Traverse City, Michigan Fly Fishing School

Enjoy a relaxing weekend retreat at our Michigan fly fishing school.

Traverse City, Michigan Fly Fishing School


A world-class fly-fishing school with Northwoods beauty and classic elegance at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, on the banks of mighty Lake Michigan. With the famed Manistee, Boardman, and AuSable Rivers beckoning nearby. There's no shortage of places to wet a fly at this Orvis fly-fishing school. Professional instructors welcome both beginners and seasoned anglers, and cover everything from setting up your fly rod, casting, fly selection and knots, to safely landing and releasing your catch. Use of tackle and waders is included. Choose a one-day or two-day school.

For more information on this school or guided fishing excursions after the school, please visit:

You'll cover it all at the Traverse City, Michigan Fly Fishing School:

  • Fly casting techniques
  • Essential knots
  • How to choose your gear and tackle
  • Stream entomolgy (the science of insects)
  • Proper fly selection
  • How to read water and currents
  • How to play, land, and safely release fish

Cancellation Policy & Fees:
If the reservation is cancelled 60+ days from your school date, Orvis will offer a full refund back the original method of payment, or the reservation can be transferred to another available school. If the reservation is cancelled 30-60 days from the date of the school, the customer will have a choice between a refund of 50% or transferring the reservation to another available school. On cancellations 29 days or less there is no refund and no transfer. There will be no refund extended to students who do not attend their scheduled school and do not notify the school within the timeframes listed in this policy. Any reservation that has been transferred to a different date cannot be later cancelled without 100% payment penalty.

For questions please contact Orvis Schools and Reservations (toll free) 866-531-6213

Travel Insurance:
To protect your investment, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance may help you in the event you have to cancel or postpone your trip for reasons outside of your control. It is also beneficial if you need medical assistance or emergency evacuation during your travels. To learn more about purchasing travel insurance or an emergency evacuation membership through Global Rescue, please visit Please note: you will receive important benefits if your insurance is purchased within 20 calendar days of your trip.

1-Day Itinerary

Time Activity & Description
8:30 Registration in the classroom, Orvis Streamside, Traverse City.
9:00 Introductions and discussion of class program.
9:15 Classroom presentation — Rods, Reels, Lines: An in-depth look at the technology that makes modern fly tackle work so beautifully.
10:00 Classroom presentation — Leaders and Tippets: Choosing the right leader and tippet. Balancing your terminal tackle.
Terminal tackle, knot tying, and rigging. Knot tying demonstration and practice. Clinch, Surgeon's, and Perfection Loop knots.
11:00 Classroom presentation — Basic Fly Fishing Entomology: Fly selection, how to choose and fish flies. Powers of observation on the river. The "hatch" and the "spinner fall".
Noon Lunch in the classroom, Orvis Streamside, Traverse City.
12:30 Leave for Boardman River.
1:00 Boardman River trip — discussion on reading water. Demonstration on wading safety. Demonstration on fishing dry flies, nymphs, wet flies and streamers; students fishing.
4:30 End of school. (Students may use tackle for the rest of the day to fish and return tackle later.)

2-Day Itinerary

2-Day School: DAY ONE

Time Activity & Description
8:30 Student registration in the Valley View Classroom, Grand Traverse Resort.
9:15 Introductions and discussion of class program.
9:30 Classroom presentation — Lines, rods, and reels.
10:30 The Orvis progressive fly casting method introduction
10:45 Casting field demonstration; students casting, basic casting stroke, pickup and delivery, loop control, false casting, accuracy
11:45 Lunch in Valley View Classroom.
12:45 Classroom presentation — Leaders, tippets, and fly selection/presentation relationship, stream conditions.
1:30 Classroom presentation/practice — Knots including clinch, improved clinch, surgeon's knot, perfection loop, surgeon's loop, and loop-to-loop
2:15 Casting pond — demonstration of shooting line, false casting, and single and double haul; students casting.
3:15 Demonstration of hook-setting and fish-fighting techniques; tips on photographing and releasing fish. Students fishing.
4:3 End of first day. (Students may keep tackle and fish later in the evening.)

