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

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.


Fly fishing is a very interesting sport that dates back centuries.  There has been more written about fly fishing than any other sport.  Fly fishers love to read.  There is so much to learn.  You never stop learning.  Our School is the place to begin.

Fly fishing is not just a way to catch trout with a very light lure.  Anglers all over the world use fly tackle to catch many other species of fish from 200 pound Tarpon to  6” bluegill.  Fly fishing for smallmouth bass is getting very popular.

The sport of fly fishing goes beyond fishing.  As a fly fisherman, you will learn about biology.  You may expand your sport to tying your own flies.  You may start in a trout stream and later begin to fly fish in saltwater.  You may wade, fish from a boat, a canoe or a kayak.  The choices are yours and you can get your start at Little River Outfitters. 

You will notice that our sign reads “Fly Shop and Fly Fishing School”.  That is what we are to the core.  Schools are a fundamental part of our DNA. We have introduced thousands of people to fly fishing and fly tying over the past years.

This all started in the 1990’s when people in the Southeast United States wanted to learn to fly fish but they had to travel long distances to find a school that had a  schedule large enough to meet their needs.  Some fly shops offered a few classes each year in both fly fishing and fly tying but there were not enough who did to meet the needs of the people. 

We decided to develop a professional school with a large schedule to train hundreds of people each year.  Our store has a 600 square foot classroom just for that purpose.  We hold beginner fly fishing classes from March through October.  Then we start our fly tying classes from November through February.  And during the Spring and Summer we offer Aquatic Entomology Classes taught by Dr. Brad Cook. The School closes in August then re-opens in September.

Developing a beginner fly fishing school required that we were trained to be instructors by an expert. We found Joan Wulff in New York and several of our instructors traveled there to learn to teach. Her method of teaching beginners to cast works. Our Beginner Fly Fishing Classes are held every other weekend from March through October except for the August break.

We also offer Beginner Fly Fishing private instruction. You can usually schedule a day anytime we do not have a class. This class is usually attended by people who can't work with our class schedule or just want the close attention of one instructor teaching 1 or 2 students. This one day class begins in the classroom in the morning, then moves to a stream in the afternoon.

Developing a fly tying curriculum took time and learning on our part. We even designed our own textbooks with step by step instructions so you can go home and repeat what you learned during your class. We start with a beginner trout class, then an intermediate class and finally an advanced class to learn the hardest techniques. After finishing all three classes you can tie almost any fly for a trout just by looking at a photo. That is our goal. You can do just that.

Teaching Aquatic Entomology or the study of aquatic insects required that we find a biology professor who was willing to develop a class. We found Dr. Brad Cook at Tennessee Technological Institute in Cookeville, Tennessee. Brad's class is called Aquatic Entomology for Anglers. You will spend a half day in the classroom and a half day on the stream capturing insects and identifying them.     

We have built a reputation over the years as a serious learning institute, not just a fly shop that holds a fly fishing  or fly tying class.

Townsend is a great place to get away to and learn. A small resort community, on the Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains you will find accommodations to your liking and budget with several good restaurants in the area.

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. 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.

 Copyright 2006-2014 Little River Outfitters, Inc.

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