YOUR SCHOOL EXPERIENCE WILL INCLUDE:
LODGING – Our cabins are complete with full bath. Each cabin has satellite tv and radio, wi-fi, and a 360 degree panoramic view featuring the river, mountains, birds and wildlife.
ALL MEALS - All you can eat meals. Any dietary restrictions will be honored.
"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T. Heywood
This is how it's done
2013 SCHOOL SCHEDULE
JUNE 9, 16, 23, SEPT. 8, 15, 22, 29, OCT 6, 13, 20, 27
ALL INCLUSIVE PRICE---$1999.00
BRING A FRIEND FOR $1699.00
WE ARE NOW APPROVED FOR GI BILL EDUCATION BENEFITS
(THE ONLY APPROVED FLYFISHING GUIDE SCHOOL IN MONTANA)
CALL US FOR MORE DETAILS
"Michael is a great teacher and guide. We learned a lot about the Bighorn and fly fishing in general. He has great patience and his humor are really wonderful assets. The longer we are in education and coaching, the more important humor and having a good time becomes. Tell him to keep up the great work he does. He enriched our lives. We will never forget our time together." Steve and Carl, Bradford, PA
THE GUIDE SCHOOL ON THE BIGHORN
“The perfect place to become a professional flyfishing guide”
YOU ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT TO A NEW CAREER--WE ARE MAKING A COMMITMENT TO PREPARE YOU FOR SUCCESS.
OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE INSTRUCTORS WILL HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS.
Some of our Guide School Grads
CAN YOU INVEST SIX DAYS TO MAKE A QUANTUM LEAP IN YOUR FLYFISHING ABILITY AND ENJOYMENT
SPECIAL PROMO FOR FLYFISHING/GUIDE SCHOOL
TOTAL ALL INCLUSIVE COST $1999.00 1st person
Bring a friend for $1699.00
BIGHORN RIVER GUIDES HAT
BOOK ON KNOTS
Some Guide School Attendee Testimonials
I have been flyfishing for almost 30-years, mostly lakes and some rivers. When I decided to go to the Bighorn River Guide School I looked at others in my home state, but the scenery and the fishing I felt could not be beat. I had no idea what to expect out of the school. I can say it met my expectations and then some! My goal was just to become better.
At the end of the school I can honestly say that my casting techniques have been improved so much that I catch and land more fish. Reading the rivers, determining what they eat, tying flies at the river and lakes. I could go on about so much more when it comes down to it I will do this again and send my son next year!
Was it an intense program, yes but well worth it. Now I did not say much about rowing all I can say as for me it was panic mode. The instructor was patient and helped me work through it. Role-playing was fun, especially when you were the guide and every one else were clients.
Accommodations are great. You cannot go wrong with the Bighorn River Guide School. You will be taught by the best!
Catch and Release forever,
Ron from Colorado
Feel free to use me
as a reference. I've known Michael and Ellyn for over a decade. As the first
military veteran to graduate from their guide school using post 9/11 GI Bill
benefits I can assure you they are the REAL deal. Their location and facilities
combined with the incredible knowledge and teaching skills of their guide school
instructors is world class. You'll learn a lot and you'll have fun doing it.
The Bighorn river makes for an incredible classroom. You won't regret this
experience even if you don't end up becoming a fly fishing guide.
Rob from Kansas
Top 10 Reasons to enroll in the Bighorn River Guide School
as told by Kathy from Billings, MT
# 10 You never know as much as you think you know
# 9 Great accommodations
# 8 Low student to teacher ratio
# 7 Hands on , learn by doing
# 6 Patient & knowledgeable teachers
# 5 You can experience the 4 seasons in 4 days
# 4 Learn to tie fly patterns that work and actually catch fish
# 3 Ongoing Hysterical Laughter, especially when it is your turn with the oars
# 2 It's the Bighorn River, nuff said
# 1 Michael & Ellyn
WHY ENROLL IN THE SCHOOL IF YOU DONT WANT TO BE A GUIDE?
