· Max. Size: 4
· Course Length: 1 Week
· Tuition: $1150
Accelerated Fly Fishing Course With Paul Sveum
Certain places and activities have a synergy that makes the whole far greater than the sum of the parts. If you put together wild trout, a fly rod and reel, well tied flies, a cold moving river and the skill to connect those parts you get a pretty good day on the water. When you put all those together in a place like Northern Maine where the trout are native and healthy, the water is clear and clean, moose and black bear walk the woods and bald eagles and osprey fill the sky and the pervasive wilderness quietude fills your head you get an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.
The Aroostook River watershed is home to plentiful native wild brook trout and feisty landlocked salmon that feed aggressively on dry flies, nymphs and streamers throughout the spring and summer. From our camp on the Aroostook you will spend a week learning:
- Fly Fishing Gear. From rods and reels to line and flies, you ‘ll learn how to use and maintain the tools of our trade.
- Knot tying. The difference between a fish in the net and a long distance release often comes down to a well tied knot. You learn the knots needed from spool to fly as well as a few variations and specialty knots to impress your friends with (or at least to impress a trout).
- Flies. Arguably the most important part of our sport, being able to select the right fly for the right water is the foundation of a skilled fly fisherman. You’ll learn how to select the appropriate style of fly, how to fish that fly, and how to use a few simple techniques to make that fly irresistible to trout.
- Fly Tying. In this course you’ll sample the Aroostook River for aquatic insects using a kick net and then take those little buggers back to camp to tie flies to match. You’ll learn easy tying techniques that will allow you to tie a section of “everyday” flies such as the wooly bugger streamer, hare’s ear nymph, Adam’s mayfly and elk hair caddis dry fly.
- Casting. If you can’t cast, you can’t present your fly effectively. You’ll learn and practice roll casts, overhead casts, line mending and a few simple tricks to add to those casting styles to increase your accuracy and keep you flies in the water.
- Aquatic Entomology. We will spend time each day collecting and identifying the bugs trout eat in order to get a better picture of the life cycles and abundance of the key aquatic insects that find their way into the stomachs of trout. Knowing the bugs makes you a better fisherman, fly tier and also enables you to “match the hatch” in order to tie on the right fly at the right time.
- River Hydrology. Trout are simple critters that need a few basic things to live: food, oxygen and a good place to hide/rest. Finding those good places trout seek out to live is the difference between fishing and hunting and if you want to catch bigger fish more regularly you better learn to hunt. You will learn where and why trout hold where they do in a river system from river side lessons that will allow you to see the river, make a guess and then run a fly through to test your theory.
The schedule for the week is a mix of instruction at our field school, time on the water wading and finishes with an overnight float. Unfortunately we don’t fish in the ideal world, we fish in the real world influenced by weather, water levels and of course our fickle prey. Our weekly schedule may have to change as the summer unfolds, but due to our location we have a lot of good fishing options, so no matter how the water flows we will be wetting lines every day either in our pond, on the Aroostook, in a few of the trout filled lakes nearby or in one of the many cold water rivers.
Sunday: Arrive at camp, set up your tents, and get ready for a meet and greet dinner at 4pm.
Monday: Introduction to Fly Fishing including a gear shake down, an overview of the weeks plans, and a knot tying lesson. Then we will head to our casting pond for the first casting practice of the week. The afternoon fishing will be at our camp on the Aroostook.
Tuesday: Day two is all about flies. We will go in depth about fly use, selection and varieties. A quick trip to the Aroostook will net us some live aquatic insects to learn, observe and tie imitations of for our fly tying lesson after lunch. We will have a casting review at our casting pond then we’ll load up and head out for an afternoon of wade fishing on one of our local rivers.
Wednesday: We will spend all day out fishing on a local river wade fishing for native brook trout. Evening will be spent in the library tying flies. Lessons for Wednesday will include river hydrology and learning to read a river to find trout.
Thursday: We will spend most of the day on a local river fine tuning our casting, river reading and overall stream awareness with a focus on fly presentation, hatch matching, and trying all four of the main fly types: wet, dry, nymph and streamer. There will be time in the morning for casting practice in our casting pond. Evening will be reserved for tying and review of other skills we learned over the week.
Friday: We will head to the upper Aroostook for a full day of brook trout and landlocked salmon fishing.
Cost covers all instruction, access to our staple foods, a fly tying kit, on site camping, basic flies for the week, fishing accessories, and transportation.
You will be responsible for providing your own fishing gear for the week. This includes:
- Waders and felt soled boots (Optional)
- 4-6 weight fly rod and reel (spooled with floating fly line)
- Fishing bag
- Polarized sun glasses
We can arrange to have the gear above waiting for you when you show up for an additional fee. We also offer fully loaded fly boxes tied locally for purchase. While we do provide basic commercially tied flies for the week, you may wish to expand you arsenal with flies tied by us for the local rivers.
You should also plan on bringing all the gear you will need to live in camp for a week.
Travel Information and Directions: Travel information is located here. After you register you will receive local driving directions to our site.
Arrival and Departure: Plan to arrive on sunday afternoon at 4. We’ll have dinner, a group introduction and a tour of the grounds starting at 6. The course is over on Saturday at 8 AM.
Accommodations: Bring a tent, tarp, or other shelter. It will be your home for the week. For summer programs please consider bringing a bug net if you don’t have noseeum netting on your tent. There are also cabins available through Blackwater Outfitters, located five minutes away. They can be reached at: 207-540-4101.
Meals: For information on food and meals, visit our Food and meals page.
Cancellation and Refund Policies: Please visit our School Policies page for information on all of our policies.
What is included with the tuition: Included in the tuition are all camping fees, group meals, instruction, and group gear.
What is not included with the tuition: Not included with the tuition are personal gear, items from town and any foods other than those specified.
Course Insurance: Adventure travel and wilderness education are not inexpensive, and anything can happen when we’re in the bush. We recommend that all participants have medical insurance. We also recommend you protect your investment with travel insurance for trips and tuition insurance for courses.
Tobacco: Smoking is not permitted in or near any buildings. All cigarette butts are to be placed into the metal can provided.
Vehicles and Parking: We’re located .6 miles down a gravel road. During the winter and spring the road can be impassable for 2-wheel drive vehicles, and sometimes for any vehicles other than snow machines.
Telephone: We don’t have a phone or electricity. If you need to be in constant phone contact please consider bringing a cell phone, and if you need to charge a phone (or other electronic device), please look into getting a charger or bringing extra batteries.
Other: Please don’t bring any pets, alcohol or illegal drugs.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
We reserve the right to include or omit any of the course topics listed due to class interest, availability of materials, inclement weather, or other factor that makes them impractical or unsafe.