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Lessons & Events

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Instruction is offered year round at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters - and there is usually an event or two right around the corner scheduled at the shop....

If you have an interest in learning fly fishing or fly casting or you want to improve upon the skills you already possess, the gifted professional instructors at our shop can help. We offer classes and clinics during the spring and summer months, and private instruction is available all year long.

If your interest lies in learning the art of fly tying, we offer Introductory and Intermediate level classes in the fall and winter.

Scroll down to view current 2018 schedule


Private Lessons - Available year round.

Allow the instructors at Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters custom tailor a private lesson for you. We conduct casting lessons on North Pond in Lincoln Park. Our seasoned instructors can assist with all skill levels from beginner to advanced. Most "intermediate" anglers suffer from the same limitations and common mistakes. A one hour lesson can tweak your cast and make your next day on the water more enjoyable. We can teach hauling and basic spey/switch casting as well. All equipment provided.

Please call the shop to schedule 312.944.3474

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class - Midwest Smallmouth Flies - Capt Will Winans - Wednesday, January 23rd 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Go-to Smallmouth Flies. Capt. Will Winans, Chicago area guide, shares and teaches some of his favorite fly patterns for smallmouth bass. Learn a range of fly styles and techniques proven for smallmouth bass, a wild and native species to the Midwest.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Contemporary Articulated Streamers w/ Big Dave - Tuesday, Jan 29th 6:30 - 8:30 PM

If you want to target big trout you need to take Big Dave's streamer class. Articulated streamers are fun to tie and fish. But fly design is an important factor in how the fly casts and swims. Come learn some proven fly designs to catch the wall hanger

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: BWO Lifecycle Top to Bottom - Jan 30th Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Without dispute the Blue Winged Olive is the most important and prevalent mayfly family in North America. These hatches occur about every month of the year on just about every cold water creek, stream, or river. Join mayfly enthusiast Jon Uhlenhop as he demonstrates some of his favorites proven on both spring creeks and western freestones.

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Intermediate Fly Tying: Guide Flies for Steelhead - Eggs & Nymphs w/ Big Dave - Thursday, Jan 31st 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Come learn some of the most productive egg and nymph patterns for Great Lakes Steelhead. Nymph fishing for Steelhead has proven to be one of the most effective methods for hooking Chrome. We will tie proven egg and nymph patterns for successfully fooling Great Lakes Steelhead. Focused areas are on Eggs, Stones, & Hex Nymphs. We will discuss variations and what time of year to fish certain flies and why.

$30 per student. Space is limited to 6 students.

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Knots & Rigging II: Knots & Leader Construction for Saltwater and Big Game Freshwater Angling - Feb 5th, Tuesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Once you master the basics, a raft of new knots and rigging challenges often derail anglers interested in working with heavier tippets, adding shock leaders or wanting to progress beyond simple clinch knots. In this class Paul Melchior will introduce participants to a variety of new techniques and knots employed in salt water or heavy freshwater-pike/muskie fishing.

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Introduction To Fly Tying - Feb 6th, 13th, 20th Wednesday's 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Learn the Art of Fly Tying!

Join instructor, Paul Melchior for this comprehensive three-session class designed to introduce the fundamentals of fly tying.

In 3 classes you'll learn to tie the three major categories of flies: streamers, nymphs and dry flies. No experience necessary.

Call 312-944-3474 to reserve your spot.

This 3 evening session will get you started in the entertaining and infinitely productive art of fly tying- just in time for winter and the long dark days ahead!

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Winging Dry Flies - February 7th, Thursday, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

Mounting calf hair for parachutes & wulffs , turkey flats for thoraxes, or hen for catskill style dries can be difficult and downright frustrating. For each style there are tips and tricks to help you through the process. Join instructor and dry fly specialist Paul Melchior to learn some of the skills needed to tie effective and efficient dry flies.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Flats Flies for Bonefish - Feb 12th Tuesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM

All carnivorous fish that can be found inshore saltwater will eat shrimp. There are many considerations in fly design such as size, weight, color, splashdown effect, and the ability to occasionally be weedless. Instructor Jon Uhlenhop for a chance to learn some of his favorite flats patterns.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Flats Flies for Permit - Feb 19th Tuesday 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Permit are undoubtedly one of the most difficult to catch on fly. We will tie proven patterns for these finicky flats fish discussing sink rate, strip, and general Permit behavior. Crabs and Shrimp are on the menu so don't forget to bring the cocktail sauce. Instructor: Jon Uhlenhop

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Pesca Maya Hosted Trip - Ascension Bay, Mexico - Sunday, Feb 24th - Sunday, Mar 3rd 2019

CHICAGO FLY FISHING OUTFITTERS LTD invites you to join us for a 6 day, 7 night fishing trip to beautiful Pesca Maya located 3 hours south of Cancun in the Yucatan.

February is a great month to fish Ascension Bay as temperatures are moderate and we are there before the peak season rush. We will fish for Bonefish and Permit and will occasionally see Tarpon and Snook.

