Bitterroot Buggers 2018 classes

FREE fly tying and fly fishing classes in Hamilton, Montana! Here is the scoop for 2017.

Do you know kids who would like to learn how to fly fish? How about fly tying? How about 2017classeslearning about bugs and fish identification? Classes are sponsored by Bitterroot Trout Unlimited and the Keystone Discovery Enrichment Program.  Join them for the annual Bitterroot Buggers learning sessions which are open to any child in the Bitterroot Valley ages 8 through 14.

The program will provide hands-on small group instruction and all the materials. In addition to the beginner class, an advanced class is offered for students who would like to learn more advanced fly patterns.

Classes are from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Westview School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St.  Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.

Here are the important dates for 2018 

February 13 is “bagging night” (prep for all the classes) from 6-7 pm at the Keystone Center. Contact us if you would like to help. See contact info below
* dates with asterisk need volunteers

  • Classes are from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the Hamilton Middle School located on Madison between 5th and 6th St.  Enter through the blue door with a yellow flower.
  • Feb 13* – Material bagging night
  • Feb 20 – First Class, Orientation
  • Feb 27* – Fly tying, first fly
  • March 6 – Fly tying, second fly
  • March 13* – Fly tying, third fly
  • March 20* – Fly tying, fourth fly
  • March 27 – Spring Break, no class
  • April 3* – Fly tying, fifth fly
  • April 10– Final Class – casting and knot instruction
  • April TBA* – actual Fishing Day and picnic at the Stock Farm

Registration forms are available at:

The group can be as many as 50 children so help is welcome. If you are interested in volunteering to help teach fly tying, or supervise and interact with the students, distribute materials, etc.

Questions? Contact Joe Byrne of the Keystone Program at  363-5996 or Greg Chester at 406-363-0033 or email

What is expected of students?

The success of the program depends on the continued support of volunteer instructors. Because of this, participants are expected to arrive each week ready to learn and enjoy themselves with attitudes that are respectful of everyone involved. Every child is expected to help with cleanup and treat the materials and equipment with respect. If a student’s behavior is disruptive to the program or dangerous to themselves, volunteers or other students, parents will be notified immediately, asked to pick their child up and the student will be dismissed from the program. The program attendance is large and to be fair to all Participants, general rules must be followed.

What is expected of families?

Because the staffed is volunteer, it is essential that children be at the class promptly but not before 6:30 pm. They must be picked up by 8:00 pm. No supervision is provided beyond the program time. For the safety of the children, the staff must be notified in advance if a child will be walking home or someone other than those listed on the registration will be picking them up. Parents are welcome to be in class and participate but are expected to assist the child in following the directions given by the instructors. Everyone has different methods and techniques used in tying but the curriculum has been carefully developed to allow for a continuity of techniques. Be sure and take a moment to thank the volunteer instructors. They generously give up their evenings to prepare for and work with this program.

Download a copy of the “Buggers Expectations” in a PDF file here.

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