Missoula Fly Tying Classes in Missoula

We don’t care what YouTube says, or how many Instagram post are put up, nothing beats a fly tying class to rapidly learn how to tie flies to fit all of your fly fishing needs. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not down on electronic fly tying instruction, because there’s so much to be learned on the internet. Many of the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop staff haunt the internet, finding out about new flies and new materials. How else do you think we have the best fly selection and fly tying material selection? Because we pay attention to the new and the

But when it comes to teaching fly tying classes, George, Ron and Taylor approach teaching a little differently than a youtube video. Videos often highlight new materials and cool fly patterns. At the Missoulian Angler, we highlight techniques and material handling. There’s a big difference. Our classes are designed to improve a tyer’s skill set in handling materials, not in multiplying their number of patterns. Sure, we’re going to teach useful and innovative flies, but the focus is going to be on how to use the materials easily and efficiently, not the pattern.

Our employees have over 110 years of fly tying experience combined, and over 60 years of professional fly tying and fly tying instruction experience. We tie flies for destinations around the world. Again, the patterns aren’t important. But the skill set attained in tying destination flies translates into a mastery of materials that few others have. It allows us to provide exceptional advice, and the ability to solve pretty much every fly tying issue that arises.

That has tangible benefits for our students. Not only do we have the knowledge base to solve most problems, but it extends beyond that. When you go home and practice (notice the phraseology, not if but when!) there will often be a bit of a struggle. Bring your flies into the shop. We can look at your fly and tell you where the issues are occurring. Just a look at your fly will tell us that the reason your hackle is so sparse is you’re placing your dry fly wing at the 60% point, not the 75% point. Your hackle is being asked to cover too much linear space on the hook, and it looks wrong. Some might think the problem lies in the hackle, but it’s not. The problem lies in the wing placement, and we’re experts at identifying the root of the problem. It’s something the computer age has not yet been able to replicate, the instantaneous solving of your fly tying annoyances!

Boxes loaded with Christmas Island flies tied over the winter for our hosted trip.

We’re not going to lie. We’re more than a little obsessed with fly tying. Taylor roams the internet looking for new, different and innovative patterns.. George is ancient and crabby, and makes sure the shop is stocked with old school tying materials. We pay close attention to our customers, and stock what they’re asking for. We like to think we have the best material selection in Missoula, and a lot of our customers back us up on that claim. Our classes are a great mix of old school and new. We’re completely old school in our teaching concepts and material handling. But we’ve definitely stepped into the 90’s with a camera/TV setup. This allows the student to really see, up close, what’s going on while the instructor ties, as well as making the process smoother and easier. If it helps our students, we’re all for technology.

We run classes in late fall, early winter, and spring. We’re always running beginner and intermediate classes. Our specialty classes vary from year to year. Price for a class is $100, with all materials included. You will need to have your own tools, though the shop has loaner tools for the days you just don’t feel like tearing down your tying station! Call 406-728-7766 or email [email protected] to get the latest schedule.

Fly Tying Classes with George Kesel

Individual Fly Tying Nights with the Man Himself George Kesel.

With the popularity of George’s Fly Tying series this winter we have decided to open up single classes covering various topics and techniques. These classes will be held once a week on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm. We limit each night to 8 students and the classes fill up quickly so call now(406-728-7766) to reserve your spot. Each class will be $15 per student and you can sign up for one class or all of them. These classes are for intermediate tiers. Call and ask about our beginner fly tying program if you are new to tying.

Handling Hair: March 13th
Starting with a simple streamer and moving through Stimulators and Wulffs, we will take on the
challenges of working with hair on large flies and in small.

Dubbing, dubbing loops and dubbing brushes: March 20th
Dubbing is one of the most under looked aspects in fly tying. We’re going to explore dubbing to
catch more fish, and all the amazing ways that dubbing can be attached to a hook. We will also
discuss and show how dubbing can be custom created to provide bulk, flash, mottling and so
many other aspects of dubbing and dubbing loops.

Building Hard Body Bass Poppers: March 27th
This will be more of a hands off class, devoted more to showing the steps needed to create a
hard body bass bug. We will be detailing a standard bug, created on a hook shank, and then
move off into a very untapped segment of popper design, building a popper that is not attached
to a hook. This second method allows a hard bug builder to create poppers not constrained to a
hook size, and opens up a vast area of popper design.
Advanced fly tying: April 3rd
Are you wondering what it takes to advance your tying skills when you’ve hit that plateau? It
comes from looking at fly tying from a different angler, and learning new disciplines. We’re going
to take some very simple patterns from a few different disciplines – Steelhead, nymphs and dry
flies, and delve deeply into their construction. We’ll focus on methods to improve accuracy,
minimize bulk, while examining methods to create a balanced fly every time you approach the

Articulation: April 10th
Big streamers catch big fish, but there are some underlying principles that need to be adhered
to when creating an effective fly. We’ll look at basic construction, and study different ways to
create articulations in your streamers.

Mangler Secrets: April 17th
You know we have bugs you can’t get anywhere else! Its because they work! This class will take
you through some of out most successful flies, the flies that have been developed over 25 years
of business. This is the real deal when it comes to finding out why we’re busting out butts tying
in the shop.

Spinning Deer Hair: April 24th

Get into the basics of spinning deer hair, for trout flies, bass and other large species. Deer hair
is one of the most versatile materials in use, and we’ll examine the most effective methods to
create small and large flies, floating and sinking.
Tying tiny
It’s not really a lot more difficult to tie smaller flies, but it does take some different techniques
and thought processes. This class will take you through the different ways to create small,
durable, well proportioned flies. Get comfortable with smaller hooks and improve your odds on
the water

New and Amazing: May 1st
Every year, Mangler gets a whole lot of “new and wonderful” materials to look at. Most aren’t all
that new or wonderful, but some are really, really good. Come learn about and use all the cool
new stuff the Mangler has to make your flies into fish catching machines!

Call Now to Reserve your spot