McKenzie River fishing guide and Rogue River steelhead fishing guides specialist, fly fishing Oregon McKenzie River trout and Rogue River steelhead red head Prince
 Mckenzie River Fly Fishing Oregon River Levels Oregon Weather Forecasts Fishing Report

Fly Fishing I

Home | McKenzie River Fishing | Rogue River Steelhead Guide | Siletz River Winter Steelhead | Guided Fishing Trip Details | Book A Fishing Trip | Photo Gallery | Steelhead Fly Patterns | OSU PAC Classes Info 

Fly Fishing I, OSU PAC 178, Fly Fishing I class    Michael Gorman, Instructor

Fly Fishing I   PAC 178                
(1 credit  hour.  Prerequisite: none)
Michael Gorman, Instructor       
phone: (541) 737-3222    email:     Inquire in OSU PAC office, Langton Hall 123
his course is intended to acquaint the student with the basic skills of fly fishing ---- rudimentary fly casting, knowledge of nymphing, wet fly, dry fly techniques, essential equipment appropriate to a given fish species, fly selection, knots, and simple fly-tying methods.  There will be a general overview of fly fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead, warmwater species and saltwater gamefish.  In addition to demonstrations and discussions, there will be PowerPoint presentations and video excerpts that will serve as learning aids in this course.  There will be many in-class small group activities that involve internet research utilizing smart phones or laptops.

Many class sessions will involve small group in-class research and discussion.  Students will be encouraged to use smart phone technology for recording class discussions, accessing pertinent data, and using the camera function during their fishing activities.. A laptop may be used in lieu of a smart phone for research, data recording and emailing of in-class research resuls.

 Upon successful completion of FLY FISHING I the student will be able to:
*Conduct a thoughtful and pertinent internet search of fly fishing topics which contribute to making the student a knowledgeable and resourceful fly angler.
*Execute and analyze a standard fly cast.
*Identify adult aquatic insect groups important in the trout diet.
*Tie three basic fishing knots: double surgeon, clinch and nail knot or albright knot.
*Have a good understanding of water safety guidelines and mental game plan of common sense procedures in case of an on-the-water emergency.
*Name the basic components of an artificial fly, tie a simple fly, and identify basic fly-tying tools.
*Discern the basic differences among these fly fishing techniques: wet fly, dry fly and nymphing.
*Select appropriate fly rod/reel/line/leader/fly combinations for a given species of freshwater fish in a given fly fishing situation.
*Name five streams or lakes in Oregon of fly fishing importance, their exact location, fish species present, and appropriate time of year to fly fish these with a reasonable chance of success.    

WEEK 1 Slide presentation: Fly Fishing Around Oregon. Using Scout and Google Maps apps on smart phones.
Review course outline & grading. Key fly fishing locations. General fly types: wet, dry, nymph. Prior to next class students will should read and consider printing out  "Water Safety Basics" available on Blackboard.  Announcement: A fly fishing video competition for those students interested.   Details on blackboard: "Fishing Video Competition"
Using smart phones, or assisting a student who has one, students will research these terms: wet fly, dry fly, nymph, Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Prince nymph, Hare's Ear nymph, Wooly Bugger, and Bead Head Soft Hackle.  A single summary of group findings, including group member names, will be sent via email to the instructor before class ends.  Prior to next class students should consider printing out "Fly Fishing Equipment Basics" available on Blackboard or on the internet.

WEEK 2 Small group activity: Access online article : Fly Fishing Equipment Basics".  Basic fly fishing equipment: fly rods and lines. Fly fishing knots handout.
More basic fly fishing equipment: reels, backing, leaders, tippets. Tie knots in class: clinch, surgeon, nail/tube knot.
Thursday: "Fly Fishing Equipment Basics" Quiz.  Prior to next class students should consider printing out "Fly Casting Basics" available on Blackboard.

WEEK 3  Review of "fly Casting Basics" + instructor casting demo. Student groups will construct a tapered yarn casting line, and demonstrate fly casting principles in the classroom with rod tip section in prep for outdoor casting.  Students will be asked to constructively critique each other. If time allows: video excerpt from "Essence of Fly Casting".
Outdoor casting session.    