The trip cost is $3995 and is all inclusive except airfare and gratuities. Please contact the shop for more details at 312-944-3474 or jon@chifly.com .

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Tarpon Flies - Modern & Classic - Tuesday, Feb 26th 6:30 - 8:30 PM

The theory and design of Tarpon flies has come a long way in recent years. Up until just a few years ago all you could find were "Key's Style" splayed Tarpon flies, often called "Stu Apt Style". With recent discovery of remote tarpon locations the flies have become more specialized. Join our Megalops enthusiast Paul Melchior as he reveals some of his newest discoveries.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Effective & Efficient Guide Patterns - Wednesday, February 27th 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Go-to Smallmouth Flies II Capt. Will Winans, Chicago area guide, shares and teaches some MORE of his favorite fly patterns for smallmouth bass. Learn a range of fly styles and techniques proven for smallmouth bass, a wild and native species to the Midwest.

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Introduction to Fly Tying Class - Thursdays, Feb 28th, Mar 7th, 14th

Learn the Art of Fly Tying!

Join instructor Dave VanVliet for this comprehensive three-session class designed to introduce the fundamentals of fly tying.

In 3 classes you'll learn to tie the three major categories of flies: streamers, nymphs and dry flies.

No experience necessary. Call 312-944-3474 to reserve your spot.



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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Midwestern Hex Flies - Tuesday, Mar 5th 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Hexagenia Limbata is the largest mayfly in North America. These temperamental nocturnal insects make their annual appearance in June and offer some of the most exciting fishing of the year, often bringing some of the largest fish to the surface. As always, presentation is key but if you don't have the right pattern you are not catching fish. Paul Melchior has spent decades designing & refining hex flies to fool the toughest trout. Come learn some of his secrets and a thing or two about fly design.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Lower Wisconsin Smallmouth Flies - Wednesday,Mar 6th, 6:30 - 8:30

Join shop friend Kyle Zempel, owner of Black Earth Angling Co. as he shares some of his favorite smallmouth bugs. In Kyles words, "Join Kyle Zempel as he shows you a few of his favorite smallmouth baitfish patterns for angling in the Midwest. These patterns are designed to be presented quickly in many situations; from heavily pressured fish to those in the thickest of cover. The patterns are designed to be quick on the vise but highly effective in the water."

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Guide Flies for Musky - Topwater - Tuesday, March 12th 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Shop employee and part time musky guide Dave VanVliet (of Drifting Wolverine fame) will dazzle you with some of his sorcery at the vise. This class will focus on effective top water fly design for Spring Muskie. Dave has spent countless hours driving the back roads of MI & WI in search of walk/wade/float musky opportunities. He will share his most productive pattern for hunting apex these predators on the top.

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Intermediate Fly Tying Class: Tying with Biots in Dry Flies & Nymphs - Wednesday, March 13th 6:30-8:30 PM

Biots are one of nature's coolest inventions. Many don't know that the Biot comes from the leading edge of the flight feather. Certain types of Biots possess certain characteristics. Come learn the "in's" and "out's" of working with Biots for both dry flies and nymphs. Don't know when to choose Goose, Turkey, Condor, or Eagle Biots? Join Ornithology expert Paul Melchior and learn all the tricks

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Two Day Fly Fishing School In Wisconsin - Saturday and Sunday, April 27th - 28th

Join the talented instructors of Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters on a beautiful trout stream in bucolic Southwest Wisconsin, just four hours away from Chicago, for our most comprehensive fly fishing school.

Our program enters it's 17th year and has evolved into one of the nation's finest "Introduction to Fly Fishing Schools"

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Two Day Fly Fishing School In Wisconsin - Saturday and Sunday, May 18th - 19th

Join the talented instructors of Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters on a beautiful trout stream in bucolic Southwest Wisconsin, just four hours away from Chicago, for our most comprehensive fly fishing school.

Our program enters it's 17th year and has evolved into one of the nation's finest "Introduction to Fly Fishing Schools"

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Two Day Fly Fishing School In Wisconsin - Saturday & Sunday, June 8th - 9th

Join the talented instructors of Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters on a beautiful trout stream in bucolic Southwest Wisconsin, just four hours away from Chicago, for our most comprehensive fly fishing school.

Our program enters it's 17th year and has evolved into one of the nation's finest "Introduction to Fly Fishing Schools"

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Two Day Fly Fishing School in Wisconsin - Saturday & Sunday, June 29th - 30th

Join the talented instructors of Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters on a beautiful trout stream in bucolic Southwest Wisconsin, just four hours away from Chicago, for our most comprehensive fly fishing school.

Our program enters it's 17th year and has evolved into one of the nation's finest "Introduction to Fly Fishing Schools"

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Two Day Fly Fishing school in Wisconsin - Saturday & Sunday, September 7th - 8th

Join the talented instructors of Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters on a beautiful trout stream in bucolic Southwest Wisconsin, just four hours away from Chicago, for our most comprehensive fly fishing school.

Our program enters it's 17th year and has evolved into one of the nation's finest "Introduction to Fly Fishing Schools"

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