Since 1994 in Columbus, Ohio
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Fly Fishing Education

Mad River Outfitters offers a wide variety of educational opportunities for the fly fishing enthusiast including:

  • Fly Fishing Schools and Classes in Ohio
  • Private Instruction on any subject, any time!
  • Fly Tying Classes from Beginning, Advanced and specialty- guest tyers too!
  • Individual and Group Fly Casting Lessons
  • On-River Fly Fishing Seminars- Full-day experience on local waters
  • FREE "Getting Started in Fly Fishing" Seminar- scheduled periodically throughout the year
  • Unique selection of books, DVDs and other media

 Click a button below to view the details and pricing on all of our Fly Fishing Schools and Classes!


FREE Beginners Fly Fishing Program

This is a great way to get introduced to the sport! This two-hour session will take years off of your learning curve. We guarantee it!!!

Join us for an informative session on Getting Started in Fly Fishing which covers the basics on what you need to do to get the ball rolling, where to go,  and what further steps to take to become a proficient fly fisher.  We will take a look at the 6 basic things that you need to understand and also clear up some of the common myths and misconceptions that surround the sport.

These are scheduled periodically throughout the season. Please refer to our seasonal newsletter or the Calendar page of this website for future dates.  Please call to reserve a seat.

This class is well worth the investment.

* no equipment or experience necessary. You may want to bring along a notepad and pen. A basic handout that outlines the program will be provided.

New! Register for this class online for $5.00 and the night of the class we will present you with a $10.00 Mad River Outfitters Gift Card! So not only is this class now FREE.....but we are paying you $5.00 to attend!

Otherwise, you can call the shop directly to register and decline our $5.00 Gift.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, December 2nd - 7-9 p.m.-

Wednesday, March 2nd- 7-9 p.m.- 


Fly Casting Classes

Fly casting is simple....really..... but it can also be a complete disaster if some basic fundamentals aren’t understood. Let our instructors take the mystery out of fly casting!

We offer a two-hour Basic Fly Casting Class designed to teach you these fundamentals and we guarantee you will learn to be a better fly caster. Private instruction is also available by appointment if you have any specific questions or problems. Please call to sign up for a class or to schedule a private appointment!

* A rod, reel, line and leader set-up is required. It is typically best that you learn on your own equipment but if you don't yet have an outfit, we can easily provide one for you. Just kindly let us know in advance and we will have the gear waiting for you.

Basic Class: $25  and classes are limited to 6 students
Private: $50 per hour/per student * call to check availability

Upcoming dates:

Wednesday, July 1st- 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, August 12th- 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, September 9th- 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, October 3rd- 9-11 a.m.
Wednesday, October 14th- 5-7 p.m.

Private Lessons Always Available!

Basic Knots and Rigging

One of the 1st 3 classes any Beginner should take. Free Beginner's, Fly Casting and Basic Knots and Rigging can easily get you out on the water and fly fishing in no time!!!

This class is designed to teach you the basics of "putting things together". We will cover how you put together your outfit, how to properly attach leaders and tippets, basic rigging and will cover some basic knots. Will also go into basic rigging techniques for dries, nymphs and streamers as well as talk about some warmwater rigging techniques.

* No equipment required and a basic handout that outlines the program will be provided. Class is limited to 6 students.

Class will last about an hour and a half and will cost $25.00 per student.

Please call to make a reservation or click the button below to register online.

Upcoming Dates:

Saturday, January 16th- 9-11 a.m. -  


Fly Fishing Entomology 101

This class is designed to take the mystery out of fly selection!

One of the biggest challenges that beginner and intermediate angler's face is trying to determine what fish are eating....and how that relates to the flies that you should be using. You will learn alot about bugs and their life cycles as well as other food organisms that fish eat. After getting pretty in-depth though, we will simplify things for you and make the process seem much easier and understandable than you ever imagined.

* no equipment or experience necessary-  a basic handout that outlines the program will be provided and you may want to bring along a pen to take some notes.

$25.00 per student
and the class usually lasts right about two hours. Limited to 8 students.