WEEK 4 Small group research on YouTube students will view a brief video of their own on nymph fishing for trout, dry fly fishing for trout and nymph fishing for trout.  Possibility if time allows: Video excerpt from “Fly Fishing for Trout”. 
Continue researching nymphs, wet flies, and dry flies, and methods for fishing them.
Tuesday: Deadline for video competition submissions.
Continuation of small group work on fly fishing methods for wet fly, dry fly, and nymphing methods.  Submit summary email to instructor before end of class.   single summary of group findings, including group member names, will be sent via email to the instructor before class ends.  If time allows: video excerpts: wet fly, dry fly, nymphing techniques.
Winners of video competition will be announced.

WEEK 5  Yes  Outdoor casting Tuesday, April 29.  Bring a fly rod if you have one.
Water safety discussion and trip planning.  Small group activity: Listing of preparation steps, necessary skills, equipment & flies, and thoughtful strategies for catching a fish.
A single summary of group findings, including group member names, will be sent via email to the instructor before class ends.  Prior to next class students should read and consider printing out  the "Fly Tying Overview" and  "The Black Bomber Leech"  fly tying sheets available on Blackboard.
Thursday: GRADING QUIZ   Fly tying demonstration: the black Bomber Leech.

WEEK 6 Class fly tying. The Black Bomber Leech.  Students will keep the flies they have tied.

Thursday: OPEN-NOTE MID TERM EXAM  Prior to next class students will should read and consider printing out  "Fly Fishing Lakes" study sheet available on Blackboard.

WEEK 7 Power Point presentation: “Fly fishing Lakes”.  Begin small group activity: Listing of preparation steps, necessary skills, equipment & flies, and thoughtful strategies for catching a fish in stillwaters.
Continue small group activity: Listing of preparation steps, necessary skills, equipment & flies, and thoughtful strategies for catching a fish in stillwaters. A single summary of group findings, including group member names, will be sent via email to the instructor before class ends.  Prior to next class students should read and consider printing out  "Aquatic Entomology" document available on Blackboard.

WEEK 8 Power Point presentation: The trout’s diet and aquatic entomology. Q & A.  Prior to next class students will should read and consider printing out  "Fly Fishing for steelhead" document available on Blackboard.
Power Point
presentation: “Fly Fishing for Steelhead”.  Prior to next class students should read and consider printing out  "The Hybrid Line System"" study sheet available on Blackboard.

Prior to next class students should read and consider printing out  "The Hybrid Line System"" study sheet available on Blackboard.   Small group activity: Listing of preparation steps, necessary skills, equipment & flies, and thoughtful strategies for catching a steelhead. A single summary of group findings, including group member names, will be sent via email to the instructor before class ends. Prior to next class students should read and consider printing out  "Fishing Photography Tips" study sheet available on Blackboard.
Power Point presentation: Fishing photography tips. Small group activity:  Using smart phones, develop some creative ways for photographing a fish --- 1. with angler    2. with rod & reel     3. with angler and rod & reel   Students will email instructor with photo attachments for the entire class to view. 

Important fly fishing accessories: vest, waders, technical clothing, tools, etc.

Instructor: Michael Gorman
541-737-3222 Phone message

1.  Grading: the final grade, scored on a point basis.  230-250 points, A;    225-229 points, A-;      221-224, B+;    205-220, B;     200-204, B-;     196-199, C+;     180-195, C;     175-179, C-;     171-174, D+;     155-170, D;     150-154, D-,     149 points or less, F.
The point total is determined by the sum associated with the following criteria:
*Participation: 80 points.  After the first week of the term, 4 points are subtracted from a starting total of 80 for each absence from participation in class.
*"Fly Fishing Equipment Basics" quiz, Thursday of Week 2: 10 points.
*Grading quiz, Tuesday of Week 5: 10 points.
*Timed open note/open book demonstration of knowledge (mid term exam), Thursday of Week 6: 40 points.
*Summary of fly fishing outing taken during the current term, due beginning of class, Tuesday of Week 9: 40 points. (To fish public waters in Oregon, the student must have a current, valid Oregon fishing license issued at most retail stores that sell sporting goods.  A one-day license is about $16 for residents and nonresidents alike.  Licenses of longer duration may be obtained at great reductions in per day cost. Also, the student is responsible for acquiring terminal gear, such as leaders and flies for their fishing outing.  At no cost, a rod, reel, and line may be checked out to the student from Langton 127 by the instructor only.)
*Extra credit: Satisfactory completion of one of the projects listed in #3 below, due beginning of class, Tuesday of Week 9: 10 points.
*End-of-term open note/open book demonstration of knowledge, Thursday of Week 10: 70 points.
Maximum point total: 250.

