TROUT SCHOOL

    OVERVIEW

    SCHOOL

    The Sage On The Water Trout School is the ultimate educational course to improve an angler’s trout fishing. The school combines on-site instruction and education with on-the-water guided fishing, for a holistic approach to learning and improving your fly fishing for trout. The location – Sage Lodge in Paradise Valley, Montana – is paramount, offering easy access to several different fly fishing venues: the Yellowstone River, the famous Paradise Valley spring creeks, and Yellowstone National Park. Students will have guided fishing days in three distinct methods – from a drift boat, walk-and-wade fishing on a freestone river, walk-and-wade fishing on a spring creek – with location-specific instruction prior to each.

    The School’s format is a mix of presentations and discussions, instruction, and guided fishing. Venue-specific educational modules prepare students for the following day’s instruction and fishing.

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    The School includes 5 nights lodging at the Sage Lodge, and three meals per day (dinner upon arrival day and breakfast and lunch upon departure). One full day of instruction on-site is followed by three days of guided fishing. A Sage host will be on-site, as well as six Sage Ambassadors and Elite Pros who serve as the School’s instructors.

    The School also includes access to Sage’s latest and greatest rods and reels, and RIO Products’ lines to match. We’ve curated the Perfect Setups for the three fly fishing venues – the Yellowstone River, Paradise Valley spring creeks and Yellowstone National Park. Students will fish different rod and reel models, depending on the fishing venue.

    COMMUNITY

    The School’s hosts and instructors are Sage Ambassadors, Elite Pros and staff, chosen specifically for this school. They bring decades of experience angling, guiding and instructing fly fishing around the world, and are intentionally a mix of Montana residents and national/international folks. The fishing guides are professional, experienced and licensed guides from Angler’s West fly shop, located just across the river from the Sage Lodge.

    INSTRUCTORS

    SCHOOL 1

    • Jon Cave – Sage Ambassador, Master Casting Instructor, Author

    • RICK WOLLUM – SAGE ELITE PRO, MANAGER ANGLER’S WEST FLYFISHING OUTFITTERS, LICENSED MT GUIDE

    • Matt Heron – Sage Elite Pro, Head Guide of Matt Heron Fly Fishing

    • Rob Parkins – Sage Ambassador, Public Waters Access at Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

    • Charles Gehr – Fly Water Travel Rockies Destination Manager

    • Alex Blouin - Sage Community Coordinator

    SCHOOL 2

    • Jon Cave – Sage Ambassador, Master Casting Instructor, Author

    • Rick Wollum – SAGE ELITE PRO, MANAGER ANGLER’S WEST FLYFISHING OUTFITTERS, LICENSED MT GUIDE

    • Matt Heron – Sage Elite Pro, Head Guide of Matt Heron Fly Fishing

    • Matson Rogers – SAGE AMBASSADOR, OWNER ANGLER’S WEST FLYFISHING OUTFITTERS, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

    • Mark Raisler – SAGE AMBASSADOR, OWNER OF HEADHUNTERS FLY SHOP, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

    • Rich Post – Sage Elite Pro, Manager at Telluride Outside

    • Brita Fordice – RIO Product Developer and Fly Designer

    SCHOOL 3

    • Jon Cave – Sage Ambassador, Master Casting Instructor, Author

    • Matson Rogers – SAGE AMBASSADOR, OWNER ANGLER’S WEST FLYFISHING OUTFITTERS, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

    • Adam Franceschini – Sage Elite Pro, Guide at West Branch Anglers

    • Peter Morse – Sage Ambassador, Master Casting Instructor, Author

    • Matt McCannel – Sage Ambassador, Head Guide of RIGS Fly Shop

    • Toby Swank - SAGE ELITE PRO, OWNER OF FINS AND FEATHERS FLY SHOP, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

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    Photo Credit: MARK RAISLER – SAGE AMBASSADOR, OWNER OF HEADHUNTERS FLY SHOP, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

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    Photo Credit: PETER MORSE – SAGE AMBASSADOR, MASTER CASTING INSTRUCTOR, AUTHOR

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    Photo Credit: ROB PARKINS – SAGE AMBASSADOR, PUBLIC WATERS ACCESS AT BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS & ANGLERS

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    Photo Credit: JON CAVE – SAGE AMBASSADOR, MASTER CASTING INSTRUCTOR, AUTHOR

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    Photo Credit: MATT MCCANNEL – SAGE AMBASSADOR, HEAD GUIDE OF RIGS FLY SHOP

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    Photo Credit: RICH POST – SAGE ELITE PRO, MANAGER AT TELLURIDE OUTSIDE

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    Photo Credit: ADAM FRANCESCHINI – SAGE ELITE PRO, GUIDE AT WEST BRANCH ANGLERS

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    Photo Credit: MATSON ROGERS – SAGE AMBASSADOR, OWNER ANGLER’S WEST FLYFISHING OUTFITTERS, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

