I had a great time learning about what TROUT EAT. IF you don't know WHY you have such success w/a certain fly, THIS COURSE will teach you WHY THE TROUT LIKED THE FLY.
IF YOU WANT TO CATCH MORE TROUT, YOU GOTTA KNOW WHAT'S ON THEIR FOOD PLATES!
I'm writing to thank you and Jon for offering an excellent opportunity to learn a great deal about aquatic insects. I liked how the class was structured, offering both a lecture and direct field experience. Having the opportunity to collect specimens from two local rivers was simply eye-opening and something I will not soon forget! In addition, you made me feel welcome and comfortable. Anyone interested in fly fishing should attend this class.
I was looking for an introduction to Massachusetts trout streams and their required fishing techniques after moving back to Massachusetts from thirty years living in the Caribbean and the last few years spent fishing for Tarpon and Bonefish. Fishing for Trout in a New England stream is the opposite end of the spectrum from fishing for Tarpon. Charlie would have his work cut out for him.
Charlie first asked about my fishing history, skills and expectations for the day's outing. It was obvious that Charlie wanted to make sure that he fit the day's activities to both my skill levels and expectations to ensure the best outcome from the day. On the stream, he was a combination of scout, teacher, cheerleader and gun bearer. Because I am so used to fishing saltwater flats or from a boat with plenty of unencumbered casting room I spent an inordinate amount of time fishing for trout in the trees. Of course I was never successful but Charlie, with a level of humor and patience rarely found in a guide, repeatedly removed my fly from the trees which landed there either because of poor casting or because on more than one occasion I struck the fish so hard that after missing, the fly ended up in a tree. When this would happen Charlie would humorously remind me, "Trout Brad, not Tarpon". Charlie spent our day together explaining and teaching the art of reading a stream, using different fishing and casting techniques and took me to places to show me where in the future I could fish the stream on my own. In addition, and as a result of Charlie's guiding, I caught some great fish.
In my years fishing, I have had the occasion to fish with a number of guides and have attended one of the best-known fishing schools. In Charlie Shadan I was lucky enough to find the epitome of both, a world-class guide and a patient and talented teacher. I would gratefully fish with Charlie at any opportunity and have left with him a standing request, "Charlie, when you get a guiding cancellation call me and take me fishing".
Having fun and learning don’t always go together, but they did with a half day on the Nissitissit River with Charlie. He’s an excellent teacher who knows the subject of fly fishing – and a pleasure to spend the time with. The best guides are also kind and patient human beings, and Charlie is certainly that. Anyone who has ever hired a guide with an “attitude” can appreciate those qualities. He structures the time - focusing on what you tell him you’d like to learn, shows you a few tricks of the trade you wouldn’t have thought to ask, and generally provides an overall great experience. Many guides facilitate your catching fish when you are with them – and we did that - but far fewer put such effort into making sure you’ll be able to replicate the fish-catching experience the next time you go out on your own. Charlie does that. Also, he’s is a consumer’s-best-bet as far as value for the guided dollar. Thank you, Charles.
Charlie is an encouraging and insightful evaluator of individual strengths and ways to improve. He brings his high educational skills to bear in getting results. And he knows his rivers in meticulous detail.
I would highly recommend a session with Charlie to anglers of any level. You will learn a lot and have a wonderful day!
What a great day on the Nissitissit! We caught a bunch of fish but, more important, I learned a huge amount! You also have a great sense of humor, which, frankly, is a requirement for dealing with me. So it goes. You are such a generous guide and coach. I feel like I am going forward with 100% more confidence than I had before.
You're the best, Charlie!
Charlie took my wife and me out on a summer's day on the Squannacook. He asked that we provide him with some goals and aspirations for the day: that was a nice touch. It got us focused on what we were expecting and what we wanted to learn. We all agreed that this wasn't going to be a fish-ful day but a day to learn.
Charlie provided a well-organized, directed session covering our goals (and his) in detail. He worked with us individually to improve our casting and approach to the water.
To everyone who sent us to Charlie Shadan—thank you! Charlie has an enthusiastic following, and we are now among his great fans. We would give him the highest recommendation to anyone who wants to fish northeast Massachusetts.
Charlie is a very special guide—one who improves your fly fishing prowess, no matter your level. Charlie also shares his deep knowledge of the Squannacook and Nissitisset rivers, pointing you to the best fishing spots and the best ways to approach them. Of course you catch fish, but even more importantly, after a session with Charlie, you are infinitely better prepared to catch more fish on more types of water.
