Brian Ramsey's Outdoor Sporting Life


The Ramsey place, "Rootsdown Farm".

These are very casual classes and learning venues. I invite you to learn how to cast and fish at Rootsdown Farm, my family's 78-acre farm outside Viroqua, Wisconsin, near Tainter Hollow creek.

To get a taste of how I teach, check out my Fishing Tips video

I offer three classes that cover a variety of folks and needs:

  1. Private Casting Class
  2. Cast / Fish Combo
  3. Kids Cast / Fish Combo

Private Casting Class: Tight Loops Course

I offer a two-hour casting lesson going through precision accuracy casting techniques required to catch trout in Driftless Region spring creeks. This a simple casting clinic customized to your casting expertise and experience. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced caster, you will benefit from this lesson. This course is offered for 1-2 people. No actual fishing involved, fly casting on the lawn.

These are fun, efficient casting exercises. Some folks only want a remedial lesson prior to their personal fishing and this class applies to those folks in a very private casting clinic format. There are three casts involved with this clinic:

  1. the Serpentine cast
  2. the Pile or "Bounce" cast
  3. the Reach cast
  4. Belgian cast (for wet fly/nymph & indicator casting)

These three casts are the most important to effectively catch trout anywhere in the world. You'll develop a "feel" for the fly cast with this lesson and develop your own troubleshooting skills. This single-session course sets you off on your own pace of learning. This clinic is advisable for couples, father-son, mother-daughter or whatever the combination group.

Rates: $100 for 1 or 2 people, $150 for 3 or 4 people. Lessons are 1.5-2 hours long and totally customized to you. My goal is to not "over-teach," but keep it simple and tailored to individual casting needs.


Private Casting Lesson & Guided fishing combo: The Osprey Course

This course combines my private casting clinic and on-the-stream fishing. This course also involves a short on-the-stream discussion on insects and what to use. This is where my applied M(master your cast) + L(learn the nature of trout) + B(bugs simplified) = Success technique comes into play, but in a on-the-stream practical way.

Rate: $350 for 1 or 2 people for a full day. Includes lunch, flies, tippets, and leaders. 1-2 hrs. of casting then 6 hrs of fishing. This is my most popular clinic. You'll walk away with full understanding of how to catch trout on a fly rod.


Kids Kingfisher Fly Casting

Introducing youth to fly fishing isn't difficult. I offer fly fishing specifically for kids ages 7 on up. These classes are fun and have high energy. Kids need excitement, and they need the basics to even get in the game and get them hooked for life.

I've been guiding kids since I was kid out of high school. I worked at the In-Fisherman's Camp Fish in Walker, MN. A great venue for getting kids into fishing that no longer exists, but I continually bring to my guiding career because kids are our future.

Along with individual instruction, this class includes fishing right after the casting lessons keying on three basic casting moves:

  1. Gripping the rod
  2. Stopping the rod correctly to form a loop
  3. "Shooting Line"

Keep It Simple Student (K.I.S.S.) is the philosophy in this orientation to fly fishing. After the class, we will go to a local trout stream, learn to set hooks, bringing in the line, wading safely, on-stream insect I.D. , picking the right flies and pointing out where trout live. Many fish are lost the first time out, but some are caught and it's a big deal, no pressure, just pure fun.

Rate: $140 for a single child with a parent or other family member. My main focus is on the child. Lessons are 1hour followed by 3-4 hours of fishing. Includes lunch, leaders, tippets, flies, and transportation to trout stream. Kids rod & reel rental free, but kids sizes & adult hip-waders not provided. Adult rod & reel rental $15/day. A small box of custom assorted flies is given to each child after completing the day.


Fishing Tips Video

This movie is a composite of a series of short videos I made a while back for a series called "Fly Fishing the Big Sky" hosted by a local TV station in Bozeman, Montana. I cover a lot of tips in 1.5-minute shorts, including casting, rowing, and such.

I had a lot of fun shooting these shorts. They give you an idea of teaching style: concise, easy-to-learn, and just plain fun. Keep in mind that this is dated video material, but the techniques and fishing styles are as applicable today as they were when I made these vids. How dated, you ask?  Well, when you come across the roll-cast short, that pond I'm working on is now filled in and covered over with new houses . . .