Fly Fishing Adventure

Greycliff, Montana

September 8 - 15, 2018
Cost: $3,450


Sweetwater Travel, in conjunction with the Wilderness Medical Society, will help perfect your fly fishing techniques while providing a CME program that will improve your medical skills. You will be able to demonstrate your abilities in order to instruct and explain fly fishing techniques to your friends as well as improve your knowledge and skills in Wilderness Medicine. Fly fishing school instructors will focus on your casting and presentation while WMS faculty will instruct you in wilderness medicine, patient packaging and transport / evacuation as well as other skills necessary to provide an understanding of the practice of medicine in an austere environment.


We will accept all levels of fly fishermen and will teach the skills necessary to become a proficient fisherman and competent medical provider. We will practice and help you perfect all trout techniques. The rivers of Montana have excellent trout fishing. From a fly fishing guide's point of view, trout fishing is the most difficult form of fishing and the Yellowstone River near Greycliff, Montana provides the perfect wilderness backdrop to combine fishing and medicine.

Each day will be spent on the river drift and jet boats. Training will include client interaction and honing your fishing skills. We will also provide 12 CME lecture/skills sessions that will provide the basics for taking care of yourself and others in a wilderness setting.


  • Airport transfers
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Fishing and materials
  • 12 CME Credits

You will need to obtain your own fishing license and you will need to bring your own fishing equipment, waders, etc.



Eric Johnson, MD, FAWM
Past-President, Wilderness Medical Society; Emergency Physician, Teton Valley Hospital, Driggs, Idaho; Medical Director, Teton Co. Fire & EMS; Medical Director, Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine, Deaconess Hospital, Bozeman, MT.; Medical Consultant, Global Rescue, LLC; Frequent volunteer for the Himalayan Rescue Association clinics and Everest ER.


Loren Greenway, PhD, FCCP, FAWM
CEO, Wilderness Medical Society; Assistant Director, Academy of Wilderness Medicine. Professor in the Health Sciences Department of Brigham Young University. Dive/Specialty Instructor with Scuba Schools International and consultant in Dive and Hyperbaric Medicine.



Participants will be staying at the Harrison Homestead (Driving Directions).

The 800 acre Vermillion Ranch is located on the banks of the Yellowstone River and offers a mile of access to wade fishing on the Yellowstone. The ranch has been documented as the place Clark and his men ate their mid day meal in 1806 during the expedition of Lewis and Clark. From the ranch, you can fish the Yellowstone, Boulder, and Stillwater Rivers, the Paradise Valley Spring Creeks, and an endless supply of small mountain streams. These waters are well known for their prolific hatches of caddis, mayflies, stoneflies, and terrestrials. Our trout are some of the wildest, hard-fighting trout found in Montana.

The oldest home in Sweetgrass County, is listed on the National Historic Register and is the headquarters for the Vermillion Ranch. Recently renovated, the Harrison Homestead accommodates anglers in western elegance and is a wonderfully comfortable and relaxing place to spend a few days fishing in Montana. All meals will be cooked by our company’s professional chef and will be served in the Homestead’s cozy dining room.

A large part of being a competent fly fisherman is to learn the basic, proven fishing skills.  We'll teach you the following skills:

Fly-tying: Whether you are a beginner or experienced fly-tyer, you will learn to tie flies from our professional fly fishing school instructors. We will teach you to tie nymphs, dry flies and streamers for catching trout, salmon, steelhead, bass (and anything that swims).

Knot-tying: This is an often over-looked skill. Losing Mr. Big because the knot you tied failed will put you in the doghouse in no time. We'll teach you the knots you need to know and how to tie them quickly and confidently.

Fly-casting: As a guide you are also an instructor. Many of your guests will need assistance with their casting. We'll show you the best methods to get your guest casting like a pro in no time. You'll learn the roll cast, reach cast, false cast and the double haul for gaining more distance.

Fishing skills: In addition to the above skills, you will learn entomology, fly selection, where fish hold and why they hold there, how to fight and land fish and much more.

Guiding skills: Guiding is more than helping people catch fish. Client interaction is very important. Our experienced instructors will show you how to deal with the many different situations that will occur during your guiding. You'll need to be a part time priest, psychologist, guru and marriage counselor. There are many complex aspects of fly fish guiding which can only be learned through experience. We will teach you: how to interact with clients, how to instruct fly fishing, what guests expect of you, and, of course, how to get them into fish. You will learn what knots to tie, how to net fish, guiding strategies, driftboat fishing, spotting fish, jet-boating, motor maintenance, and advanced river reading.

Drift boats: The most common form of fly-fish guiding in the lower 48. Jetboats are the primary form of transportation used on Alaskan rivers. We will teach how to operate both in this program.