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    Photo Credit: MATT HERON – SAGE ELITE PRO, HEAD GUIDE OF MATT HERON FLY FISHING

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    Photo Credit: CHARLES GEHR – FLY WATER TRAVEL DESTINATION MANAGER

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    Photo Credit: TOBY SWANK - SAGE ELITE PRO, OWNER OF FINS AND FEATHERS FLY SHOP, LICENSED MT OUTFITTER

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    Photo Credit: BRITA FORDICE – RIO PRODUCT DEVELOPER AND FLY DESIGNER

    CURRICULUM

    CURRICULUM

    The curriculum is designed to take any angler’s skills to the next level, and teaches students to be prepared, comfortable and competent in nearly any trout fishing scenario. The School begins with a detailed, advanced overview of tackle, equipment and applications, followed by professional fly casting instruction, led by renowned instructor and Sage Ambassador Jon Cave. We’ll take a detailed look at trout-specific entomology and use that information to help you build your perfect fishing kit to take to the water. We’ll discuss essential knots, how best to tie them and when to use each. We’ll also present and discuss the best ways to land, handle and release trout. Next, students spend three days on the water with experienced guides. Prior to each guided fishing day, students attend educational sessions to prepare them for the following day’s fishing location and methods. As example, prior to a guided fishing day floating the Yellowstone River, a presentation will be given that covers topics specific to fishing from a drift boat, such as line management, casting angles, boat safety and etiquette, etc.

    SAMPLE OF TOPICS COVERED:

    • Fly fishing tackle and equipment design and application

    • Fly casting for distance, accuracy and control

    • Reading water in small and large freestones, and spring creeks

    • Drifts and mending line for better presentations

    • Best practices for hooking, fighting and landing and releasing fish

    • Trout fishing entomology

    • How to put together your perfect fishing kit/pack/vest

    • The knots you need to know, how to tie them, and when to use them

    • Advanced tactics and techniques for trout

    • Fly fishing ethics and conservation

    VENUES

    Each of the three fishing venues visited while at the On The Water School present anglers with a variety of fishing situations, and several different techniques are utilized. Having the right equipment to match the different tactics is paramount, so we’ve assembled the Perfect Setups that will be provided for use for each specific fishery.

    Disclaimer: While our school intends to provide students guided fishing on the Yellowstone River, in Yellowstone National Park and on the Paradise Valley spring creeks, each venue is conditions-dependent. The chosen school dates fall within historically stable water periods, but changes to the fishing program may result from unplanned-for weather or natural events. Our location and fishing program adapts to unforeseen weather conditions and in most cases a secondary plan can be made easily. Only rare circumstances prevent fishing at all. At the time of school, current fishing reports may also recommend changes to the planned itinerary

    Yellowstone River

    The Yellowstone is the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States and its watershed is the source and stronghold of beautiful, native Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. Anglers staying at the Sage Lodge have easy access to over 50 miles of trout water on the Yellowstone, from Gardiner to east of Livingston. Fishing on the Yellowstone is done primarily out of drift boats, though there are ample opportunities to anchor and wade-fish productive riffle sections. Tactics and techniques on the Yellowstone vary, depending on timing. The height of summer shows anglers incredible dry fly fishing with hopper and terrestrial patterns; fall and spring will bring success on streamers; there are also localized mayfly hatches in spring and fall; pre-runoff caddis fishing can be excellent, and subsurface nymph or soft hackle fishing is productive most months.

    PERFECT SETUPS

    DRY FLY & DRY-DROPPER

    ROD: X 590-4

    REEL: SPECTRUM LT 5/6

    LINE: RIO PERCEPTION WF5F

    When fishing small to medium dry flies or attractors like blue wing olives, caddis, Wulffs, Trudes, etc., the 590-4 X excels paired with a RIO Perception fly line. This setup generates enough line speed to cut through the infamous Paradise Valley breezes, but offers accuracy and delicacy to present to rising fish.

    TERRESTRIAL, BIG BUG, STREAMER

    ROD: IGNITER 691-4

    REEL: SPECTRUM MAX 5/6

    LINE: RIO Grand WF6F & InTouch Streamer tip WF6I

    Summertime on the Yellowstone is hopper time, and the right tool for the job is a rod and line that can cast wind-resistant flies great distances, into the wind, with accuracy. The 691-4 IGNITER matched with a RIO Grand does just this. This setup also includes RIO’s Floating/Intermediate StreamerTip line, for use with streamer patterns.

    Photo: @troybatzlerphoto

    Yellowstone National Park

    The National Park offers a lifetime of fly fishing. It is a wade-angler’s dream, from Memorial Day Weekend through October. The headwaters of some of the West’s famed rivers lie in the park – Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, Snake – as well as famous smaller waters like Slough and Soda Butte Creeks and the Firehole, Gibbon, Gardner and Lamar Rivers. Hatches occur in the National Park throughout the fishing season, though in the absence of bugs on the water, subsurface nymphing is also effective. Terrestrial dry fly fishing can be spectacular in summer and spring and fall are great times to fish streamers or swing soft hackles.