Flyfishing is a life long learning process
Become a superior angler
Learn how to figure out any river
Catch more and bigger fish
Enjoy the fishing experience more
WHAT MAKES A PERSON WANT TO BE A PROFESSIONAL FISHING
Great working locations “best office in the world”
Get away from the “rat race”
Love of the Sport
The enjoyment you get from helping others fulfill their dreams
The challenge of a new day on the river
The different experiences you have each and every day
Meeting people from all over the world
Laboratory for Studying human nature
Working at a career you can love
Our instructors are full time year round professional Bighorn River guides
Our INSTRUCTORS/GUIDES are:
and most importantly
Michael Mastrangelo has been fishing the Bighorn River since 1985 and is the owner/outfitter for the Fort Smith Fly Shop and Cabins/Bighorn River Guides for the past 15 years. Michael began fishing as a boy in Boston, Massachusetts with his uncle and cousins. They fished the ocean as well as lakes and streams around New England.
He has been a fly tyer for many years. Some of his creations include the worminator, trout candy and the Indian headdress.
Michael was the Past President of the Bighorn River Alliance for five years. A non-profit organization designed to preserve, protect and enhance the Bighorn River.
In the off season, Michael spends time with other anglers at fishing shows and clubs presenting angling tips, tricks and techniques for fishing the Bighorn. He has spoken throughout the Rocky Mountain states as well as in New England. Michael has published an article on "Fishing the Bighorn" in the High Country Angler Magazine. He has taped several episodes for the TV show "Columbia Country" as well as many local television and newspaper articles relating to the Bighorn River.
For the past three years Bighorn River Guides has been offering a professional guide school with Michael and Chad Becker as instructors. This school is not only for people who want to become guides but for people who want to take a quantum leap in their fishing ability. This year we have started working with the Veterans Administration and we are the only school in Montana eligible to accept GI Bill VA Education Benefits.
Long time clients call Michael the "troutfather."
Chad has been a guide and instructor for 20 years. He has guided for salmon, steelhead and trout in the Great Lakes Region, Washington State as well as trout in Montana. Chad has instructed hundreds of people in both casting and fly tying. Chad is also a member of Scientific Anglers Pro Staff.
Overview from one of our recent graduate, Josh from Montana
Sunday, September 23, 2012:
Day one was a day of getting acquainted with Peter, Michael and Ellyn. I arrived at the lodge in mid-afternoon and was graciously greeted by Ellyn. Soon thereafter Ellyn and I met in the guest common area and completed the remaining necessary paperwork. I also was given a guide school packet containing everything needed to successfully complete the school (except advanced rowing skills of course). Next, I was released to the center cabin which was my abode for the next several days. The cabins are adequate for their intended purpose and provided a comfortable stay.
My classmate Peter had arrived earlier and obviously had the irresistible desire to wet the line as he decided to hit the river and attempt to locate some willing participants. Peter arrived back at the cabin shortly before dinner. No tight lines for Pete as he had no luck at landing a trout, but successfully fooled a few with a couple takes. We chatted for a while longer and then headed to dinner.
We met Michael at dinner and soon discovered he is a man of many words and a bank full of Bighorn trout fishing knowledge. He also inquired information from us as to what our guide school goals consisted of and what direction we wanted to move in the sport fly fishing.
Monday, September 24, 2012:
Day two was a day of getting acquainted with our instructor and guide Chad Becker. I cannot possibly give enough positive feedback pertaining to Chad's incomparable knowledge of fly fishing. I must say his intense desire and love for the sport feeds his inherent passion for the sport. I have hired and fished with licensed guides in several Midwestern, Western, and Eastern states. Undoubtedly, Chad is by far the best at what he does and I was privileged to spend several days on the water with him.
Now to the meat and potatoes- we worked on initial gear set-up and several rigs covering dry fly, nymphing, and steamer techniques. He also covered several knots and casting techniques. My favorite knots included the Clinch, Albright, Non-Slip Mono, and Perfection Loop. The casting techniques included Straight-Line, Reach, Roll, and Serpentine. He also covered a tight-loop and open loop casting.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012:
Day three was all about the water and the river. Most importantly we learned water safety and proper river etiquette. We learned how to read the many and forever changing water characteristics and covered many different water terminologies. We also learned various riverbank and streambed profiles.
And now to the rowing- let's just say my rowing experience was very limited to the point where I would be classified as inexperienced. Prior to guide school my rowing resume consisted of short duration canoeing and rafting floats on class I rivers. So the introduction to a drift boat was definitely a welcomed challenge for me. It was frustrating at times, but just like anything else your skills are increased with hands-on experience.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012:
Day four was well rounded with fly tying, rowing, and fishing from the boat. We started the day with tying some popular Bighorn patterns, consisting of soft hackles and various streamers. This day was filled with many laughs and just plain fun times as we got to know each other a little better. Chad was still focusing on our rowing, but we still managed to get in some fishing time. However, the fishing was slow this day and we were limited to a few takes and grabs. We also learned to watch the water and interpret the different forms of fish rises. Oh yeah, Chad also covered the seemingly never ending full spectrum of entomology.