Upcoming dates: 

Monday, February 1st- 7-9 p.m.- 

Knots and Leaders Class

Two of the most mis-understood.....and most important aspects of the sport. Join Brian Flechsig for an intesive two hour class that will completely take the mystery out of both! He will cover proper leader design and selection for all types of fishing situations and then show you how to attach everything.......easily. You will come away from this class with the skills needed to become a much better fly angler!!!!!!

 This may be the most important class that you ever take regarding fly fishing......period.

* no equipment necessary and two handouts are provided. This is not a beginner's class. You will want to have a basic understanding of rigging, leaders, knots etc. before taking this class. 

$25.00 per student and the class usually lasts about two hours. Limited to 6 students. Please call to make a reservation or click the button below to register online.

Upcoming Dates: 

Monday, January 18th- 7-9 p.m.- 


This will be a two hour program designed to give you the basics of working with a two-handed rod. One hour will be spent in classroom setting going over definitions and some rigging helps. The second hour will be in the field with demos and trial on some basic casts. All equipment will be provided for this introductory class.

Spey/SwitchFly Casting Clinic:$25.00

Upcoming dates:

Fall 2015 TBA

Private Lessons can always be arranged!

Advanced/Saltwater Fly Casting

This will be an intensive, three hour class, geared towards taking your casting to the next level. Brian Flechsig has had the pleasure of studying fly casting with the likes of Flip Pallot, Lefty Kreh and Dave Whitlock and has come up with a system of teaching that is like no other. One hour will be spent in classroom.....looking at the different components of the cast on a chalk board. Then, the final two hours will be spent working on the techniques with fly rod in hand. The techniques learned will be advanced such as the double haul, and will be geared towards saltwater fly casting although certainly apply to all types of casting.

Students are recommended to bring a 5-6 wt rod and an 8-9 wt rod although one or the other will work if that is all you have. Equipment can be provided if needed! This class is limited to 6 students and will be offered three times throughout the season, Spring, Summer and Fall.

* If you don't think that this class greatly improves your fly casting, we'll give your money back!!!

Advanced/Saltwater Fly Casting Clinic: 


Saturday, August 22nd- 8-11 a.m. with Brian Flechsig

Private Lessons can always be arranged!

One-Day Schools:

MRO Scheduled Schools or Private Schools

Introduction to Fly Fishing

Spend a day learning the basics of fly fishing. These schools are a combination of classroom lecture and hands-on practice capped off with the opportunity to catch and land your first fish on a fly. This is a great way to “get your feet wet” in the sport of fly fishing without having to make a huge investment in gear.

Plan to arrive at the location (map and details provided) at 10:00 a.m. Topics covered will be basic equipment, knots and leaders, rigging, basic fishing technique, basic fly casting, basic entomology and fly selection and of course the fishing! You should plan on the day lasting until around 5:00 p.m. See the Calendar page of this website for scheduled schools.

Cost: $195.00 per student. Includes instruction, gear & fishing.

Pre-Requisites: None. This class is designed for complete beginners or someone just getting into fly fishing who wants to jump start their learning process. 

Recomended Gear (if you want to bring your own):

  • 4, 5 or 6wt fly rod and reel & matching fly line.
  • 9 foot 4X leader (s)
  • Selection of tippet material 3X-5X (at least 4X)
  • Fly floatant, split-shot, strike indicators.
  • Fishing Vest (optional)
  • Polarized sunglasses (Glasses are required for safety.)
  • Line clipper/nipper
  • Hemostats/Forceps
  • Hat or cap
  • A sampling of flies including nymphs, dried flies and streamers.
  • Pen/Pencil & Note Paper
  • Folding Camp chair

    No Waders Required.
**please pack a lunch

*Please note that this is primarily a learning day and not a fishing trip. If you don’t have exactly everything, it won’t ruin your day.
Fly rod, reel and line combinations are available for use with prior arrangement.

*Suggested minimum age is 12 years old. Students under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
A 50% deposit is required to hold a reservation and full payment is due fifteen days before the course. No refunds after fifteen days prior to course date.

