Improvers Fly-Fishing Weekend School

Orvis fly fishing instruction will bring your skills to the next level.

Improvers Fly-Fishing Weekend School


This fly fishing instruction course is run on the world famous River Test on our flagship beat at Kimbridge. The beat is a 1/3 mile of single bank fishing with interesting shallows and a bubbling top pool. Our instructors will help you extend your fly-fishing skills with the emphasis on refining river technique and casting skills. Tackle and lunch on both days is included.

We will cover:

Fly casting techniques
Essential/advanced knots
Stream entomology (the science of insects)
Fly selection
How to read the water and currents


Itinerary for the weekend
Day 1
Assemble, welcome address and introductions.

Casting – Overhead and side
  • Loop formation
  • Line speed
  • Forehand & backhand
  • Timing, Length of line
Roll Cast
  • Theory, mechanics
  • Demonstration uses
  • Casting under instruction
Break: Coffee and discussion

  • Life cycles
  • Hatch identification
  • Natural identification
  • Fly choice, size, profile, colour
Leader Design
  • Water conditions
  • Wind considerations
  • Length and taper
  • Diameter, tippet / fly size
  • Droppers
  • Four turn water knot
  • Improved tucked half blood
  • Self-cutting ability, wind knots
  • Turle knot, Presentation

  • Feeding fish
  • Surface disturbance
  • Location, marking
  • Surface food lanes
  • Holding areas, flow obstructions
  • Seams and slacks
  • Fishing the rise
  • Fishing the water
  • Nymph / dry fly situation
  • The "Lift"
  • The "take"
  • Refracted light
Tackle up

Fishing under instruction

Break for Tea

Weigh in

Group Photo


Day 2

Assemble at Kimbridge Hut
  • Coffee
  • Recap of Saturday
  • Questions and answers
Casting warm up
  • Roll cast
  • Overhead, angled arch
  • Side cast
  • Shooting line
  • Single haul
Upstream Nymph
  • Theory
  • Tactics
  • Leader design
  • Demonstration, practical
Set up of Tackle

Fishing under instruction


Fishing under instruction


Weigh in


Issue of certificates



Area Activities for Hamphire
Places of Interest

Mottisfont Gardens
Winchester Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral
Broadlands in Romsey. Home of Lord Mountbatten.

Walking in the New Forest
Walk the Test Way


Orvis Fly Fishing Schools
Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the best time of year to fish?

Answer: Any time of the season can be good.

Question: When does the school start and end? What will we be doing and how long will be fishing?
Answer: See the itinerary for the schedule.

Question: What is included in the price?

Answer: All equipment and lunches on both days.

Question: Is accommodation included?

Answer: No but we will be delighted to advise on accommodation locally.

Question: How many people will be attending?

Answer: A maximum of 10 with two qualified instructors.

Question: What is the cancellation policy?

Answer: 30 days notice is required to ensure that your deposit it refunded.   However late cancellations are taken on their merit.


Why Attend?

Reasons to Attend The Orvis Fly Fishing Schools
Over the years, we have had many students tell us how "attending the fly fishing school has eliminated what would have been countless hours of frustration on learning how to fly cast on my own".

In the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools, you will learn and participate in:
  • The Orvis Progressive Method of Fly Casting – A time-tested method of learning how to fly cast that is adaptable to most types of fly fishing.
  • Choosing the right rods, reels and lines appropriate for the type of fishing you will be doing.
  • Knot tying
  • Fly Selection
  • Reading water
  • Fishing under instruction
Fly fishing is a wonderful sport that gives you a lifetime of enjoyment and takes you to the most beautiful places in the world. Whether you are a total beginner or have been fly fishing for many years, the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools can handle all levels of experience. With a 4:1 student to instructor ratio, you are assured of plenty of individual attention. Let the pros at the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools teach you skills for a lifetime that you will take to beautiful places.


The Orvis Story
Fly Fishing Schools from Orvis
To one who has not acquired the art of fishing with a fly, let me suggest that a day or two with an expert will save much time and trouble. There are many little things that cannot well be described, and would take a long time to find out by experience, that can be learned very quickly when seen. It is not easy to tell one exactly how to fib with the fly.

-Charles Orvis
The Need for Teaching
Leigh Perkins, the Chairman of The Orvis Company since 1965, was convinced there had to be a lot of people out there who were just waiting to fall in love with the sport of fly fishing. Whatever their reason for holding back, whether intimidation by experts who made it sound too difficult, bewilderment at the vast array of gear available, or fear of just looking foolish, Perkins suspected that they wouldn't need much prodding to be "converted".

In 1982 Orvis purchased The Mill in Nether Wallop together with the “Ginger Beer” beat on the River Test and the Abbots Worthy beat on the River Test from Dermott Wilson. Astutely, Dermott Wilson had already recognised the opportunity for a fly-fishing school based on the Orvis USA model and when Orvis took over; courses and hourly tuition were already being offered at the Mill. At this time Major Jim Haddrell was overseeing the tuition. In the pre-Orvis days a young Charles Jardine was one of the instructor team (as well as providing amusing illustrations for Dermott’s catalogues).

At this time only two day "beginners" courses and hourly lessons were on offer but as demand increased and the Orvis business grew, more varied and specialised courses were added to the program. These included North Country river techniques with the acclaimed fly-tier and writer Oliver Edwards on the Wharf and Sea Trout fishing on the Teifi with John Slader as well as Spey Casting with Ally Gowans on the Tay.

Teaching those new to the sport however still remains the biggest part of the Orvis fishing schools operation and our team of instructors are some of the best and most experienced in the sport. All of our instructors are excellent communicators with the ability to make each session both fun and rewarding with quick progress being made. Casting is not an instinctive natural action…in fact it is quite the opposite. Therefore it really pays to start with some good tuition as this prevents bad habits being acquired at an early stage. It is not difficult to learn to cast a fly but getting the basic technique right from the very start is crucial. Booking on an Orvis school is the best investment any beginner or someone wishing to fine tune their skills can make in their future enjoyment of the sport.


Cancelled until further notice.
New dates to be announced soon.

Improvers Fly-Fishing Weekend School

Date: 27th & 28th June 2020
Price: £385 per person
Excludes: Accommodation

Please contact Orvis Sporting Adventures to book this trip:
Phone: 01264-349515

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