Thursday, September 27, 2012:
Day five was all about the fishing and roll playing. We spent all day on the river improving on everything we had learned earlier in the week. Peter and I roll played taking on the personalities, characteristics, and responsibilities as both the guide and the client. This was a little awkward as roll playing always is, but fun nonetheless. This was the most satisfying day as we were progressing our skills and landing fish. We worked on advanced casting techniques as we fished from the boat and from the bank fooling several Bighorn Brown and Rainbow trout. This was the most well rounded day on the river as we also learned how to properly pump a trout's stomach and determine the dietary selection of the day.
Friday, September 28, 2012:
Day six was a day of displaying all that we had learned throughout the week. We tied some more popular Bighorn patterns, including the sow bug "Ray Charles", pupa, p-tail nymphs, and more soft hackles. We alternated roll playing responsibilities again and managed to catch many more trout. As we floated to the takeout I looked back on an awesome week loaded with fly fishing information and endless amounts of great fun.
All experience levels of fly fishing will benefit from attending the Fort Smith Fly Fishing and Guide School. Keep your eyes and ears open! This school will give you all the pertinent information and skills needed to successfully become a better fly fishermen and licensed guide. You will have many takeaways upon completion of the school and will know how to improve your skills. Oh yeah, the food is good too and you are well taken care of.
Review of School policies
Team building event
Welcome party and dinner
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
BASICS OF ROD RIGGING
RODS AND REELS
STRAIGHT LINE CASTS
READING THE WATER
WHERE THE FISH ARE AND WHY
WHAT THE FISH EAT
MATCHING THE HATCH
BASIC FLY TYING
INTERPRETING RISE FORMS
INSECTS ON AND UNDER THE WATER
DRY FLY APPROACH
HOW TO WALK THE RIVER
WADING QUIETLY AND SAFELY
DRAG FREE TECHNIQUES NEEDED FOR SUCCESS
FIGHTING AND LANDING FISH
PROPER TRAILER LOADING
HANDLING OF BOAT DURING FISH FIGHTS
NETTING, HANDLING AND PROPER RELEASE OF FISH
SIDE TO SIDE
HOOK REMOVAL TECHNIQUES
OPERATING A FISHING BUSINESS
BAROMETRIC PRESSURE AND HOW IT AFFECTS FISH AND FISHING
WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
2 Rods – 4 to 6 weight, 8 1/2 to 9 ft.
Reel with a smooth drag
Weight forward floating line (clean)
Clothing for variable conditions
Camera and Film
Wool or wool blend socks
4-5-6x nylon tippet
3-4-5x fluorocarbon tippet
split shot assortment
sink tip line
Any medications you may need
CALL TO SIGN UP TODAY!
50% DEPOSIT REQUIRED TO SIGN UP, BALANCE DUE WHEN SCHOOL BEGINS
CAN YOU INVEST THREE DAYS TO MAKE A QUANTUM LEAP IN YOUR FLYFISHING ABILITY AND ENJOYMENT
OFFERING A SPECIAL ALL WOMENS' FLYFISHING SCHOOL
$1199.00 first angler
$999.00 second angler
APRIL 18, 25
JUNE 6, 13, 20, 27
SEPTEMBER 12, 19, 26
OFFERED TO GROUPS OF 2 OR MORE ON A YEAR ROUND BASIS
School Mission Statement
Student's Individual goals
Questions and Answers
Out to the river
Lunch on the river
Reading the water
Where the fish are and why
Review of basics
Achieving the roll cast
Session 1 summary
Q & A
What the fish eat
Match the hatch
More fly tying
Building on Day 1
Slack line casting
Out to the river
Lunch on the river
Interpreting Rise forms
Insects on and under the water
Drag free techniques need for success
Fighting and Landing fish
Individual tips to work on
Q & A
Full day on the Bighorn River for Instructional Review and Perfecting techniques
You may depart after school on Sunday or stay overnight and leave on Monday.
You may add additional days to your classes for rowing, accounting, guiding, or personal guide trips.
Fort Smith Fly Shop & Cabins
Copyright 1998/2013 Fort Smith Fly Shop & Cabins, Fort Smith MT 59035