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Hidden Meadow Ranch believes in introducing the sport of fly fishing to our members in a professional and structured environment illustrating the traditions and techniques of the historic sport. Our fishing staff can teach members beginning with Introduction to Fly Fishing and progressing to the Trout Pond for HMR Fly Fishing Levels 1-3 and ultimately out into the White Mountains for further instruction and practical application. You’ll receive a certificate to show that you’ve mastered each level. Our staff includes certified instructors with exposure to a range of fly fishing techniques and equipment. This is an opportunity to acquire a level of skill and an appreciation for the sport that opens up centuries-old traditions and can lead to experiences anywhere in the world.
This 1.5 hour class covers the very basics of fly fishing. It starts off on our courtyard lawn, casting for the rare and elusive “lawn trout.” We will review a rod and reel outfit and explain the functions of each part. Next we will cover the basic topics of knot tying and entomology (insects) used for fly fishing. Then we will head to the Meadow Pond for a casting demonstration and some practice on the mechanics of full casts and roll casts.
It’s off to the Trout Pond for this class to hone your casting skills. We will practice the full, false, and roll cast techniques and will discuss the purposes of each. You’ll learn all the steps to entice a bite from our finned friends. Next, we will teach you how to correctly set the hook and play a fish as well as safely release the fish back to its home. Then use all of the learned skills to try your luck at the real thing. Note: To pass this level, you must hook, play, land, and release a fish.
This portion of the HMR instruction program focuses on fly fishing entomology (insects). We will discuss “reading the water” and “matching the hatch.” Next is to catch some of the little buggers (pun intended). You will learn insect recognition, habits and movement, and the time of year you can expect to see them. Our casting focus for this section is to achieve greater distance and accuracy as well as a softer fly presentation so the fish don’t get spooked. Note: To pass this level, you must find and recognize a bug, pick an imitation for that bug from the fly box, tie it on and catch a fish.
The focus of this levelis to learn and tie some of the many knots needed for fly fishing. You will learn the knot used to tie the fly line to the leader, leader to tippit, and tippit to the fly. We will also discuss and practice more advanced casting techniques such as shooting line and single- and double-hauls. Note: To pass this level, you must tie fly line to leader, leader to tippit, tippit to fly, then hook, play and land a fish proving that your knots are up to the task.
It’s time for a field trip. You will head out for the day to off-property waters with one of our guides to test your newfound skills. The guide will help you put everything you have learned to good use, from rod setup to rod breakdown and everything in between. Learn the do’s and don’ts of stillwater and river fishing as this level will provide a half day of each. After this full day of adventure, you will be presented with your HMR fly-fishing degree. We will also add your name to the HMR Fly-fishing Wall of Fame, where your name will appear for all to see and other students to envy. Note: This level and corresponding benefits are only offered to those who have completed HMR fly fishing levels 1-3.
This activity is offered in our very comfortable Fishing Den. Here you will learn the basic types of bugs and some of the flies we use to imitate them. Then we will go over some of the more common materials used in fly tying, describing the uses of each. From there we will cover some of the common tools used in fly tying as well as the order of steps to tie a fly. After a short demonstration, it’s time for you to give it a shot with step-by-step coaching from our staff.
In this class, we will review a number of faithful fly patterns that fish react to in this area. We will take a look at many of the bugs you can expect the find in the White Mountains and how specific fly patterns relate to each of them. You will learn to broaden your scope of tying and challenge yourself to tie multiple patterns. We will review the materials used in certain applications and the body parts they commonly represent; then experiment with different sizes and weights of the same pattern to give the desired effects in specific environments.
It’s back to the Fishing Den to go a bit deeper into fly fishing’s wide world of bugs. Here we will review the life cycles of certain bugs and the times of year you would expect to see them. We will talk about certain materials to use to create the life-like motions in the water that drive fish crazy. Next we will single out one of these bugs and tie a couple patterns simulating different stages in that bug’s life cycle. You will also learn about certain conditions in the environment that stimulate these creatures to go through their changes. All of this will help you better understand how to read the waters and ultimately catch more fish.