River Fly Fishing

In early rural America fishing was part of growing up. Adults as well as kids would grab their fishin’ pole and head to the lakes and streams on the weekends and during the summer months. Parents and older siblings handed down fishing traditions to their children and younger brothers and sisters. As America became more industrialized and urban, many of the fishing instruction traditions began to disappear.

Fly fishing did not disappear with the industrial age, nor did it vanish with the information age; the opposite is true. Fly fishing has become very popular, especially with baby boomers. With the thirst for first-hand instruction on fly fishing techniques, professional fly fishing schools are flourishing. The Orvis Company, with its 150-year history, is the premier fly fishing provider of equipment and instruction on the latest techniques as well as steadfast traditions.


Charles Orvis

Charles Orvis popularized fly fishing when he designed a fly fishing reel and fly in the 1870′s. The Orvis Company institutionalized the sport by providing millions of American’s with equipment through tackle catalogs in the late 1800′s. Orvis was also a pioneer in the teaching of fly fishing. Orvis is quoted in 1883 as saying, “To one who has not acquired the art of fishing with a fly, let me suggest that a day or two with an expert will save much time and trouble.”

In 1965, the chairman of The Orvis Company thought there may be a market for a fly fishing class. His goal was to recruit 20 students for the first class, but 150 people signed up. The demand for fly fishing instruction never let up. The demand was so great that he eventually started a school with full-time staff.


Book: Orvis Small Stream Fly Fishing

Today there are ten Orvis Fly Fishing Schools across the United States offering weekend courses for amateurs and professionals, with the first opening in Manchester, Vermont. Ten thousand students graduated in the first fourteen years of operation. The Glen Arbor school that is located at The Homestead is one of the top-rated of all the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools.

The Orvis Fly Fishing School opens the April 30, 2011 at The Homestead with weekend classes offered through September. Students get hand-on practice at the Boardman River during class and have access to plenty of places to fish one the program is complete in the mighty Lake Michigan and in the Platt, Crystal, and Manistee Rivers.


Father and Son Fly Fishing

Parents and kids can fish together on a special weekend in June. Start a family tradition and enjoy a weekend in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with its breathtaking scenery and abundant natural areas.

To register for a class, visit The Orvis Company or call 231.933.9300. You can also register the Orvis Fly Fishing School at The Homestead by calling 231.334.5100. Special accommodation rates at The Homestead for fly fishing school participants are available.


Blog by Ileana Habsburg-Snyder