Camhabib

Western MA fly-fishing lessons

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I'll be out in western MA for a few days in near future with nothing much to do and would love to try a fly-fishing lesson. I've never even held a fly rod before, so I'm looking for an intensive (ideally one-on-one) 1 to 2 day instruction that is beginner friendly. I'll be in the Plainfield area specifically, but am happy to travel ~1 hour away. Any suggestions on guides, outfits, clubs, etc that might offer something like this? Much appreciated!

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Try contacting Overwatch Outpost in Charlemont; about a 25 minute drive north of Plainfield on 8A.  You will fish the Deerfield River.  

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Good move. Very good move. Even better if the guide is a qualified casting instructor. An even better move is casting lessons first. Reason being you will lose a good portion of a guided fishing lesson learning how to cast first.

 

Mike

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1 min ago, Hook I said:

Why don’t you take a few lessons before and when you get to MA hire a fishing guide and catch some fish :howdy:

That was my original idea but I've had difficulty finding any places to do that with in the greater Boston area.

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1 hour ago, chisler said:

Try contacting Overwatch Outpost in Charlemont; about a 25 minute drive north of Plainfield on 8A.  You will fish the Deerfield River.  

Appreciate it! Just reached out to them about availability. 

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8 mins ago, Camhabib said:

That was my original idea but I've had difficulty finding any places to do that with in the greater Boston area.

Do another search .. Boston has a lot of availability, good luck 

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The advice to take pre-session casting lessons is well intentioned, but, depending on what kind of fishing the OP will be doing, may be totally unnecessary. For example, it's cooling down here in the northeast and nymphing is becoming the most consistent producer of trout. My client last week took the Orvis casting class this summer, which he said was helpful, but in reality was of little use for the Look/Lift/Load/Lob method so many of us use to make short casts with a weighted payload. He did just fine getting the fly where it needed to be.

 

So yes, by all means, learn how to fly cast, but if you're going to be nymphing with weight a quality guide will be able to teach you the casting basics.

 

Steve Culton

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Heard back from Overwatch Outpost and they said they’re no longer doing guided trips (lost guides due to covid) and don’t have any classes going on right now. 
 

As for casting lessons, both Orvis and LLBean have stopped classes for the year, and I wasn’t able to find anyone else who was still holding them right now. 
 

I have a few other names off of Google to try tomorrow, I’ll report back with any interesting info. 

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Seen a couple clips of harrisonanglers who operate out of western Mass.  it may be a long shot but check the web site. If the brothers are booked they might be able to refer you.

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After fly fishing for a year based off instructions from my non fly fishing father, he signed me up for a casting class at orvis for my birthday.

 

It was pretty helpful, I definitely added some distance to my cast, but it mostly served to demonstrate how inferior my old rod was and that it was time for an upgrade to an orvis one :)

 

But mostly, I was the only one in the class with any experience, the others seemed to do fine, but having already had a grasp of the basics, I was able to go straight into the actual lessons while the others were figuring out how to hold the rod. If you already have a rod, I'd highly suggest trying to get in a few practice sessions in a park or any other open space where you just tie to a ball of yarn or something to easily see it. It's going to be a frustrating experience, but paired with some youtube instructional videos you should be able get some very basics down without any problems.  Given any lessons will only be a few hours at most, you'll definitely not want to "waste" the first half hour or so just experiencing what it's like to wave the wand back and forth and get straight into the stuff that can really help you cast like a pro.

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@Camhabib, from looking at some of your posts, you are relatively new to fishing in general, and as you mentioned in your OP in this thread, have no experience at all fly-fishing.  It's great that you want to explore this new branch of fishing (freshwater fly-fishing) - there will be a lot of differences from the saltwater fishing you've done so far.  I wouldn't prep for a day or two on the river, but would be clear up-front with your guide(s) regarding what you want to get out of your days with them.  A reasonably modest goal would be to get some hands-on time using a fly-rod, learning a little about fishing moving fresh water (or stillwater if you end up on a lake or pond), learning a little about what fish eat in that environment and how flies can imitate that food, the basics of a cast and how to control how the fly moves in the current, and a little about your quarry.  A good guide will help you with all of this and help give you the best chance of applying that and catching a few fish.  After this experience, you can decide if it appeals to you or if you prefer fishing saltwater (you might also decide whether saltwater flyfishing would be something that might interest you).  Don't overthink it going in - have fun, and let the guides know what you want to learn.  They'll be happy spending all of the time with you teaching you to cast if that's what you want, or alternatively, just putting you in the position to hook fish w/o going into any details if that's your preference.

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10 hours ago, adam42 said:

Given any lessons will only be a few hours at most, you'll definitely not want to "waste" the first half hour or so just experiencing what it's like to wave the wand back and forth and get straight into the stuff that can really help you cast like a pro.

Unfortunately I don't have a rod, but I am actively trying to find a casting lesson to see if I can get a head start. I agree that it would seem a shame to spend the first half of a guided trip just learning how to handle the rod.

 

9 hours ago, East Coaster said:

@Camhabib, from looking at some of your posts, you are relatively new to fishing in general, and as you mentioned in your OP in this thread, have no experience at all fly-fishing.  It's great that you want to explore this new branch of fishing (freshwater fly-fishing) - there will be a lot of differences from the saltwater fishing you've done so far.  I wouldn't prep for a day or two on the river, but would be clear up-front with your guide(s) regarding what you want to get out of your days with them.  A reasonably modest goal would be to get some hands-on time using a fly-rod, learning a little about fishing moving fresh water (or stillwater if you end up on a lake or pond), learning a little about what fish eat in that environment and how flies can imitate that food, the basics of a cast and how to control how the fly moves in the current, and a little about your quarry.  A good guide will help you with all of this and help give you the best chance of applying that and catching a few fish.  After this experience, you can decide if it appeals to you or if you prefer fishing saltwater (you might also decide whether saltwater flyfishing would be something that might interest you).  Don't overthink it going in - have fun, and let the guides know what you want to learn.  They'll be happy spending all of the time with you teaching you to cast if that's what you want, or alternatively, just putting you in the position to hook fish w/o going into any details if that's your preference.

Appreciate the suggestions! I am very new to fishing overall, but wanted to explore the different styles as I've only really been exposed to one (surfcasting). I also wanted to learn correctly the first time instead of forming bad habits which I then needed to break, hence my desire for some kind of lesson or instruction. 

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8 mins ago, Camhabib said:

I also wanted to learn correctly the first time instead of forming bad habits which I then needed to break, hence my desire for some kind of lesson or instruction. 

There's wisdom in this, but don't be overly concerned about going out with a guide without a lesson first.  You're only going to form habits if you do something repetitively (e.g, just pick up a rod, watch Youtube and then frequently practice what you watched).  Going in cold with a guide won't hurt, and it will help you understand what's involved and whether it's something you want to pursue more deeply.  If it is, then go and invest in casting lessons, equipment, etc..  Look, I really love flyfishing for trout, but saltwater fishing has its own, very different challenges, and if I were just starting out, I would pick one or the other to gain proficiency, w/o trying to do everything and not getting very good at anything,  YMMV......EC  

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