Students must have an ONID account in order to access their grade at the campus Blackboard site. To get an ONID account, go to   Once the student has logged into Blackboard, access this class. If you cannot access the course,
you are not correctly registered for this class. Again, you must have an ONID account in order to access your final grade.

2. Submit a type-written summary of a fly fishing outing taken during the current term: 150 – 200 words, not including the headings. Hard copies only, no emailed projects.  Deadline: beginning of class, Tuesday of Week 9.
Task #1:
Copy/write out the first five heading items below on your paper (not just the numbers "1", "2". etc.) . Under each heading, write your response for that heading. (5 points)
Date and stream or river fished, and its general geographical location (5 points). (Pretend your instructor does not know geography except for Corvallis.
Example: On Saturday, Sept. 31, I fished Steelhead Creek. From Corvallis, travel south on Hwy 99 for 26 miles to Harrisburg. Turn west (right) onto to Hwy 66. In 13 miles arrive at Steelhead Creek Park. Fished immediately below the bridge.)
Equipment used, including brand names (rod, reel, fly line, leader) and flies used. (5 points);
Description of the fishing (not casting) techniques/presentations of the flies used. Describe/explain how you presented the fly to the fish (5 points); These are not a total description of the techniques:."I used the roll cast" or "I used the nymphing technique".  Mention the direction of the cast, where the fly is in the water column, how you affected (or not) the drift of the fly, and any adjustments you made in an attempt to draw a srike from a fish.
If you used the "natural drift" or "nymphing" methods to present your fly, you must describe/explain what the "natural drift" or "nymphing" method is.
4) Get any strikes? Catch any fish?
Significant fishing “lessons” learned (5 points).
Place a photo of yourself at the river during your fishing day on the bottom portion of your paper. (5 points)
Use spelling and grammar checks on your summary, AND write at the bottom of the page: "I have used grammar and spell check when writing this report", followed by your hand-written signature. (5 points).
Papers should include PAC course number and class meeting days and time (4 points), and papers should not exceed more than one side of a page of 12-point typed text (5 points). Due at the beginning of class Tuesday of Week 9.
9) On the back of your paper, or on an attached second sheet, place a photocopy of your fishing license. (5 points)

3. For extra credit, select, complete, and submit one of the following on or before the beginning of your regular class meeting, Tuesday of Week 9: Maximum 10 points.

A.   A display of 10 different (altering just the size or colors is NOT "different") fly patterns tied by the student during the current term. These will be mounted and labeled (in type, not hand-written), and neatly displayed. Typed labeling accounts for 5 points of the total. Display method is the choice of the student. A reminder: the difference between student-tied flies and purchased, commercially-tied flies is usually very obvious to the instructor. A reminder: the difference between student-tied flies and commercially-tied flies is often extremely obvious.
To receive any credit, the student must write on the back of their display, or on a separate piece of paper, write: "I have personally tied (made) these flies during this term." then, place your signature under the statement, and the date.

B.  Collect 10 different aquatic organisms from ponds, streams or lakes, each in its own glass vial (with 50/50 mixture of tap water and rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol) available from OSU Bookstore. Each organism must be at least 1/3" long. Eggs of any organism are not acceptable. Your instructor will help with general identification if done so at least one week prior to submission deadline.. Create a typed sheet referencing each numbered vial with:
1) organism I.D. (examples: caddis larva; mayfly nymph; midge adult; midge pupa)
2) name of pond, lake or stream where it was captured
3) general habitat for each--- examples: fast water, stony bottom, vegetation at river's edge, slow water, on dead wood in water, etc

C.  Read 3 chapters of Effective Stillwater Fly Fishing, or 3 chapters of Steelhead Fly Angling, both written by Michael Gorman..
1. For each of the three chapters, write the chapter title.
2. Under each chapter title write a two sentence summary of the chapter.
3. Under each chapter title write a two sentence comment about its understandability, level of interest for the reader, and anything found to be humorous.
To receive credit for this project, at the conclusion of this paper write "I have read these three chapters in their entirety.", and, then, place your signature under this statement.

