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School of Trout Headwaters Series

An Advanced 5 Course Educational Series of Fly Fishing

Challenge Your Skills and Increase Your Knowledge

About Headwaters Series:

Our Fly Fishing program here at Headwaters Outfitters is built on the foundation of educating future anglers.  We understand that our role as a Professional Industry leading Fly Fishing program is to educate, and we value each opportunity.  Creating knowledgeable anglers with a passion for conserving and protecting our natural resources and fish populations is crucial for the future of fishing in Western North Carolina.  Our School of Trout Headwaters Series is designed to do all the above.  To help anglers learn a foundation of fly fishing and conservation so they responsibly fish on their own and share that knowledge with others.


Fly anglers for trout enjoy the rich beauty of the trout streams and the excitement and thrill of catching trout.  It is an enriching and relaxing pastime enjoyed by many outdoor enthusiasts. However, with any deeply rewarding pastime, one needs to acquire the knowledge and skill to truly enjoy the sport.  Whether you are new to fly angling or looking to enhance your experience, the Headwaters Series will provide you with the knowledge and skills to become a successful fly angler. Classes have a low student to instructor ratio.  Experienced instructors provide a complete approach to teaching, including the how and why, with practice in the classroom and on the water. You will leave the course with more knowledge and better skills to make you a versatile and adaptive angler. 

Fly Fishing Foundations:

Fly fishing Foundations is the first class in the series.  These are fly fishing lessons designed so you master the foundations, and can then build from there. First, you will learn what the cornerstones are of successful fly angling.  Next you will learn proper equipment selection and how to make connections for rigging. You will begin your journey on becoming a fly angler by learning the essential presentation skill of casting.  Fly Fishing Foundations is taught with a low student to instructor ratio to maximize your learning experience and the foundation Academy of Trout classes.

Length- 3-4 hours

Cost: $150

Prerequisites: None, but some fishing experience helpful  


Advanced Casting:

Fly fishing for trout is a wonderful way to spend time in a natural setting.  Make your experiences more enjoyable by mastering one of the essential skills to presenting a fly, casting.  This class will make you a better caster by teaching not just the how, but the why behind casting. First you will learn the concepts of casting as a foundation for later skills.  You will master the techniques through a combination of instruction, unique drills and guided practice. Finally, you will learn how to expand your casting with advanced techniques of both casting and line management.  This course is taught with a low student to instructor ratio, so you get the most out of the experience.  

Length- 3-4 Hours

Cost: $200

Prerequisites: Fly Fishing Foundations or 201/301

Reading the Water:

Ever wonder why some anglers can catch more trout?  Is it the fly… or is there more to it? The difference in successful fly fishing and missing opportunities hinges on the observation skills of the angler.  The successful angler knows where to stand, when to mend and when to pick up the fly even before the cast is made. Many anglers speak of the importance of presentation and this class is an in-depth look at the art of presenting the fly.  This class will improve your angling by improving your ability to read the water, locate trout and determining the proper presentation. This information will help you discern where trout might hold, what is the best approach, what cast to make and how to react to a trout taking the fly.   Expand your angling skills, learn to be a complete fly angler by learning to understand the trout’s environment.


Length- 4-5 hours

Cost: $225

Prerequisites: Advanced Casting: Basics and Beyond


Angler Entomology:

What is the secret fly?  Many anglers ask this question.  The real secret is there isn’t a secret fly, the secret is in making observations.  This course will retrain your thought process to systematically observe the variables in the environment and trout to discern successful pattern for those conditions.  You will learn how to make observations of the fish, the environment, and the season to discern the fly pattern that is most likely to produce. The course will start in the classroom, learning the most important insect hatches and the trout’s feeding behaviors.  The second part of the class will be on the water applying the information on hatches, water types, and trout behavior to determine a successful pattern. Make your process of selecting a fly pattern easier and more rewarding by learning how to observe your surroundings and select a fly.  

Length- 3-4 Hours

Cost: $200

Prerequisites: None


Advanced Angler Tactics:

Successful anglers are versatile and adaptive. Angler Tactics combines all the knowledge and skills from the Academy of Trout and teaches you how to adapt your tackle, flies and casting to be successful in a variety of conditions.  You will learn how to interpret the trout’s behavior to modify your tactics. The class is an in-depth look at specialized rigging techniques, presentation skills, specialized techniques and strategies for dry fly fishing, nymphing and streamer fishing.   Enhance your fly fishing experience by becoming a versatile and adaptive angler.  

Class size: 6

Length- FULL DAY, 6-8 Hours

Cost: $200

Prerequisites: Advance Casting and Reading the Water


  • A licensed, knowledgeable fishing guide who can assist you with casting, locating fish, and whatever questions you may have.
  • Fly Fishing equipment- Rod, Reel, Fly Line, Leaders, Tippet, Flies

  • A North Carolina Fishing License  (you can purchase both ahead of time by visiting
  • A ride to and from the water you’ll be fishing is no longer provided. Your guide will figure out shuttling with you prior to the trip.
  • Lunch, beverages and snacks will not be provided by your guide. Please be ready to provide yourselves lunch, beverages and snacks.

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