Whether your dream is to catch a wild mountain trout, a wary Bahamas bonefish or a giant tarpon, make sure you’ve got the skills and confidence to make the most of your fly-fishing adventures.


Rusty Chinnis is a Certified Fly Fishers International casting instructor with a patient, proven approach to teaching this beautiful sport. Beginners are welcome!


The FFI Casting Instructor Certification Program was developed in 1992 to enhance the overall level of instruction in fly casting by increasing instructor knowledge, casting proficiency, and teaching ability.


A secondary goal was to create a common understanding of casting terminology and casting mechanics that would serve the fly-casting community, internationally and in North America.


The CICP Program’s main objects are to educate and enhance the growth of fly-casting instructors by:

    • Establishing high and consistent standards for casting instructors.

    • Administering a test that fairly and consistently assesses the candidate’s knowledge of casting, teaching ability, and casting proficiency.

    • Conducting teaching workshops as a required part of certification.

    • Conducting clinics on how to teach fly casting and FFI shows, fairs, and consumer fishing demonstrations.

    • Developing and maintaining an instruction reference for certified instructors.

    • Establishing and maintaining communication networks for certified instructors.

    • Facilitating the exchange of ideas between instructors worldwide.

Photo of Rusty Chinnis casting a fly.
Observer Photo | Eric Garwood

Rusty Chinnis conducts private lessons by appointment that follow CDC guidelines on social distancing. Lessons are designed for the student’s proficiency level.


Lessons are $100 per hour for one or two casters.


To book an appointment for individual instruction or to obtain a schedule of classes, send an email to [email protected] or call 941-650-0318.

Jason Whitney, who took a beach fly-fishing lesson from me, emailed me this photo with the following message: “Hey, Rusty! Thanks again for the lesson. It clearly worked. Saw four coming at me. I got one to peel off and then I kept him from the herd and he finally took it. What a rush! 

Jason Whitney shows off a snook he caught fly-fishing
Jason Whitney shows off a snook he caught fly-fishing

Enjoy these fly-casting videos

Tarpon phenom Andy Mill demonstrates how to fight big fish like tarpon by the proper application of force.

Once you have a fish on

An advanced technique taught by a master

I learned to double haul from Lefty and use his method when I teach. In the video below you’ll learn from perhaps the best casting instructor ever. Thank you, Lefty. Your influence lives on.