Fly Fishing School

Alaska’s first fly fishing school is brought to you by Alaska Clearwater Sportfishing.  One by one we are creating fly fisher’s that understand the method.  To be successful every time you pick up a fly rod you must first understand how a fish thinks.  This program is designed to deepen your understanding of the ecosystem’s that Trout and Salmon live in.  You will learn fly fishing techniques that make fish bite!  Most importantly you will learn what it will take to protect our fisheries around the world for future generation to enjoy.


Program Itineraries

 “Introduction to Fly Fishing“


  • June 24 -28 (Species available Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon and Dolly Varden)
  • July 10 -14 (Species available Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden)

Fly casting – roll casting, traditional fly cast, water loading, single/double haul intro, fly casting in the wind and learn what cast works best in each situation.

Tackle – Fly rod, fly reel, fly line, leader selection, strong knots, tying leaders and setting the drag.

Presentation – The dead drift, the swing, dry fly fishing, and reading water to find the juicy spot.

Fighting fish – The hook set, fly line management, applying pressure and anticipation of the serge

Fly tying – Introduction to the tools, basic fly design, thread work, materials and fly function.  Catch fish on your own tied flies!

Conservation of the river – Catch and Release, awareness of life cycle, leave no trace, and sustainable harvest

“Secrets and Techniques of Professional Fly Fisherman“


  • August 4-7 (Species available Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon and Dolly Varden)
  • September 22-25 (Species available Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon and Dolly Varden)

Fly casting – Movement analysis on film of your fly cast, Advanced roll casting, Single Spey, single/double haul, fly casting in the wind and super charging your cast

Tackle – Fly rod and reel selection, The best fly lines, unbreakable knots, tying leaders

Presentation – The long dead drift, stack mending, Griding the swing, reading water,knowing the juicy spot and the day to day change of flow, weather, water temperature, bug hatches, flesh piles and spawn’s

Fighting fish – Strip set / Trout set / Swing set, cupping the reel and angling big fish.  When to pressure and when to feather.

Fly tying / Bead painting – Learn to paint beads that crush it!  Learn to tie all my secret weapons and put your own twist on them.  Fly tying for function and secrets to customize flies quickly.

Conservation of the river – Catch and Release, awareness of life cycle, leave no trace, and sustainable harvest

“Advanced Techniques for Big Fish”


  • October 13-15 (Species available Silver Salmon and Rainbow Trout)

Fly casting – Movement analysis on film of your fly cast, Double Haul, Single Spey

Tackle – Fly rod and reel selection, Unbreakable knots and leader selection

Presentation – Technical dead drift, Griding the swing

Fighting fish – Strip set and Swing set, angling fish

Fly tying – Tying big streamers and flash flies

Conservation of the river – Catch and Release, awareness of life cycle, leave no trace, and sustainable harvest

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About the school

flyfishing school 2017 marks my 10th year as a fly fishing guide on Alaska’s Kenai River.  I want to spend my day’s as a highly experienced fly fishing guide teaching my passion of fly fishing.  I am not interested in growing my business and managing people.  I want to teach the method of fly fish as a Guru in India teaches yoga.  With devotion and commitment to the craft.  I will be humble and start everyday with thirst for knowledge and so should you.  

The program will greatly improve your experience on the water.  Let’s face it… Life is short!  Speed up your skills and progression with this intensive school and work on all aspects of the game.  This fishery is ideal for learning  the basics as well as developing advanced techniques of fly fishing.

The focus of this school is to teach fly-casting, tackle, fly presentation, fighting fish, fly-tying and conservation of the river.  From tying a productive fly to releasing your fish of a lifetime.  I want everyone who attends my school to walk away confident as an angler which others aspire to be.  

What’s the difference?  This is a small batch workshop format that allows us to work together to improve your game on all levels.  Most things in life are enjoyed more when you have the craft dialed.  After you are no longer a beginner you can focus on the more important experience that fly fishing provides.  Breathing fresh air, appreciation for mother nature, relaxing, connecting with family, clearing your mind, being happy and of course catching fish.

