New fly fishing 'Essential Skills' class announced

The School of Trout announces a brand new offering
the school of trout
Photo: Todd Tanner

The School of Trout is known for providing in-depth and immersive fly fishing instruction — including its Basic Trout, Spring Creek, Dry Fly, and comprehensive Tao of Trout class — taught by some of the world’s finest and most accomplished fly fishing instructors. These classes, each offered over the course of a week, offer students a healthy mix of classroom and hands-on learning. This year, for the first time, the school is offering a new class which will eschew lecture-based tutelage in favor of exclusively hands-on instruction focused on improving the physical skills that are essential to any angler’s ultimate success.

The new class, titled the “Essential Skills” class, will focus on fly casting, manipulating and mending the fly line, building leaders, effective fly presentation, developing on-the-water awareness, and fly tying.

John Juracek, one of the world’s finest fly casting instructors, will lead the casting portion of the class. He’ll be joined for all six days by Pat McCabe, Steve “Mac” McFarland, Brant Oswald and School of Trout founder Todd Tanner. Together, those five instructors have more than 240 years of combined personal fly fishing experience.

Tanner, who published his first how-to story in Fly Fisherman magazine almost 30 years ago, told Hatch Magazine that the time felt right for a skills-only class on the Henry’s Fork.

"We wanted to put together a new class for anglers who had some experience with fly fishing, but who hope to refine their skills and take their fly fishing to a new level.” He credited the original idea for the new class to two School of Trout alumni, Chris Elbow and Mike Weinczok, who had asked repeatedly for a class with a strong emphasis on fly casting and fly tying.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have such passionate and engaged students,” Tanner said, “and when SOT alumni like Mike and Chris reach out and ask us to design a particular class, we have to take their request seriously.”

The 2024 Essential Skills class, which is limited to a maximum of 12 anglers, will take place at the renowned TroutHunter facility on the banks of the Henry’s Fork in Last Chance, Idaho.

For more information on the School of Trout's Essential Skills class, head here.