    PERFECT SETUPS

    DRY FLY & NYMPHING

    ROD: X 490-4

    REEL: SPECTRUM LT 3/4

    LINE: RIO PERCEPTION WF4F

    Summertime in Yellowstone offers anglers a plethora of fishy, buggy water. The multi-application X rod is the best choice to employ both surface and subsurface presentations. The 490-4 is a perfect size for the water and fish to be encountered.

    POCKET WATER DRY FLY

    ROD: DART 376-3

    REEL: CLICK 3/4/5

    LINE: RIO CREEK WF3F

    Among Yellowstone’s wide variety of water types are smaller rivers and creeks where the casts aren’t long and water is covered quickly. In these situations, a short rod with a quick-shooting fly line is advantageous; the 7’6”, 3-weight DART rod, matched with RIO’s Creek line is our favorite.

    Paradise Valley Private Spring Creeks

    The famed Paradise Valley Spring Creeks – DePuy, Armstrong and Nelson’s – are a short drive north from the Sage Lodge. The Spring Creeks offer year-round accessibility to challenging rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The settings are intimate, and anglers are rewarded for stealth and patience. The Creeks are bug factories, with the major hatches including Pale Morning Duns, Blue Wing Olives, Caddis, and midges. Sight-fishing is often the approach while on the Spring Creeks, and in a heavy hatch, the targets are numerous. A day or two on the Spring Creeks is a perfect complement to the bigger Yellowstone River and the freestones of Yellowstone National Park.

    PERFECT SETUPS

    PRESENTATION DRY FLY

    ROD: MOD 486-4

    REEL: SPECTRUM LT 3/4

    LINE: RIO GOLD WF4F

    When a hatch is in full-effect on the Spring Creeks, anglers need a tool that accurately and delicately delivers dry flies. The 486-4 MOD rod does just that; it’s modern, moderate action ensures line control and soft presentations to finicky trout.

    TIGHT QUARTERS DRY FLY

    ROD: DART 476-3

    REEL: CLICK 3/4/5

    LINE: RIO CREEK WF4F

    There are areas of the Spring Creeks where the banks are high, trees or bushes are close behind, or the creek narrows. In these instances, a shorter rod is preferred. The 7’6”, 4-weight DART rod handles these situations with ease and RIO’s Creek line has a taper to make quick, accurate shots.

    ACCOMMODATIONS

    LODGE

    Nestled in the heart of Paradise Valley and just 35 miles from Yellowstone National Park, Sage Lodge is an inspiring destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking an escape to unspoiled and rejuvenating natural beauty. Looking out at the banks of the Yellowstone River and the majestic Emigrant Peak, the Lodge blends raw and rugged beauty with distinctive Montana hospitality. The Sage Lodge features 50 guestrooms, 34 in the main lodge and four stand-alone Ranch Houses with 4 suites each. Additional amenities include two restaurants and bars (The Grill and the Fireside Room), an onsite casting pond, and outdoor hot tubs and firepits.

    On The Water Trout School students will stay in the Sage Lodge Ranch Houses which accommodate up to six, and include a shared kitchen plus indoor/outdoor common areas. The Ranch Houses are a wonderful setting for the school, as the common spaces are used for educational presentations and discussions and are also the perfect spot to share the day’s fishing report. Located a short walk away from the main lodge, the cabins offer a private, intimate setting for the schools while still having easy access to the lodge’s amenities.

    LOGISTICS & BOOKING

    DATES

    SCHOOL 1: July 21st - 26th 2019

    SCHOOL 2: August 11th - 16th, 2019

    SCHOOL 3: September 29th - October 4th, 2019

    • All students should arrive Sunday afternoon by 5:00 pm.

    • School ends Friday morning by 12:00 pm.

    Outfitting & guide services through Angler's West Flyfishing Outfitters, Matson Rogers. MT Outfitter License #5137, YNP CUA 14-208, Gallatin-Custer National Forest Permittee.

    TRAVEL LOGISTICS

    The Sage Lodge is located in Emigrant, Montana, a scenic, 60-minute drive from Bozeman International Airport. Airport transfers can be arranged.

    PRICING

    $4495 for a 5 night/4 day school package, per angler, based on double occupancy. $4995 for single occupancy.

    Not Included: Airfare, airport transfers, rental car, gratuities, fishing licenses, and alcohol. Waders and boots are not included, but are available to rent from Angler’s West Flyfishing Outfitters. Advance reservations are recommended.

    BOOKING

    You may submit an online inquiry and receive a call-back by following 
    this BOOK NOW link or for more information and booking, please contact: 

    Sage
    Jesse Robbins, Sage Trout School Host
    (206)780-8756
    jrobbins@sageflyfish.com

    Fly Water Travel
    Charles Gehr, Rockies Destination Manager
    (800) 522-2729
    charles@flywatertravel.com
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