Late submissions, for any reason, will not be accepted for any credit, INCLUDING ABSENCE FROM CLASS.
All summaries and projects are due no later than the beginning of class Tuesday of Week 9.
Note: Students absent from class, for any reason, are responsible for securing notes from another student in class.
If there should be an obvious typing error or conflict of dates concerning deadline dates, or dates concerning the quiz, mid term exam, or final exam, the student will not be excused for missing the deadline. Announcements will be made in class lectures as deadlines or testing dates approach. These announcements will supersede any typo errors. Students are responsible for knowing this.

Links of interest:
"A Typical Winter Steelhead Fishing Day --- Start to Finish"
"Locating Productive Steelhead Water and How to Fish It with a Fly"
"Know Your Quarry --- The Steelhead Life Cycle"
"McKenzie River Flies" 
"Fly Fishing Equipment Basics"

A few recommended books and authors:                                                           A few recommended video titles:
The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide by T. Rosenbauer                                                    Fly Fishing for Trout, 3M
Fishing in Oregon by Casali and Dinesse                                                               Strategies for Selective Trout, 3M
Western Hatches by Hafele and Hughes                                                                 Advanced Strategies for Trout, 3M
Fly Casting Illustrated by F. Amato                                                                      Fly Fishing for Bass, 3M
Lake Fishing with a Fly by Kaufmann and Cordes                                                Essence of Fly Casting, Kreiger
Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies by T. Combs                                                        Fly Fishing for Pacific Steelhead, 3M

Please note:
Oregon State University provides clear definition and sanctions for academic dishonesty.  As a result, academic dishonesty of any kind is not tolerated. Students caught cheating, plagiarizing, or participating in any form of academic dishonesty will receive an F on the assignment or test (and possibly an F in the course). A formal report to the chair of the Department, to the Dean, and to the Student Conduct Program will be made.

If you have any questions about the extent and severity of sanctions that may result from dishonest behavior, I suggest that you take time to read the OSU Student Handbook or access the OSU Student Conduct Website at:

Statement of Risk: Risk is associated with many of life’s activities, including PAC classes.  The College of Health and Performance Science classes will seek to minimize these risks by providing safe activity areas where possible, adequate equipment, and capable instruction.  It is highly recommended that you provide yourself with a student health/accident insurance policy.  These are available through the University, private carriers, or through a family policy.  If uninsured, minor accidents or health problems can lead to great expense.  If you have a condition that might affect or be affected by participation in this PAC class, you are encouraged to so inform your instructor either verbally or in writing.   Should you become ill or injured during class time, please inform the instructor or have a fellow student do so.  If you must leave class because of illness or injury it is recommended that another student accompany you. 
Sharp hooks and tools used during this class have an obvious inherent danger.  Use common sense and precautions at all times.  When on a fishing outing, common sense and precautions are urged when using sharp hooks (wearing polarized eye glasses is recommended at all times to protect your eyes and assist in safe wading) and wading in swift currents or walking on slippery rocks.  If you perceive dangerous conditions that cannot be counteracted with common sense and reasonable precautions, desist and/or speak with your instructor.

Statement for Students with Disabilities

            Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Students with accommodations approved through SSD are responsible for contacting the faculty member in charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but who have not yet obtained approval through SSD should contact SSD immediately at 737-4098.

Focus Questions and Important Info to know --- Have in your notes!

