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106 Town Square Drive
P.O. Box 505
Townsend, Tennessee 37882
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Little River Outfitters School of Fly Fishing - Townsend, Tennessee

Young man fly casting.

Aquatic Entomology Students in the stream.

Casting instructor with a student.

Instructor and young student with his first trout on a fly.

Instructor and student in a fly tying class.

Dr. Cook with Entomology Class students.


Our Fly Fishing School is located in Townsend, Tennessee.  We have been teaching fly fishing and fly tying classes since 1996.  Teaching is in our DNA.  The words, “Fly Shop & Fly Fishing School” are part of our logo. 

Those words are displayed on the pole sign in front of our store.  They appear on every page, of this website.  The words describe what we do.  We even have a dedicated classroom in our building.  We are serious about our school, and our fly shop.  Our school and store has been family owned since 1994.  We strive to keep tuition low, so more people can afford to participate.

We will hold beginner fly fishing, aquatic entomology and fly tying classes over 40 days this year.  That does not include private or group instruction, which is a significant number.


This is a free 2-hour introductory class, developed by Orvis, and taught by us. In this short class, you will learn to tie a couple of essential knots, learn about tackle and get some fundamental instruction in casting.  Learn more…


You don’t have to take both days.  Some people take the day 1 class, then start fishing.  Others take both days.  We provide all equipment needed both days, and lunch is on us.

Day 1 is held in our classroom and on the casting lawn at Little River Outfitters.  There you will learn about tackle, flies, tying knots, reading the water and casting.  This is an all-day school usually held on Saturdays.

Day 2 is held on streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Your instructors will be by your side, showing you how to cast and present flies to trout.  You will learn to control your fly line and land a fish.  This class is usually held on Sundays, following a Day 1 Class.  2-Day Beginner Fly Fishing is the most popular class at our school.  Learn more…


Private Instruction is perfect for those who may not be able to work with our class schedule.  Basically, we condense our 2-day school, into one day.  Your morning will be spent in the classroom and on the casting lawn with an instructor.  After lunch, you will go to a trout stream in the Great Smoky Mountains for on-stream instruction.  One instructor will teach 1 to 3 students.  If your group has more than 3 students, we will arrange for a second instructor.  We provide all equipment and lunch.  Learn more…


This class is taught by Dennis Baxter and David Harrell  The class is held in a classroom setting during the morning.  There you will learn about aquatic insects.  After lunch, you and your instructors will go to a stream in the Smoky Mountains, where we have a collection permit, and collect specimens, in the stream, using seines and nets. There, you will identify the insects.  Learn more…


This class is taught by Walter Babb and Brian Courtney.  Walter has been teaching this class 18 years.  You begin this all day class by learning about tools and techniques.  Then, you will tie your first fly, a Green Weenie.  You will watch an instructor do it twice, then tie three yourself, under their supervision.  We have step by step manuals to help you along.  They are yours to keep.  Throughout the day, you will tie 5 different flies, about 3 of each pattern.  All equipment and materials are provided. Lunch is on us.  Learn more…


Here you will learn the most advanced techniques, and tie more complicated flies.  Once you reach this pinnacle, you should be able to tie any fly, or have the ability to do so.  As in all of our fly tying classes, equipment, tools, materials and lunch are provided.  Learn more…


This is a new class, designed to make you a better fly fisherman.  This class is taught by Bill Bolinger, Rob Fightmaster and David Knapp.  The first half of the day will be spent learning all about nymph fishing in our classroom and on our casting lawn, learning to make specialty casts.  You will learn about rigging your tackle.  After lunch, you will be on a stream in the Smoky Mountains, learning more and using what you learned so far, on the water.  Learn more…

TENKARA - $125

The Tenkara one-day class is taught by Rob Worthing from Lexington, Kentucky. Rob is a founding member of Tenkara Guides LLC, a company headquartered in Utah. The class will be held in our classroom, on the casting lawn and ends with an on-stream demonstration. Real-time stop motion casting analysis will be utilized. Learn more....


Euro Nymphing is a very effective method to catch trout in streams and rivers. The methed developed over the years from international competition. Euro nymphing is a combination of Spanish, Polish Czech, and French Nymphing. This is a half-day class taught by Mark Longmire and John Chambers. Learn more....

Our instructors are, Walter Babb, Bill Bolinger, John Chambers, Dave Harrell, Dennis Baxter, Rob Worthing, Brian Courtney, Rob Fightmaster, Anthony Hipps, Chuck Kline, David Knapp, Dave Carson, Josh Pfeiffer, Mark Longmire and John Thurman. 

If you are interested in learning to fly fish, tie flies or furthering your knowledge about this sport, learn from the pros at Little River Outfitters, Fly Shop and Fly Fishing School.

Attend our school in Townsend, Tennessee, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The Townsend entrance is two miles from our facility. This is a resort town, with accommodations to fit anyone’s budget. 

We have campgrounds, motels, rental cabins, large rental homes, bed and breakfasts, lodges and many restaurants at your service. We have the services, stores and outdoor recreation, nearby, you would want while attending our school. 

This valley is populated by approximately 2,000 people. We are located 45 minutes from Knoxville, 25 minutes from Pigeon Forge and 35 minutes from Gatlinburg.  You will be 25 minutes from the Knoxville airport, which also has facilities and services for your personal airplane.  Car rental companies are located near the airport. Our school is located 12 miles from Blackberry Farm.

And don't forget the fly fishing. We have over eight hundred miles of trout streams in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is located just a couple of miles from our school. If you are accompanied by someone not taking our class, they can find shopping in nearby Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Or, they can go fishing in the Park.

The Smokies offers some fine hiking, wildlife watching, photography and sightseeing opportunities. And, this is one of the most beautiful spots in the world. You can read more about each class on this website. You can also check our schedule and find a time that fits your schedule. Call us at 865-448-9459 to reserve your space in one of our classes. You will be glad you did. You will have the time of your life learning about this facinating sport. 

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