WTF's Catskill Flycasting Rendezvous

Christopher Rownes casting a perfect loop

Christopher Rownes casting a perfect loop

On Saturday, May 3, 2014 the Wild Trout Flyrodders will be holding its Second Annual Catskill Flycasting Rendezvous on the grounds of the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum. The Casting Rendezvous will be open to the public for casting demonstrations, lessons and group classes in Flycasting or Flytying.

Entry fee is $10 per adult.  Children 17 and under will be admitted free but must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Demonstrations and lessons are included with entry fee; group classes in casting and fly-tying are $20 per class.

Our Rendezvous Team includes more than 20 casting instructors certified by the International Federation of Fly Fishers. They will be available all day to assist you with "hands on" learning. 

The Rendezvous location is ideal with broad generous lawns, a large pavilion with picnic tables - perfect for a day outdoors, so pack a lunch or purchase lunch from food vendors available on site.  

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum (CFFCM) is located on the Willowemoc Creek.  The CFFCM is on Old Route 17 approximately two miles northwest of Livingston Manor and 4 miles east of Roscoe, New York, also known as "Trout Town, USA." See for more information about the Museum. Visit for more information about the surrounding area.


Schedule of Events 

All Day    “Walk On” Lessons (Tune-Ups) will be offered continuously throughout the day for all skill levels of casters, adults and children. Gear will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own. The instruction offered will match your abilities from absolute beginners to seasoned flyfishers looking to achieve better accuracy, distance, loop control, line control. New casters to advanced, green or well seasoned will have plenty of opportunity to learn something new and build confidence in their fly-fishing skills. No preregistration is required and there is no additional fee for ‘walk on lessons’. Just show up and have fun.


Casting Demonstrations

9:30am    Loop Control - John Field. Learn how to vary the size of your loops for different types of presentations.

10:00am  The Modern Advantage of Switch Rods - William Ciaurro.  From single hand and two handed casting, a melding of styles has evolved.  Each side of the spectrum constitutes the extension of range in the equipment we choose.  There are now casting tools available that fill the void in efficiency where too big and too small meet.  Al Buhr asked the question, "What is the perfect cast?"   Some say the one with perfect loops.  Al said, "The cast that takes the fly from when it stops fishing, to fishing again, in the least amount of time."  Come and extend your range and learn how to get a few more casts per day.

10:45pm    Spey Casting with Bamboo -  Bob Colson. Bob is a maker of split bamboo Spey rods, and will demonstrate Spey casting techniques and applications with single-handed and two-handed bamboo rods for everyday fishing situations. Bob will discuss the basic trade-offs of different materials used to build Spey rods.

11:15pm    Two Handed Spey Casting Techniques -  Walt Geryk.  Walt is the "Spey-doctor" and Hardy's Spey expert for the northeast.  He will demonstrate two-handed Spey casting techniques. As part of the demonstration, Walt will provide an introduction to matching lines to rods and fishing applications. 

1:00pm    Roll Casting - Michael Gallart.  Michael will be breaking down the Who, What, When, Where and Why of The Roll Cast - as well, prescriptions for what ails your Roll Cast.  Be aware, he might look for a volunteer to participate.


Fly Tying Demonstrations

11:00am     Tying the Snowshoe Emerger - Richard Ross.  Richard regularly fishes the Catskill region of New York.  He fishes and demonstrates flit tying across the United States, Europe and Scandinavia.  Richard's snowshoe patterns have proven effective around the world and have been the subject of magazine articles in the US and Japan.

More tying demonstrations will be added as the rendezvous date approaches.  Check back soon.  Thanks.


"Get Started in Fly Fishing" - talks & demonstrations

Now that you have spent the day casting, taking classes, and watching citing demos or maybe just made your "First Cast."  Come sit, watch, listen and learn how to put together your own gear to propel you further into Fly Fishing.

Welcome Fellow Travellers

2:00pm    Fly Fishing gear for beginners - David Gilberg & Tony Ertola.  Learn how to choose a a rod and reel based on what you want to fish for and where.  David will discuss wading gear and all accessories needed tho get onto the water and into a fish. Included will be strategies to get started without spending a fortune.

3:00pm    Introduction to Flies: getting started - David Gilberg & Tony Ertola Beginners will learn basic info on what flies you'll need to carry in your fly box, enough to get you started and hopefully not too confused.   



Classes are registering now. At $20 each, these classes will fill up fast! Space is limited. Contact Craig Buckbee:

Flycasting Classes:

9:30am    The Spey Cast Advantage - Jim Valle & Dave Jacobson. All levels. This class will build your confidence in Spey techniques of single and/or two-handed rods.  The class focus will be on the flexibility of Spey casts with change of direction + accuracy.  Students should bring their own equipment; single and/or two-handed outfits (including switch rods).  Approx. 1.5 hour class on grass.  6 students.  Eye protection mandatory.

10:00am     Children’s Flycasting - Tony Ertola & JF Lavallee. Kid’s Level. This class is about having fun, getting a chance to cast a fly rod and enjoying something new. All equipment will be provided. The class will take place on the grass. (A parent or guardian must accompany every child during session.)  Eye protection is mandatory.

11:00am     The Role of the Roll - Gail Donoghue-Gallo. All levels.  Learn the secrets of the roll cast and techniques for turning it into a dynamic fishing tool. Bring rod, reel with a floating line with a 9-foot leader.  Eye protection is mandatory.

1:00pm     Advanced Spey Casting - Walt "Spey-doctor" Geryk and Bob Colson.  Advanced. This class is for experienced Spey casters that would like to augment their knowledge with different approaches, explore alternative types of rods and materials and match rods and lines to specific angling situations.  Participants can bring their own equipment or use equipment provided by Walt and Bob. This 4 hour class will take place outside on moving water.  Waders suggested.  A current NYS License is required.  Eye protection is mandatory.