    *Name 10 Oregon streams or lakes (and general locations) that have available year-round fly fishing opportunities, and their general geographical location.
    *Know something significant about the fishing and the general location of the McKenzie, Alsea, Siletz, Metolius, Crooked, North Santiam, South Santiam, Fall, lower Deschutes, the upper Willamette, and Middle Fork of the Willamette Rivers, E.E. Wilson Pond and Olalla Reservoir.
    *Identify/name the Top Six flies recommended in class.  Be able to identify an artificial dry fly from a wet fly from a nymph.
    *Know: recommended fly rod lengths/weights for a given species of fish: trout, salmon, steelhead, small warmwater fish, bass, smaller saltwater fish, large to largest saltwater gamefish.
    *Leader lengths --- ranges?  Best overall?  Monofilament vs. co-polymer vs. fluorocarbon. 
    *Appropriate fly reel size for a given rod “weight”
    *Different fly reel drag.
    *Besides, recommended rod lengths and "weights", what qualities would you look for in a good fly rod?
    *What factors weigh into the retail price of a fly rod?   Are all rod-building graphite fibers the same? Appropriate number of guides on a quality fly rod?
    *Can you interpret "WF-6-F" as it relates to the attributes of a fly line?  DT-4-F? 
WF-5-S?  WF-5-F/S.  Best choice in fly lines for streams?   Lakes?
    *Name three desirable attributes of braided Dacron as fly line backing.
    *Leaders: appropriate length and diameter.  How is diameter of tippet commonly measured?
    *Difference between leader and tippet.  Correlate "X" number with inches.  Appropriate "X" number for hook size.
    *Know the five guidelines for basic fly casting as discussed in class: Eat The Apple With Care.
    *What is a roll cast?  How is it different from a standard fly cast?  When would you typically use a roll cast?
    *Know the basic presentation method/strategy for dry flies, wet flies, and nymphs.
    *Best fly line for presenting stream nymphs; stream wet flies; stream dry flies?
    * Best fly line for presenting lake nymphs; lake wet flies; lake dry flies?
    *Best single fly line for fishing nymphs deep along a stream bottom?  Single best line recommended for fishing nymphs in lakes?  What is special about the Mastery Stillwater fly line?  How quickly does it sink? Interpret WF-4-S code.  What do Type I, II, II, IV . . . refer to a they pertain to a fly line?
    *Can you tie a clinch knot, surgeon knot, and an Albright knot?  In assembling your backing/fly line/leader/fly system, where is each of the aforementioned knots used?
    *List four items an angler can wear of have with them that contribute to safety while fishing.
    *List three possible injuries or health-threatening conditions in a fishing environment.
    *What is hypothermia?  Name three symptoms that indicate an angler may have hypothermia.
    *List three measures that can be taken to prevent hypothermia.
    *Name three things you can do to help someone with hypothermia while waiting for medical assistance. 

    *Black Bomber Leech: name materials and tools used to construct the fly.  Factoid: originally designed as a trout fly.
    *What is a "hackle"?  Bird (and gender) producing the most commonly used hackles?  From what bird do we get marabou feathers?  What is a half-hitch knot?
    *What is a "selectively-feeding" trout?  To a selectively-feeding fish, what is MOST important about your artificial fly: color, size or shape?
    *How is a fish stomach pump used?  Minimum length of fish to prevent harm?
    *Name the BIG FOUR aquatic insect groups.  How would you identify the adults of each group?
    *What two readily-available liquids were recommended to be mixed for preserving aquatic organisms?
    *What immature aquatic insect may build a case/"home" from tiny stones, sand, fir needles, leaf debris or small twigs?
    *Which is the largest preserved aquatic insect we looked at in class?  What kind of lakes does it live in?
    *What are some peculiar anatomical features and locomotion of the dragonfly nymph?
    *What is the difference between a nymph and a larva in terms of incomplete and complete life cycle?  Insect examples.
    *Name 10 lakes to fly fish in Oregon as mentioned in class or class handout.
    *Why is it imperative to have a floating craft on most stillwaters?  What is the best (as recommended by your instructor) lake fly line?
    *What is a shock absorber leader?  What advantage does it give the angler?
    *Besides the right fly line and right flies at the right depth, what else is important to entice a lake trout to strike a fly?
    *Monofilament vs. co-polymer vs. fluorocarbon leader.  Pros and cons of each.
    *How do you use a fish stomach pump?  Why would you use it?
    *Fishing glasses --- lens colors?  What is polarization and why is it important?
    *What is a steelhead?  Describe its life cycle briefly?  How is it's life cycle different from a pacific salmon?
    *List three outdoor photography tips which contribute to taking better photographs of fish and fishermen.
    *Name three good reasons to wear polarized glasses while fishing.  What color lenses are best in low light, early morning or late evening, or rainy times?
    *Describe the two most common types (materials) of chest wader materials?  Advantages of each.  Disadvantages.  Which is safest for an UNPLANNED swim?
    *For good traction what material is needed on the soles of your wading shoes or boots?


Click here to return to OSU PAC Classes menu page



Contact Information


Postal address
Michael Gorman
330 NW Autumn Place, Corvallis OR 97330
Mckenzie River fishing guides & Rogue River fishing guides specialists

To contact me please cut and paste the following email address to help prevent spam emails,
and please include the word "fishing" in the subject line of your email so your important note is not screened out by the spam filter. 
Many thanks.
Please cut and paste this email addressgorman_flyfishing@hotmail.comPlease include the word "fishing"

 somewhere in the Subject line of your email note


Copyright © 2003 Scarlet Ibis Fly Fishing Tours Inc