For better or worse, videos are the way many of us learn these days. Of course, there are plenty of fly-fishing videos on YouTube, but they are of uneven quality and may not be reliable tools for learning. Now there’s something better.
The new interactive Orvis Learning Center is a video-based resource that’s free to anyone and available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, to answer your fly-fishing questions.
The meat of the Learning Center is the video lessons, hosted by me and Pete Kutzer. Eventually, there will be 13 different chapters available (the first 7 are up now), each containing about 24 minutes of video, and the chapters include:
- The Basics of Fly Fishing
- Fly Rod Bass Fishing
- Fly Fishing for Pike
- Basic Stream Skills
- Wet Flies and Nymphs
- Dry Flies
- Reading the Water
- Stillwater Trout Fishing
- Steelhead and Salmon Fishing
- All About Flies and How to Match Prey
- Inshore Saltwater Fly Fishing
- Offshore and Near-Shore Saltwater Fly Fishing
Each chapter starts you off with the basics, and then moves on to special casts, techniques, and skills needed for each aspect of fly fishing. All are in full high definition (HD), and include impressive computer animations to show some of the concepts that are difficult to visualize on video
But beside the rich video lessons, the Orvis Learning Center also contains other helpful references:
- Animated fishing knots, shown in both computer animations and video. It’s an easy way to learn all the basic knots you’ll need.
- Flash Cards to help you learn to identify freshwater fish, saltwater fish, aquatic insects, and basic artificial flies.
- All of Tom Rosenbauer’s Podcasts, over 100 of them, divided into major categories. And each podcast is searchable by keywords, so you can find the topics you’re interested in.
- Quizzes on all the topics covered in the video chapters. Check your knowledge, learn why some answers were wrong, and compare your answers to others.
- A complete fly-fishing glossary for any fly-fishing jargon you don’t understand.
- Articles on many aspects of fly fishing, from small stream trout to steelhead and saltwater species.
- A members’ signup. You don’t have to log in to use all aspects of the Learning Center, but by logging in you can keep track of your quiz scores and save videos and podcasts to your favorites so you can come back and refer to them again.
So if you can’t find the time to go to a fly-fishing school and don’t have a helpful friend who can teach you, it’s now possible to get a solid correspondence course in nearly all aspects of fly fishing on the Orvis Learning Center.