Learn with CrossCurrents
Multi-Day Fly Fishing School
Just about every aspect of fly fishing is taught in our 3 day schools.
Topics we will delve into include: *Fly Fishing Theory, *Equipment & Gadgets, *Fly Casting (hands-on experience with one-on-one instruction), *Knots to Know, *Entomology as it relates to fly selection (slide-show indoors and on the stream collecting and studying), *Flies & Fly Selection (dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, emergers, streamers and more), *Reading Water, *Trout Behavior, *Fishing Techniques with Dries, Nymphs & Streamers, *Wading and River Safety, *Stream Etiquette, *How to Play, Land & Release your fish!
Our 3-day schools meet for two evening classes from 6pm to 9pm during the week for fly casting, slide show, knots & other classroom work. On Saturday we spend the day on a local river for hands on instruction, putting into practice what you’ve learned. (A Montana fishing license is required.)
All classes start in April and run weekly through August as weather & streamflows allow.
Our classes are generally 5-7 students. The minimum age for participation is 11 years old and those under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Longtime Orvis Endorsed Guide and Lead Instructor, Jim Stein, teaches the course. Jim was an Orvis-Endorsed Fly Fishing & Bird Hunting Guide for many years. Jim guided and taught at the Orvis Fly Fishing School in Evergreen, Colorado for over 8 years. Jim moved to Helena in 2002 and began offering classes through CrossCurrents in 2006. His extensive knowledge, calm patience, and infectious enthusiasm make for a wonderful learning experience!
How Much do they cost?
$195, which covers all the instruction, hand-outs and demo rods/reels & waders used during the class.
Special Classes: We hold special, “Women’s Only” and “Parent-Child Only” schools and “Private Group Schools.” Stop by either shop, give us a call or e-mail if you are interested in attending one of these classes. These are very popular and since they are offered on a limited basis, they fill up quickly. It’s advised to call in advance to secure a spot.
To Attend: Pre-registration & a 50% deposit are required to reserve your spot in one of our schools. Although we run these schools only in the Spring and Summer, you may contact us at any time of the year to register for a class.
I don’t live in Helena or Montana, can I still attend?
We love to share our knowledge with anyone who is interested. We have special discounts on our lodging for out-of-town students. You’ll receive 15% off of our lodging in Craig. We can even set up a special school for an entire family or corporate group. We also have special packages for our School-Guiding-Lodging. Visit Montana, stay with us, attend our school, and then spend two or three days with one of our guides putting to practice what you learned.
Private Fly Casting Lessons
CrossCurrents’ Private Lessons are only $45/hour for 1 on 1 instruction. There is a $10/hour extra charge for each extra student and we do have special pricing for large groups. We can perform the lessons either in Helena or in Craig. Private Lessons also make a great gift for someone who is just getting started. No equipment is needed as we are happy to provide you with a top quality Orvis rod, reel & line.
Lessons aren’t just for beginners. We have highly qualified instructors that can help take the intermediate fly caster to the next level.
Beginner Fly Tying Class
Class #1 – tba – January, 2022
Class #2 – tba
How long: Once a week for 5 weeks.
Time: 6:00 to 8:30 in the evening at CrossCurrents Helena Shop.
What’s covered: We learn about the tools, materials and techniques for tying most common fly patterns. When a student graduates from our course he or she will have a good understanding of fly tying technique, fly identification and entomology, and fly tying materials. Intro to Fly Tying is a great way to begin a lifetime of enjoyment in tying.
Flies tied in class: Wooly Bugger, Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear Nymph, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Prince Nymph, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator and Royal Wulff. Check out our tying tutorials on our YouTube page.
Class Size and Instructors: Our schools have a minimum of 5 students to a maximum of 8 students in each class. Our instructors include Jim Stein, Head Fly Tying & Fly Fishing School Instructor and long-time Orvis-Endorsed Guide (retired from Guiding but not from teaching!)
Cost: $85, which covers all the instruction and materials during the class. We provide all the materials for the flies we will tie in the class. We just ask that students have their own tools (If you don’t have tools, or are not sure what you want to get, we will let you demo our tools. That way by trying a couple of different ones you will be able to make a more informed choice.)
The Discount: All students receive a 10% discount on anything tying related (tools, materials, books & videos/DVD’s) for the 5 weeks of class plus one extra week after the class!
Please stop by, call or e-mail us if you are interested in signing up for one of the classes.