2015 1-Day School Dates:

Sunday, April 19th at Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club w/Brian Flechsig

Monday, June 22nd at Sunnybrook Trout Club w/Graham Stokes

Sunday, July 19th- at Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club w/Brian Flechsig

Sunday, September 27th- at Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club w/Brian Flechsig

These will be held at Sunnybrook Trout Club on the legendary Cold Creek in Northern Ohio or at Zanesfield Rod and Gun Club near Bellefontaine, Ohio...... with either Graham Stokes or Brian Flechsig as your instructor

Call or e-mail to reserve a spot in a One-Day Fly Fishing School: 888-451-0363 or contact us here.

* Private bookings available- call or e-mail for more details and for scheduling - pricing below
Prviate One-Day Schools- Can be scheduled for individuals or groups.

  • $350.00 for 1 student
  • $450.00 for 2 students
  • $100 per additional

* call for pricing on larger groups

***transportation to and from Port Columbus International Airport and overnight lodging can be arranged.

Call or e-mail to reserve a private One-Day Fly Fishing School 888-451-0363 or contact us here.


Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

2016 Dates will be posted soon!

Mad River Outfitters is proud to sponsor the official Midwest Fly Fishing Schools.

These 2-day fly fishing schools will be held at Sunnybrook Trout Club near Sandusky, Ohio. Centrally located for students from Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Dayton and Cincinnati! Fantastic fishing, lodging and dining available on these 2-day excursions.

Check back here soon for more details and dates on these schools.

Spend a day on the water with the guides that fish there! These seminars are geared towards intermediate to advanced fly fishing for trout and smallmouth bass in streams, largemouth bass in lakes and carp in both. They are a full-day of intensive learning- half-day classroom and half-day on the water with techniques and principles applied to actual fishing situations. A great way to learn more about the sport and about local waters.

Highly Recommended beforehand is one of our FREE beginners programs and a some basic fly casting skills. Rod and reel set-up and some basic equipment is required. These classes should be viewed as intermediate to advanced and not geared towards "rank beginners". Lunch is not included, please pack one for yourself and bring along.

Necessary Equipment:

  • Fly rod and reel set-up (4-6wt for trout schools, 5-7wt for smallmouth, 7-8wt for bass school)
  • Appropriate selection of leaders and tippet and flies
  • Other basic accessories (nippers, hemostats etc.)
  • Appropriate waders (if needed for specific school)
  • Fishing vest (personal preference)
  • Polarized sunglasses

* A detailed listing of equipment as per the type of school (trout, bass/stream, lake etc.) will be sent to you upon making a reservation.

Topics covered in each school will be fairly extensive. Bring a notepad!

On-river seminars: $125.00

  • Trout- Sunday, Mary 3rd on the Mad River with Brian Flechsig
  • Carp School- Sunday, June 28th with Andy Jensen
  • Smallmouth- Sunday, August 30th on the Olentangy River with Josh McQuenn
  • Trout- Sunday, October 18th on the Mad River with Brian Flechsig

Call or e-mail for more information or to sign-up for any of our Classes: 888-451-0363 or contact us here.

FREE Getting Started in Fly Tying

Many folks say they are interested, but don't know where to begin. This class will help take the mystery out of Getting Started in the hobby of fly tying.

We will cover the equipment needed, basic materials, necessary techniques and, you will wind up tying a simple fly before the night is over.

* No equipment necessary although if you have a basic vise and tools, you are welcome to bring them along. This class will last approximately 2 hours and is limited to 6 students.

New! Register for this class online for $5.00 and the night of the class we will present you with a $10.00 Mad River Outfitters Gift Card! So not only is this class now FREE.....but we are paying you $5.00 to attend!

Otherwise, you can call the shop directly to register and decline our $5.00 Gift.

Upcoming Dates-

Saturday, January 9th- 9-11 a.m. - 

Monday, February 15th- 7-9 p.m. - 

Basic Fly Tying Course

Fly tying can be a very fun and rewarding hobby and it brings the sport of fly fishing full circle. Nothing is more fun for a fly fisher than catching a fish on a fly that they have tied. We are proud to offer a full range of classes designed to teach you to tie your own flies when you can't be out fishing. A basic vise and a tool set are all that are required for the class although you will need to purchase some basic materials to practice with at home. A book and manual are included with the cost of the class.

