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The Anglers Academy

Feb 10, 2022 | Mike Lawson Mick_Ranch_Cast.jpg

In 1974 I was working as a fly fishing guide for Jim Danskin in West Yellowstone. That year Danskin hosted the Creative Sports Fly Fishing School at Henry’s Lake Lodge. I was privileged to be a part of a line of some of the great fly fishing instructors of the time including Mel Krieger, Andy Puyans, Ernest Schwiebert and World Casting Champion, Steve Rajeff.


In 1977 Andy moved the school to the Elk Creek Ranch in Idaho. Andy’s favorite water was the Harriman Ranch section of the Henry’s Fork. Andy and Mel felt very strongly that the best water in the world to learn the intricacies of fly fishing was on the Harriman Ranch. Andy held his school at the Elk Creek Ranch for almost 20 years. Henry’s Fork Anglers’ guides Bob Lamm, Curt Barker, Smitty and Tom Grimes and many others worked the Creative Sports Schools.


Later Mel Krieger and I held our own Fly Fishing School at Elk Creek Ranch in addition to the Creative Sports School into the late 1990s. Elk Creek was the perfect spot to hold a school with its close proximity of Henry’s Fork and other surrounding waters. This rustic lodge has spacious lawns which are perfect for fly casting, a private lake for water based instruction, plenty of space for indoor programs, comfortable guest cabins and terrific food. Its location is just 7 miles north of the Harriman Park section of the Henry’s Fork. The close proximity to the lower Henry’s Fork, Yellowstone Park and the Madison River in Montana offer additional fly fishing opportunities.


Last year the Anglers Academy got off to a terrific start. This year promises to be even better and the Angers Academy has expanded from one to three schools. The first will be a women’s course on the Madison River at the Double R Ranch May 1 – 5, 2022. The second course will be held at the Harriman State Park on the Henry’s Fork July 24 – 29, 2022. The legacy school at the Elk Creek Ranch will be August 6 – 11, 2022.


Today many of our customers and guide clients got their start with the Creative Sports and the Mel Krieger schools at the Elk Creek Ranch. If you want to learn more about the Anglers Academy program go to the website We’ve included some Throwback photos of the Elk Creek Ranch Schools.