2-Day School: DAY TWO

Time Activity & Description
9:00 Students meet at Streamside Orvis in Traverse City.
9:00 Review of students' fly-casting videos.
9:30 Basic stream entomology, trout foods and their fly imitations. Presentation on creating a fly selection for trout, steelhead, bass, and panfish.
10:45 Presentation on tackle, waders, and accessories in the store.
11:45 Discussion of fly-fishing opportunities around the world, Orvis-endorsed fishing vacations, useful tips on fishing with guides, and local angling opportunities.
Noon Lunch in Traverse City.
12:45 Boardman River trip — discussion of reading water; demonstration of wading safety; demonstration of fishing dry flies, nymphs, wet flies, and streamers; students fishing.
4:15 Students meet for graduation, presentation of certificates and pins.
4:30 End of school. (Students may keep tackle to fish the evening hatches and return it the next day.)


One-Day School Dates

May 2021 14 Friday (SOLD OUT)
  29 Saturday (1 SPOT LEFT)
June 2021 5 Saturday (SOLD OUT)
July 2021 24 Saturday (SOLD OUT)
August 2021 7 Saturday
  21 Saturday

Two-Day School Dates

June 2021 19-20 Saturday-Sunday (SOLD OUT)
July 2021 17-18 Saturday-Sunday (SOLD OUT)
August 2021 14-15 Saturday-Sunday (SOLD OUT)


Most students stay at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, Michigan, which offers special low rates for Orvis Fly-Fishing School students. Students should call The Grand Traverse Resort to make reservations. Please mention that you are an Orvis student to receive a special rate.

The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd.
Acme, MI 49610


Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Dave Pelz Golf Scoring School
White, sandy beach
Hiking and biking

Other Activities in the Area

Signature golf courses
Sailing, boating, and swimming on Lake Michigan
Fine dining, shopping, and symphony in Traverse City

Ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting
Sept. 15 - Nov. 15 & Dec. 1 - Dec. 31

National Cherry Festival
Around July 5-12

Traverse City Film Festival
July 29 - Aug. 5


: When is the best time to go?

Answer - There is no “best time” per se. The school season is during the nicest part of the year weather-wise. Chances for warm weather increase as the season goes on.

Question: When does the school start and end? What will we be doing during the day? How long will we be fishing?

Answer - Refer to the school itinerary for the schedule.

Question: What is included in the price of the school?

Answer - Use of Orvis fly rods/reels, leaders, flies, and where necessary waders, vests, and fishing licenses.

Question: Is lodging included?

Answer - No. Lodging arrangements are made separately by the students.

Question: Are meals included?

Answer - Lunch is the only meal included in the school tuition price.

Question: Where can I stay?

Answer - At the hosts’ lodging, or nearby lodging of your choice.

Question: How many people will be in the class?

Answer - That depends on the school. The range is 12 to 36 students, always with a ratio of one instructor for every four students.

Question: Do we stop the school because of weather?

Answer - No.

Question: How much time is spent in the classroom vs. casting and fishing?

Answer - See school itinerary.

Question: Can you bring your own equipment?

Answer - Yes.

Question: Is this class for intermediate anglers?

Answer - Yes. In casting, we adjust our instruction to the individual student’s level.

Question: How old do my children have to be to join me in this fishing school?

Answer - At the Santa Rosa Beach School, youngsters should be at least 14 years old (because of the heavier tackle used). All other schools we recommend 12 years of age.

Question: What other recreation is available near the school?

Answer - See information on specific school page.

Question: Will I be able to attend the same class as my son/wife/etc, even though I am an intermediate and they are a beginner?

Answer - Yes. In casting, we adjust our instruction to the individual student’s level.

Question: Are there opportunities for guided fishing afterwards?

Answer - Yes. See information on specific school page, school itinerary or inquire directly to your fly fishing school instructor.


Book with an Orvis Expert

Book online or contact us:

Buy it now

Select an item: SI10PC
  • 1-Day School $279
Add To Basket