Intermediate Fly Tying Class
Start Dates: (Call our Helena Shop For Specific Dates)
How long: Each class meets the same night every week for 5 weeks.
Time: 6:15 to 8:45 in the evening.
What’s covered: Assuming that all the students have a basic knowledge of the use of standard tools and materials we delve into more advanced tying techniques using various specialty tools and materials. We want the students to perfect the basics and learn new concepts and patterns that take their tying “to the next level.” Some take the class to learn new patterns, others grasp new tying concepts to apply to their own flies and still others are there because it’s just plain fun!
The classes are based on tying specific flies, techniques, and or concepts that the students want to learn. For example someone wants to learn to spin deer hair. We would then select patterns that work on those techniques. Other examples include glass beads, mayfly emergers, fly patterns for the MO in July, etc., etc. No two classes are the same, which is why many of our students take this class year after year. Taking a tying class is a great way to get out of the house during our cold winters.
Class Size and Instructors: We allow a maximum of 8 students in the class giving us a low student to instructor ratio. The main instructor is Chris Strainer, Owner/Manager & Orvis-Endorsed Guide. We will also have other highly qualified guest instructors who will demonstrate a specific pattern or a unique technique.
Cost: $85, which covers all the instruction and materials during the class. We provide all the materials for the flies we will tie in the class. We just ask that students have their own tools.
The Discount: All students receive a 10% discount on anything tying related (tools, materials, books & videos) for the 5 weeks of class plus one extra week after the class!
Please stop by, call or e-mail us if you are interested in signing up for one of the classes.
Private Fly Tying Lessons
CrossCurrents’ Private Lessons are $40/hour for 1 on 1 instruction. There is a $10/hour extra charge for each extra student and we do have special pricing for large groups. Private Lessons also make a great gift for someone who is just getting started. No equipment is needed as we are happy to provide you with all top quality equipment needed for the lesson.
Lessons aren’t just for beginners. We have highly qualified instructors that can help take the intermediate fly tier to the next level. Interested in learning to use a dubbing loop? Have a saltwater trip coming up and want some help with your saltwater flies? Or do you just want to tweak your basic technique? Sign up for a private lesson with our professionals and really get going.
Please stop by, call or e-mail us if you are interested in private lessons.
Rod Building Classes
Start Dates: Contact the Helena Shop for more information.
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm on the Monday of the start date. We arrange a time best suited to everyone for the following Sunday or the second Sunday.
How long: We will have a short meeting on the start date and then an all day meeting on a Sunday to build the rods. Generally we meet with students individually to finish the rods.
What’s covered: We teach about the entire process of building a fly rod – from raw blanks and parts to customizing. The students will learn why some rods costs $50 while others cost $500. The instructors will be building rods along with the students so everyone will see first hand what each step of the process entails. We will talk about all the components of a rod and the use of rod building tools. We also show how to do accent thread wraps and inlays to make each rod truly one-of-a-kind. When we finish the class you will have a custom made fly rod!
Class Size and Instructors: We allow a maximum of 6 students in the class. The main instructors are Chris Strainer, Owner/Manager & Orvis-Endorsed Guide of CrossCurrents.
Cost: $85 which covers all the instruction, some of the materials (rod building epoxy and silver or gold metallic accent thread) and tools (burnishing tool, butane lighter/torch, heat gun, Dremmel tool, drill and cork reamer) and the use of CrossCurrents’ rod wrappers and rod turners.
What do the students need to buy?: Each student will need to get a fly rod blank (we have several manufacturers to choose from with prices ranging from $75 to over $300), reel seat and handle components, guide set and hook keeper, thread, exacto knife or razor blades, and the thread wrap epoxy.
The Discount: All students receive a 10% discount on anything rod building related (tools, components, materials, books & videos) for the duration of the class. Plus, the discount will apply if they wish to purchase components for another rod within 3 months of the class.
Spey Casting Clinics
CrossCurrents offers FREE Spey Casting Clinics in the Winter. Please sign up in either our Helena shop or at our Craig shop if you are interested in one of these clinics.
March, 2022. Location- Craig, Montana. Space is limited, please contact us to sign up!
Learn to Row
If you recently purchased a drift boat or raft, it’s a great idea to learn how to properly row. A day of rowing instruction with a CrossCurrents guide will improve your ability to safely navigate on the river, and will help you get in position to catch fish. Rowing instruction is $40/hour.