Charlie is a superb teacher and guide. He was highly recommended to my husband and me. We are now part of a large community who happily recommend Charlie to others. We can’t wait to have Charlie guide us again!
Charlie and John put together a class that brought to life a lot of things I have read about in trout fly fishing books. I was amazed to actually see the variety of bugs that live in the waters I have been fishing. This class opened my eyes to why and how I should be fishing all the flies I have in my fly box. On top of that, I had a lot of fun and met a great group of guys!
I really appreciate your making my son so welcome at your fly shop this last weekend for the bugology class. Being just 11, he really appreciated the all-too-rare experience of being spoken to like one of the grown-ups. The highly informative class and the other fishermen made a big impression on him. I wish you could have seen him showing off his bug collection to his Mom after we got home...it was easy to tell he really had a good time.
I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested in learning the 'fundamental' information to help them with their enjoyment of fishing, or even someone who just wants to view nature from a new perspective. As the father of a young son, I had a different reason to take the class: to spend some quality fun time with my boy. The class exceeded expectations on all counts. Not only did we have a grand time together, we learned a LOT about life in the streams, some of which was completely unexpected. I never knew about pill clams, or darters, let alone many of the actual bugs the class focused on. The abundance of life is in the Squannacook and Nissitissit is truly eye-popping, now that we know where (and how) to look. A hearty thank you to both you and John for a fun and truly memorable day!
Good Morning Charlie,
I wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your efforts on Saturday’s bug class. I found the class to be a lot of fun, extremely informative and you have “lifted the veil” on the sometimes confusing aspects of identifying the insects that the fish are using for food.
I truly wish I had taken a course like this ten years ago: It’s one thing to think I can tie a pretty good stonefly pattern, it’s something else to know exactly what the shapes, sizes, and colors of the stonefly’s are in our local rivers. Now I do. As well as the other major insects.
In short, it was much more informative to use the screens or turn over rocks to collect insects, rather than looking at photos in a book. And getting back to the shop to more closely examine them, and compare the bugs to the popular patterns was very helpful. As you know, I have now started my own collection of the local bugs to help and assist in my tying efforts, nothing beats having the real deal readily available to use as a model.
After taking the class, I think this information/knowledge is more important than learning to cast!
Last but not least, I can’t say enough good things about Jon Sweatman’s expertise, passionate enthusiasm, and how much fun we had joking around on the river while continuing to learn the whole time. Great guy and a great instructor.
Even the lunch was good!
Thanks again for putting together such an informative class.
"Bugology" was the most important "life-changing" class I've attended since Bar Exam preparation!
What a fun informative day of "everything water buggy!" Three years ago I had the pleasure of attending an Aquatic Entomology primer during an NH BOW Fly Fishing Weekend. There wasn't enough time in that weekend to cover that vast wonderful world of water insects. It did provide enough of a primer to make me want to know more about what a fish wants and needs! Jon Sweatman's and your presentation and information during the recent day-long Bugology class was spot on for filling in the blanks from that prior introduction to Aquatic Entomology. The productive insect collection and inspection from our river field trips was the perfect hands-on experience for reinforcing the class time. Bugology enhanced my appreciation for what lies beneath that cool reflective surface and how it relates to my success in fly fishing! The mantras of "match the hatch," and "be the bug" have more relevance now! Can I really be entertaining the thought of my own aquatic insect collection? Yes! Just one more vise (not the tying bench variety:-) to add to fly fishing passion! A girl could have worse habits! Thanks, Charlie and Jon!
On a Saturday in May this year, I had my introduction to real live aquatic invertebrates or, more simply, water bugs. The Evening Sun Fly Shop runs a class in "Bugology" a couple of times every Spring and this year I got to attend one. I drove a solid hour to Pepperell to attend the class, but it was well worth it. The morning was spent going over the anatomy of aquatic insects and making it possible for us to distinguish in a general way between mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and midges. We learned about the parts of these creatures and the differences between them. The class was a bit of a slog, but it was necessary preparation for the glorious afternoon.
After lunch, we went out to the local streams and stirred up the bottom with our feet to dislodge whatever lived on the rocks, under the rocks, or in the sand. In our nets, we collected all kinds of interesting bugs of an amazing variety from both the Nissitisset and the Squannacook.
The most surprising revelation for me was the great difference between the varieties we found in the two streams. In hindsight, it seems obvious that different ecologies should harbor different bugs. I hadn't realized that until I saw it so starkly with my own eyes. I will be much more selective in my choice of flies for these rivers in the future and I will probably root around in the stream bottom before tying on a fly or nymph.