I am looking for highly motivated, positive guests that want to learn about fly fishing.  We have one school per month June – October.  A maximun of 4 fly fisherman can attend each school.  Alternate dates and number of guests can be accommodated on case by case basis.        

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What to expect

This is for you if you have a thirst for knowledge of fly fishing. I am dedicated to making this program fun, personal and the experience of a lifetime.  Everyday of the school we will have a full day on the water and classroom time before or after.  You will have time to eat, fish and sleep.  What more do you need?  Each day will be about 12 hours from start to finish.  If this sounds like too much, you can always take a guided float trip where overall experience is the focus.

The Kenai River has millions of Salmon and Trout that naturally sustain in this large Alaskan watershed.  I have fished many places around the world and found no other fisheries that have the abundance of the almighty Kenai River.  It’s easy to catch fish on fly rod on the Kenai River and that is what makes this school different than any other fly fishing school I have attended.  I have attended fly fishing schools in Montana and the Florida Key’s and what these schools lacked is a thriving fishery.  

Throughout this school we will work on every aspect of fly fishing.  Fly fishing on the surface of the water with dry fly’s, hinge nymphing, swinging fly’s and banging beads on the bottom are all effective techniques that you will learn.  The cool thing about this school is we will be able to hook fish, learn how to bring them to the net and release them safely back into the water.  

Items provided in the school program.

  • Simms wader rental
  • All Tackle provided by Sage fly rods, Galvin fly reels, Scientific Angler fly lines
  • Fly tying Supplies (feathers, thread, hooks, beads…)
  • Shore lunch on day’s we catch Salmon!

What to bring

  • Waders if you have your own
  • Fly rod and reel if you own (5 weight dry fly rod, 6-7 weight 9-10 foot for trout, 7-8 weight 9 foot for Salmon)
  • Fly tying Vise and tools (Bobin, sizzors, whip finish and other tools if you have them)
  • Fishing License
  • Food, water and other drinks
  • Raingear, mid layer, base layer, polarized sunglasses, fishing gloves, brimmed hat / winter hat
  • Transportation from airport to Cooper Landing (Car rental or Shuttle)


I have found guests have different expectations of lodging requirements.  Please contact me and we can figure out what lodging works best for you.  Cooper Landing has a great variety of lodging accommodations that vary from affordable to world class riverside accommodation.

“Zack, I wanted to thank you for your years of exceptional service and the product you provide. It may seem odd to call your fishing experiences as a “product” but let me explain. I have fished with you over the past five years both in Alaska and in Florida. We have fished with a number of different groups of my friends and family who have different fishing skills. Each and every time we experienced a trip that can only be described as a “Trip of a lifetime”. Your experience and passion for fly fishing is contagious, your mentoring is encouraging and your equipment is top of the line. You have crafted each and every trip to meet the needs of the customers in your boat and for this I thank you. “Keep fishing great waters well”.

Kurt Hallier

“I have had the opportunity to fish with Capt Zack on multiple occasions and have had some of the most memorable fishing days of my life with him – from catching multiple Snook at East Cape, huge Tarpon on fly at Bahia Honda, Giant Rainbow Trout in Kenai Alaska, and most recently Bonefish on fly in Andros Bahamas. Zack is a knowledgable guide but perhaps even more important a genuinely kind and friendly person. He’s not one to make you feel poorly for “blowing out” a monster tarpon or bonefish because you blew your cast – instead he coaches you so you do better next time. Also noteworthy is that his boats ( both in Alaska and in the Florida Keys ) and equipment are very good. He knows the right fly too!!”

Bill Cahill

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Latest host destination trips

  • May 25-30, 2017 in the Southern Florida Keys for giant Tarpon and Permit.
  • May 1-5, 2017 we are going back to the Bahama’s to exercise the
    Bonefish of Mount Pleasaunt Lodge and relax in the Bahamian culture.
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