on building a strong foundation of fly fishing skills that you can take with you to any fishing situation.

    • Tuesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon to Sunday afternoon
    • 3 full days plus 2 half days of instruction
    • Includes all equipment (waders, boots, rods and reels and tackle)
    Course Description: 


    Fly fishing is built on two skills: presenting your fly to the trout like a natural insect and recognizing the places in a stream where a trout is most likely to be. The best way to learn these skills is to actually fish: standing in a stream, casting to trout, dealing with the vagaries of wind and current, with a competent, enthusiastic instructor nearby. That's the way we teach the Mastering. You fish a variety of streams under a variety of conditions, learning to make your fly drift like that natural insect, with an expert instructor to assist and encourage you.

    Curriculum:
    • Dry fly skills
    • Nymphing Skills
    • Casting Skills  
    • Knots & Rigging  
    • Reading the Water  
    • Wading Safety & Use of Wading Staff  
    • Basic Entomology  
    Goals:
    • Cast accurately to 25'
    • Shoot Line to 25'
    • Roll cast off of either shoulder  
    Knots & Rigging:
    • Can tie clinch knot and surgeon's knot in under a minute each
    • Able to attach a leader, tie on tippet and tie on a fly
    • Able to rig for a dry and dropper, nymphing with corkie indicator  
    Other Goals:

    • Ability to identify a mayfly, caddisfly and stonefly
    • Ability to read water
  • Dates: Please Contact Us
    Arrive Tuesday or Wednesday

    Beyond Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing

    $3,400 per person single occupancy or $4,300 for a party of two. Includes 4 nights lodging, all meals and beverages

    Includes 4 nights lodging, all meals and beverages beginning with lunch the first day through lunch the final day, all equipment and instruction
    This class is designed for folks who have already gone through the Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing as most of our graduates express a desire to pick up where that class leaves off. The main prerequisite for attending this class is having attended the Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing class, or having previous angling experience with a ability to perform all of the above MFF class goals.

    • Tuesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon to Sunday afternoon
    • 3 full days plus 2 half days of instruction
    • Includes all equipment (waders, boots, rods and reels and tackle)
    Course Description: 


    The Intermediate School is designed to be taken after the Mastering School , whether the following season, or even later in the same season. Building on the skills learned in the Mastering School , the Intermediate School will add new techniques to your fishing arsenal as well as review and solidify the basics as well as fostering further independence on the water

    Curriculum:
    • Dry fly skills:
      • Skate & Drop
      • Extended downstream drifts
    • Nymphing Skills:
      • Indicatorless nymphing
      • Yarn indicators
    • Sinking Lines:
      • Fishing streamers with intermediate and full-sink fly lines
    • Knots & Rigging:
      • Perfection loop, Loop-to-loop connection
      • Nail Knot & Arbor Knot
      • Rigging a fly line (nail knot, arbor knot)
    • Casting Skills:
      • Overhead cast to 40 feet
      • Overhead casting off of either shoulder
      • Reach Cast
    • Other Skills:
      • The right rod for the right situation; fishing 3wts through 6wts
      • Practical entomology; matching flies to hatches, using hatch charts, doing research for a trip to a new destination
    Goals:
    • Casting: Overhead cast to 40'
    • Reach cast, both upstream & downstream
    • Extended downstream drift  
    Knots & Rigging:
    • Tie a perfection loop and a nail knot
    • Rig up a reel with backing, fly line, and butt section
    • Rig up for dry fly fishing, indicator nymphing with a yarn indicator, and indicatorless nymphing  
  • The Guide School

    $2,200 per person. Includes 7 nights lodging, all meals and beverages

    If you're truly interested in guiding, there is no better school

    • Sunday afternoon to Sunday lunchtime
    • 6 full days plus 2 half days of instruction
    • Includes all equipment (waders, boots, rods and reels and tackle)
    Prerequisites:
    • Fish at least 20 days a year on your own
    • Can tie a clinch knot, surgeon's knot and perfection loop in under 20 seconds each
    • Can roll cast off of either shoulder
    • Can overhead cast accurately to 50 feet
    • Understand the following casting concepts: casting arc, casting plane, wide and narrow loops
    • Can identify stoneflies, mayflies and caddisflies in and out of the water
    • Is a competent wader
    • In good physical condition
    • Has experience reading water in a variety of fisheries
    • Exhibits good people skills
    • Is a strong communicator, able to listen and respond as well as teach and instruct
    • Has a desire and interest to pursue guiding as a career
    Course Description:

    The Clearwater Guide School is the most complete program of its kind in the country, an intense week of learning fly fishing skills, teaching skills and communication skills, under the expert direction of Clearwater's senior guides. It covers all aspects of becoming a licensed fly fishing guide, from recognizing your client's learning style to dealing with licensing, insurance, budgeting, and marketing, plus how to find a job in the industry. Graduates of the Clearwater Guide School are working in fly fishing operations around the country and abroad. Fishing skills are critical, but good communication and teaching skills are just as important to your success as a professional fly fishing guide. The foundation of a great guide is being able to build a strong connection with clients. You endeavor to provide them with the best fishing experience possible, but also to teach new skills, communicate effectively both before, during and after the fishing day, and create a lasting guide/client relationship. 

    Day 1:

    • The Guide School begins at 2pm with an overview of the week and ends the 6th day at 1pm. Gear, knots, and equipment are all part of the first afternoon.
    Days 2-6:

    • The Guide School is an intense six night, six day school. This is a rigorous course that demands full attention from beginning to end. Days begin with classroom lectures and seminars and segue into on stream clinics that last until dinner. After dinner there is free fishing time followed by an evening classroom session. Students are expected to come prepared to every session. There are several opportunities throughout the week to practice teaching skills back to the instructors and fellow students, and oral presentations with instructor feedback are a key component to the week's curriculum.
    Day 7:

    • The program ends with a private evaluation with the instructors, followed by a fun casting competition, lunch, and graduation.
  • Dates: Please Contact Us
    Women's only courses can be arranged for groups of 4 or more.
    Please call to check on available dates.
    Arrive Tuesday or Wednesday

    Women's Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing

    $3,400 per person single occupancy or $4,300 for a party of two. Includes 4 nights lodging, all meals and beverages

    Choose Mastering the Art of Fly Fishing if you are a beginner or rusty fly fisher. This class starts with the basics: gear, knots, casting, basic entomology, reading the water, wading safety and more. This is a five day school that focuses on building a strong foundation of fly fishing skills that you can take with you to any fishing situation.

    • Tuesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon to Sunday afternoon
    • 3 full days plus 2 half days of instruction
    • Includes all equipment (waders, boots, rods and reels and tackle)
    Course Description: 


    Fly fishing is built on two skills: presenting your fly to the trout like a natural insect and recognizing the places in a stream where a trout is most likely to be. The best way to learn these skills is to actually fish: standing in a stream, casting to trout, dealing with the vagaries of wind and current, with a competent, enthusiastic instructor nearby. That's the way we teach the Mastering. You fish a variety of streams under a variety of conditions, learning to make your fly drift like that natural insect, with an expert instructor to assist and encourage you.

    Curriculum:
    • Dry fly skills
    • Nymphing Skills
    • Casting Skills  
    • Knots & Rigging  
    • Reading the Water  
    • Wading Safety & Use of Wading Staff  
    • Basic Entomology  
    Goals:
    • Cast accurately to 25'
    • Shoot Line to 25'
    • Roll cast off of either shoulder  
    Knots & Rigging:
    • Can tie clinch knot and surgeon's knot in under a minute each
    • Able to attach a leader, tie on tippet and tie on a fly
    • Able to rig for a dry and dropper, nymphing with corkie indicator  
    Other Goals:

    • Ability to identify a mayfly, caddisfly and stonefly
    • Ability to read water

"You have created such a welcoming "home away from home." Every detail was appreciated and every kindness made me grateful. Our guide was knowledgeable and gentlemanly teacher with a positive attitude and respect for nature."

Marsha Malis

"We had a great time. You have an uncanny eye for the little amenities that make a stay so appealing. You genuinely care that your guests have the best possible experience."

Douglas Higgins

"What a beautiful experience you allowed us to have for the 3 days we spent at the Lodge. We hope to be back soon."

Joanne & Nunzio Alioto

"Clearwater Lodge is a piece of paradise! Very enjoyable and the fishing was great. I'll be back."

Jane Lyons Conover

"I am glad I learned how to fly fish. I learned from the best guides, Mike & John"

Laurel

"We had a wonderful time staying at the Lodge and learning the art of fly fishing. You have created a new generation of anglers in our family and we hope to return to learn more."

Pat Caskey