The class was super, especially the field work and rummaging around in stream bottoms turned out to be lots of fun. It was well worth the tuition and not fishing for a day (although I picked up a nice rainbow in the pool downstream of the Route 111 bridge after class). Thanks, Charlie!
On Saturday, 4/19, I took the "Bugology" class put on by you and Jon Sweatman. Any class you can apply right away is a well-planned class. Jon made the class interesting and fun. He gave us only the technical information we need, not too much to bog us down. And then to go on the river and find specimens we talked about in class reinforced the instruction. I really liked how you and Jon talked about the specimens and the flies to use to imitate them when we got back to the shop. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone wanting to take their fly fishing to the next level to take the class.
So today, 4/22, I put my new found knowledge to work. It even produced a fish for me! I was fishing the Newfound River in Bristol, NH and because the water is still pretty cold I started out throwing meaty streamers at the fish. After not producing a single bite, I kicked up some rocks and used my seine to catch whatever came up. Thanks to the class, I was able to identify mayfly nymphs and some helgramites. So I put on a size 8, black woolybugger, to match the helgramites, and in less than 10 casts, BANG, a nice 18 inch rainbow.
Thank you for providing such an interesting and interactive class. Like your guiding services, it was top notch! I'll be sure to look for other classes you may offer at your shop.
24 hours after taking your Bugology class I am just beginning to assimilate all of the material you guys presented in such a clear and cheerful manner yesterday. I've read about these insects, observed pictures, and videos, but until yesterday I never actually got out on the river to see for myself the insect life that abounds underwater. You guys have opened my eyes to an underwater world!
The class focused on identifying bugs. We started off in the classroom, but the real "Aha!" moments came on the water when we collected and inspected real bugs.
It was interesting to directly observe that different kinds of habitat have different kinds of bugs. I had read this a zillion times but to actually observe it was compelling. The class time before heading out to the water prepared us to understand what we had collected and by the end of the day, it all stuck.
What I got out of the course is an appreciation for the actual bugs. Having collected them and just watched them will by itself increase my appreciation for the sport. I am not even sure why this is so, but I already feel it. Seeing mayflies swim was really cool, and seeing the size of the hellgramites was a WOW experience. Stoneflies look like serious bad-asses. The clinger mayflies look like they want to play the same game, but I wouldn't bet on them. For me, after the class, the bugs now have personalities!
I am a relative beginner to fly fishing and was thrilled to receive a gift certificate for a lesson with Charlie. He proved to be both an exceptional instructor and a great guy to spend 4 hours on the water with. Charlie is a very knowledgeable fly fisherman, and his passion for the sport is infectious. His patient and thorough instruction helped me work out a lot of my self-taught bad habits, and armed me with some new techniques to practice on my own. I was expecting to learn a lot of tips and techniques, but what I didn’t expect were the two great Rainbow Trout I landed in the process. I now eagerly look forward to my weekends so I can get back out on the water and practice all of the great things I learned, and hopefully hook a few more trout while I’m at it.
Thanks for your help Charlie!
After 30 years of WANTING to learn how to fly cast, I finally attended Charlie Shadan‘s Evening Sun Fly Shop’s all day course, and by the end of the day I was actually fishing with a fly rod.
Starting at 9:00 AM sharp, the eight attendees began learning from an experienced teacher as well as from someone whose life revolves around the art. In the morning “hands on” session, with clarity, repetition, and humor, we were taught everything from the arbor knot on the spool of the fly reel to the surgeons knot that secured the fly and everything in between.
After the lunch break (supplied as part of the class) we gathered outside the shop to learn how to assemble and set up our fly rods. As a total novice, I had NO EQUIPMENT and was supplied everything I needed for an afternoon in the water: rod, reel, waders, wading staff, all were in excellent condition and well fitted under the watchful eye of Charlie and the collection of certified guides that joined us for the second half of the day.
We drove to our spot on the river and began learning the movements that would eventually allow me to place a fly somewhat effectively on the water, near to where I was aiming for! By 2PM I was standing, with my guide at my shoulder, hip deep in a beautiful spot on the Nissitisett River, happily practicing the mechanics of the different casts and watching with envy as my son tied into a rainbow trout. After he lost his fish (his surgeons knot failed him) I asked him what he learned from that. His reply: “ Tie the knots like Charlie showed us and don’t settle for good enough.” A hard lesson, but one he’ll never forget.
