Ladies on the Fly

Ladies on the Fly


Program Start Date:


2 DAY COURSE – Come learn the art of fly fishing. This is a women’s only overnight course.

(Summer Activity Guide)

Ladies on the Fly

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Ladies on the Fly
Instructors: Mike Carpenter
Fly Fishers International Certified Casting Instructor
Kim Short, Founder, Flathead Women on the Fly
Sandy Carpenter, Vice Chair, Fly Fishers International Women Connect
August 13 at 9 a.m. – August 14 at 4 p.m.

Perhaps you’ve seen “the movie”, or maybe just watched someone create poetry in the sky while in the river through the graceful control of a fly rod.  Whatever the reason, you’ve decided that you are ready to go with gusto into the world of fly fishing.  Good choice, not only is Montana considered the preeminent location in the country for fly fishing, but the Flathead Valley is perhaps the most beautiful location for learning your new craft.  You will learn the basics of fly fishing, as well as how to successfully fish both rivers and lakes. Come learn the ins and outs of a hobby that will provide you with countless memories and wild adventures for years to come.

Meeting Place: Big Creek Outdoor Education Center

Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 1: We will meet at Big Creek Outdoor Education Center at 9 a.m. for introductions and a brief orientation. The group will discuss equipment and assembly of rods, reels, and lines. We will also dive into the various types of knots associated with successful fly fishing. Next, we will learn about the correct methods of casting followed by hands-on practice. We will enjoy lunch at Big Creek. Afterwards we will discuss the various types of fish found in the Flathead Valley, going over their behaviors and morphological characteristics. Next we will take our skills to the river, where we will independently practice the skills we have learned. Dinner will be served at Big Creek at 6 p.m. After dinner, the group will get the opportunity to hear about women based fly fishing organizations in the Glacier region, throughout the United States, and beyond. Then we will host a fly tying demonstration to see how flies are made.

Day 2: We will have breakfast at Big Creek at 7:30 a.m. Afterwards students will continue to practice the techniques from Day 1 and learn change of direction and roll casts. Next we will discuss lake based fishing, going over the equipment, techniques, and resources for finding fish in lakes. The group will dive into aquatic entomology, and learn what organisms the fish are eating. After lunch, the group will head back out to the river or lake to continue practicing their skills for the rest of the afternoon. At 4 p.m. we will return to Big Creek for the conclusion of the course.

Food: The following meals are included: lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 2.

Accommodations: One night of lodging is included in the course fee. Our bunk houses are basic, camp style bunks, guests should be prepared to share the bunk house with other individuals. We provide a bottom sheet for your bed, but please bring a pillow and a warm sleeping bag.  Be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp for reading and night trips to the bathroom.

Equipment: All participants must bring some sort of protective eyewear for the class.  Polarized sunglasses are ideal.  The Glacier Institute has fly fishing gear available if you do not have your own. You will need to bring shoes you can get wet in. You will not need waders or hip boots. Old sneakers will work fine. Also bring a water bottle that can hold at least 1-2 liters of water, a backpack, rain gear, hat and sunscreen. Prepare for all types of weather.

Fishing License: A valid Montana fishing license is required for all participants 12 years and older. You can purchase a 2-day license for the dates of August 13th-14th, 2021 or a full 2021 season fishing license at (Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website).

Physical Requirements: We will be outside on our feet throughout the day. Students should be able to walk over loose rocks along the river banks.


Additional information

Refund Policy

The Glacier Institute has a 24 hour cancellation policy for a full refund with all of our courses.

Did you know Glacier Institute members receive a 10% discount?