1:00 pm Introduction to Hauling - John Field.  All levels.  Learn to use single and double hays to defeat the wind, increase distance, accuracy and reduce fatigue.  Bring rod, reel with a floating line with a 9 foot leader.  Eye protection is mandatory.

1:00pm     Aerial Mends - Paul Gallo. Aerial Mends: How to make them, how to use them.  Learn the basics of how to form mends in the air and how to pair them with stream reading tactics.  Bring rod, reel with a floating line with a 9-foot leader.  Eye protection is mandatory.

2:00pm  Two-Handed Overhead Casting - William Ciaurro All levels.  This cast is one of the most difficult parts of the IFF THCI certification exam. This task is at the beginning of the test.  It has enough elements that if you cannot throw three foot loops, it will have you in tears.  This class will cover exam requirements as well as practical fishing situations for the overhead cast.  We suggest you bring your own equipment, but gear can be provided.  We promise you will have tighter, more efficient loops and a full understanding of why.  Eye protections is mandatory.


Fly Tying Classes:

All Fly tying classes will be held at the Museum's Lee Wulff Gallery.

9:30am     Tying Hairwing Flies - Dave Kolesar. Intermediate.  Class will focus on some popular and productive fly patterns that use various types of hair for the wing.  We will discuss  techniques of handling the materials and how to successfully tie with hair for the wings on dry flies, streamer, and time permitting some saltwater patterns.  Instructor will provide hooks and materials.  Students will need to provide their own thread and tools.  Duration: 90 minutes.  Class size 6 students.

1:00pm     Super Simple Flies – Bill Keister.  All levels.  Learn the basics on how to tie easy patterns guaranteed to catch fish.  Student must bring tools: vise, bobbin, scissors, etc.  Class size limited to 6 students.

2:00pm     Tying Salmon Flies – Louis Lortie.  Intermediate.   Learn to tie: Dusty Miller (fur version) and Killer Whisker (bomber).  Both are he modified version for the salmon rivers north of the St. Laurence.  Louis has fished for Atlantic salmon for over 20 years.  Come learn form his experience, how to tie flies for this fish of a thousand cats.  Materials for the patterns will be provided.  Students must bring tools: vise, bobbin, scissors, etc.  Class limited to 6 students.


Casting Competition 

"The WTF Floyd Franke Memorial Casting Competition" 
Allen Johnson, Rodney Priddle and Mike May will be moderating this gem of an activity.  All Skill Levels.  Allen is a former ACA National Champion.  Participate in this fun event for all ages, and see if you can top your friends for both "trout nose" accuracy and for the longest cast.  Donation:  $5.00


International Federation of Fly Fishers Members Events

Friday, May 2nd: Formal testing for IFFF Casting Instructor Certification will be conducted.  Prior arrangements with Federation National and Craig Buckbee are mandatory.

Sunday, May 4th: Continuing Education Program for current IFFF Certified Casting Instructors will be held. This gathering of instructors will focus on having fun. We will be analyzing teaching methods and sharing observations revealed while teaching, casting, fishing or dreaming of all of the above. This will include, but not limited to: Working with iPads, Smart Phone apps like Ubersense, etc. A Round Robin Rod Casting session. Over-lining and under-lining rods to sick proportions to yield those sweet, sweet discoveries and ah-ha moments that only casting dweebs can get excited about.


Participating Instructors for Saturday, May 3rd & Sunday, May 4th:

Craig Buckbee, MCI – NY
William “Flyspoke” Ciaurro, CI, THCI – NH
Tom Cooper, CI - PA
Sam Decker, CI – NY
Tony Ertola, CI – NY
John Field, MCI - CT
Michael Gallart, CI – NJ
Gail Donoghue- Gallo, CI – NY
Paul Gallo, CI – NY
Dave Jacobson, CI – ME
Allan Johnson, ACA – NY
Bill Keister, MCI - CT
Dave Kolesar, CI – NH
Alain Laprade, CI - Quebec
Jean-Francois Lavallee, CI – Quebec
Mike May, CI - ME
Rodney Priddle, Sr., CI – NY
Richard Ross, CI – PA
George Simon, MCI – PA
Jim Valle, BoG, MCI, THCI – NJ

IFFF Designations: Certified Instructor (CI), Master Casting Instructor (MCI), Two Handed Casting Instructors (THCI), IFFF Casting Board of Governors (BoG)


Patricia "Sam" Decker is a board member of the Wild Trout Flyrodders and the Casting Rendezvous organizer. Sam is a NY State Licensed guide. Sam can be contacted at:

Craig Buckbee is a swell guy, a NY State Licensed guide and he’s the flycasting coordinator and lead instructor for the entire weekend. If you would like to sign up for classes or certification tests, or are an IFFF Certified Instructor who would like to participate in any way shape or form, including attending the Continuing Education Workshop please contact Craig directly at:


The CFFCM has a large casting pond and generous lawns for casting instruction.  It sits on the famed Willowemoc River with numerous angler parking lots to access this historic fly fishing river, the birthplace of American fly fishing.  The Beaver Kill is a 10 minute drive from the CFFCM, and the wild trout of the East Branch, West Branch, and Main stem of the Delaware River are just 20 to 30 minutes away.

Lodging/Hotel/Camping Accommodations


  • (Event supporter)
  • Beaverkill Valley Inn: 845.423.3545
  • Capra Inn: 607.637.1600


  • Butternut Grove Camping: 607.498.4224
  • Miller Hollow Campground: 607.363.7492