We ended the day back in the shop with final words from the master after having made some great new friends and plans for future trips already forming. I would certainly recommend this class to anyone interested in developing their fly fishing skills. This was certainly money and time well spent. I learned something I can practice for the rest of my life and take with me anywhere I go. Charlie Shadan’s Evening Sun Fly Shop is the real deal.
I wanted to leave you a quick email regarding the fly fishing class I attended on May 5th. The class was awesome, I wish I took the class five years ago! The way you teach the class and the information you provided really shows your knowledge and passion for fly fishing. The instructors/guides that we had for the hands on portion were very experienced and well-informed.
I had the opportunity to have Dick Peterson as my instructor/guide. Dick had a ton of information and was as patient as a saint, and he needed it ha ha! By the end of the day my casting and my ability to read the water increased 100%.
I encourage anyone who wants to learn how to fly fish and wants a solid foundation and understating to attend this class, it was well worth every penny!
I’m sure I will be seeing you soon to make a few purchases.
I came to your shop on Friday, July 12 for a lesson and I would like to give you some feedback on the experience.
Thank you! The lesson was extraordinary. You are a gifted instructor and it is clear that you enjoy fly fishing and sharing your love of the sport with others. The fly fishing lesson was one of the highlights of my vacation in the northeast. I also want to express to you how much I appreciate that you let me borrow a rod and reel. I went fishing near North Conway and even caught some fish!!! Needless to say, I'm completely hooked on fly fishing. I have been learning all I can from books and podcasts (from Orvis) that provide good tips, and I will be taking a crash course in fly fishing and fly tying at K-State University in November. My kids (2, 4, and 6) are even excited about it - they all see me practicing my casting in the yard and they want to join in too. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a spot on the website where I could write a glowing review. Maybe you will be able to use parts of this email in advertising.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I hope that you enjoyed your trip to Colorado as much as I enjoyed my trip to New Hampshire with the borrowed fly rod. I will certainly stop by when I am in the area. Thank you again for everything.
I wanted to let you know that the class Frazier and I took yesterday (Sept, 29th) was very rewarding. We had a great time and learned a considerable amount.
With the foundation for fly fishing, gained through your instruction, Frazier and I have several days on the many beautiful trout rivers around New England in our future. The money spent on this class has created something he and I can share for a lifetime, and that's priceless. Frazier was bummed about doing the class because he had to miss his hockey game, no small sacrifice in our house, but on the ride home from your shop he told me he would like to have a pair of boots and waders and was trying to figure out what day we may have off together....to fish. Plans for next summer are in the works!
For my personal take on the class, I felt it was very thorough. You delivered a great amount of information and instruction in a single day that just flew by! The class portion was comfortable, entertaining and informative. I was fortunate to be in a class comprised of very pleasant people.The coffee and pastries were good, the lunch and cider were delicious, and the weather was perfect!
If I were to recommend The Evening Sun Fly Shop to anyone, I would surely tell them about the classes offered, the quality and selection of product in your shop, and the professionalism and passion for fly fishing I've experienced in dealing with you and Brian, but I would most importantly tell them to spend their money locally at a fly shop that gives back to the community through education, and active participation in the conservation of our waterways.It's grassroots individuals like you that make a difference in our communities.
I now have a passion for something I put on the back burner years ago. I look forward to frequent visits to The Evening Sun Fly Shop.
Thanks, Charlie and congratulations on a first class local business!
I wanted to write a short note to thank you for the nymph class you conducted last Saturday. I consider myself basically self-taught and have bought videos and books to help me understand fly fishing and nymphing in particular. I drove home after your class feeling like I could have saved myself a lot of time, and a lot of money, if I simply took one class with you. Needless to say, it was an eye-opening class. I now understand what I was doing wrong. The tips and tricks you showed as they related to tackle were easily worth more than the cost of the class. And as a bonus, how many additional tips and tricks did you show us? A lot! Really neat, useful ideas and techniques relating to fly fishing in general. In short, I’m finding it a LOT faster to learn face to face with a good teacher, and you are a great teacher - very patient and you passionately share your experience.
Thanks again for the boost up on the learning curve with techniques that work. In closing, I still want to know how you trained that beautiful brown trout to take your fly on the first cast, while demonstrating the techniques!
Charlie communicates all the elements of fly fishing in a manner that is easy to understand and retain. In the afternoon, guides were scheduled to take us out to a river for some live action. I drove home feeling confident in my ability to fly fish. Charlie's passion about fly fishing is clear and he made the class very enjoyable. I'm glad to have Charlie as a resource and will support his shop.