Our Basic Fly Tying Course runs for 4 weeks and the classes are two hours each. These are almost always held on Monday or Wednesday nights and occasionally on Saturday mornings. We typically run one Basic class in November, one in January and one in February. 

Necessary equipment:

  • Functional vise designed for fly tying
  • Bobbin (for thread)
  • 6/0 and 8/0 thread (color doesn't matter)
  • Hackle Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Hair Stacker
  • Half-Hitch tools and/or a whip finisher

Basic Fly Tying Course-
$95.00 for 4 week sessions

Specialty Classes Vary

Upcoming Dates:

Start Wednesday, January 13th - 

Start Monday, February 22nd- 

Specialty Fly Tying:

Mad River Outfitters periodically offers specialty fly tying classes. These are usually scheduled during the winter months and are often taught by celebrity/guest tyers. They usually entail one session and may last for hours at a time. Guest tyers we have had in the past include: A.K. Best, Jim Stewart, Carl Richards, Lefty Kreh, Chris Helm, Davy Wotton, Jim Teeny, Dave Whitlock, Kelly Galloup....and others. Keep your eyes on the website and the Calendar page for details on these classes as they arise. Prices vary.

Dates TBA for 2016

No two ways about flies are hot! Tube flies are easy, they are smart...and they will catch anything that swims.

 Fly Tying manager Ryan Ratliff will teach this "Intro to Tube Flies" seminar/class for the coming season. He will cover all of the tools and components and then the students will tie two types of tube flies.

The class will include the use a  Pro Tube adaptor so just bring your standard vise and basic tools. We will of course provide all the tubes and materials as well. 

New! Tying Tube Flies: $25.00 per student and includes the use of a ProTube adaptor and all materials. This class will last around two hours and is limited to 6 students.

Upcoming Dates:

Saturday, January 30th- 9-11 a.m.- 

Carp School

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

with Andy Jensen

Join us on the hallowed carp waters of the Muzzy Lakes Club near Urbana, Ohio for a 6 hour "Carp School".

Andy will meet the group at 9:00 a.m. and spendabout 3 hours going over the "ins-and-outs" of carp on the fly.He will cover topics like: carp history, carp feeding and behavior habits, lake vs. stream fishing, basic equipment, flies and presentation and much more!

The group will then head to the water for some 1st hand experience!

Some basic equipment (6-8 wt fly rod) and a few carpy flies are really all you need for this....and a pen and note pad!!!!

Group is limited to 6 anglers and the cost is $125.00

a map and further instructions will be provided upon sign-up

any questions please give us a call at 614-451-0363 or e-mail

Click Here to learn more about our Carp Guide Service- "The Fly-N-Carp"

Need some help with your casting......or maybe want to perfect the double haul? Maybe you have a particular fly pattern...or fly tying technique that is giving you fits.

Let us help you! Our experienced instructors are available by the hour for private instruction on just about any subject related to fly fishing. Private One-Day Schools availalbe for groups of 1 or more anglers and equipment can be provided!

Private Fly Casting Lessons:

$45.00 per hour/ per student meet at the shop

Prviate Lessons- Any subject but particularly fly tying:

$45.00 per hour/ per student meet at the shop

Prviate One-Day Schools:

$350.00 for 1 student
$450.00 for 2 students
$100.00 per additional

* call for pricing on larger groups ***equipment can be provided

Give us a call or drop us an e-mail to discuss the possibilities and available times.

Special Programs/Seminars

We offer many programs on fly fishing periodically throughout the year.

Some standard highlights:Programs by nationally recognized experts, Annual "Women’s Weekend" with Dorothy Schramm, Float Tube outings, "Carp on the Fly" program, Fly Rodding for Bass, Lake Erie Steelhead, Kayak Demos etc. Please remember to check the "Calendar" page of this website for dates of special events.

Speakers we’ve had in the past: Carl Richards, Jim Teeny, Jim Stewart, A.K. Best, Dave Whitlock, Dorothy Schramm, Jerry Darkes, Lefty Kreh, Bob Linsenman, Chris Helm, Brian Meszaros, Flip Pallot, Kelly Galloup, Jeff Liskay, April Vokey etc.

Payment/Cancellation Policies

ohio fly fishing schools and classes

Fly Fishing Schools and Classes in Ohio