By learning how to run a boat on these rivers, you will gain the experience and confidence needed to be both a jet boat, and drift boat operator.  During the fly fishing instructions, we will focus on reading water, driving techniques, rowing, and on-river outboard motor repairs. We will also show you how to deal with common jetboat problems such as water in your gas, draining your carburetors, repairing broken pull cords, bad spark plugs, etc. Being able to both drive a jetboat and to fix most problems on the river is an invaluable experience.

Other Critical Skills

Low impact use:  This component of the course highlights how to guide on public waters with a particular focus on minimizing impact to the public resource.   This includes safely playing, photographing and releasing fish, campfire safety and etiquette, wildlife proofing gear and vehicles as well as the importance of following angling and boating regulations and an understanding of private property and guide/landowner interaction. 

Safety:  Our safety portion of the course will include proper trailering techniques including strapping boats down, following safety checklists, proper stowage of spare oars, use of bear sprays, discussion of wildlife interaction in remote locations, bear safety and basic swift water safety. 

If you're driving, you should arrive at the Harrison Homestead Saturday afternoon/evening (Driving Directions). After unpacking and settling in, we will start training Sunday afternoon. Monday to Friday will be full days of training.

A typical day begins at 8:30 and we are off of the river at 6:30 followed by lectures and skills sessions. Depending on the focus of that particular day, many hours will be spent on the river, to practice our fishing.  Evenings are spent in lectures, skills development and testing. There may be time for tying flies, practicing knots, watching fishing videos and swapping lies.


Saturday, Sep 8 Arrive at the Billings airport before 2:00 pm
Shuttle from the airport to the Harrison Homestead ~ 5:00pm Opening BBQ and social time with some basic overview of the program.
Meet the faculty
Sunday, Sep 9 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - driftboat and jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Solar Injuries and How to Prevent Them on the River - Loren Greenway
7:30-8:30 Travel & Evacuation Medicine - Eric Johnson
Monday, Sep 10 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - driftboat and jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Drowning Overview - Eric Johnson
7:30-8:30 Sprains, Strains, Dislocations Fixtures - Loren Greenway
Tuesday, Sep 11 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - knot tying, driftboat training, jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Lightning Injuries - Eric Johnson
7:30-8:30 Water Purification and Treatment - Loren Greenway
Wednesday, Sep 12 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - knot tying, driftboat training, jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30Bandaging, Hemorrhage Control and Patient Packaging - Loren Greenway
7:30-8:30 Wound Management - Eric Johnson
Thursday, Sep 13 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - overview of instruction manual, driftboat training, jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Overview of Altitude Medicine - Eric Johnson
7:30-8:30 Dive and Hyperbaric Medicine - Loren Greenway
Friday, Sep 14 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - overview of entire class, driftboat training, jetboat training
9:00-5:00 On the river, fishing and training
5:00-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:30 Potpourri of Case Studies - Eric Johnson
7:30-8:30 Extremes in Weather and How They Affect You - Loren Greenway
Saturday, Sep 15 8:00-9:00 Breakfast - final interview and course evaluations
Return to the airport for late afternoon flights ~ 3:00-4:00 pm



The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The WMS designates this educational activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Each physician should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This program will focus on the importance wilderness medical knowledge and skills that are important to understand in a austere river environment.  The knowledge and skills necessary to treat the most common health issues encountered in the fly fishing environment.

This program was developed based on the IOM physician learning areas and in conjunction with practice gaps observed between emergency medical care delivered in urban setting and the lack of that care being delivered in an austere river wilderness environment.  Each lecture or skills session is crafted to impart knowledge and assess skills that are needed in this specific area of the wilderness.

Target Audience:
This program is specifically designed for medical professionals that lead or oversee the first responders associated with fly fishing activities.  However, all medical providers including First Responders, EMT’s PA, Nurses and Physicians in any specialty of medical practice will benefit from this program.  The skills session will be most useful to those medical providers.

Physician Assistants:
The American Academy of Physician Assistants accepts Category 1 CME approval from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Other Professionals:
Check with your governing entity to determine usefulness of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Academy of Wilderness Medicine:
Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM™) is designed for individuals who want to be acknowledged for their professional achievement in Wilderness Medicine and validate their training for their patients and clients.

FACULTY DISCLOSURE:  It is the policy of the Wilderness Medical Society to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor.  All faculty members are required to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of their presentation. Accordingly, the Wilderness Medical Society has determined there are no conflicts to report associated with this conference.
(you need to be a current WMS Member to register for WMS Adventures - more information.)




If you cancel before April 30th, you will receive a 50% refund. Sorry, but no refund will be given if cancelled after this date.


After you've registered, we'll need to get several things from you:

Use THIS LINK to upload required documents, or scan/email to, or fax to 801-990-4601.