The Andy Thornal Company would like to recognize our Director of Fly Fishing Schools, Chris O’Byrne for recently completing more than 300 hours teaching fly fishing. In 2011, O’Byrne passed the International Federation of Fly Fishers Casting Instructor Certification exam and has logged that milestone amount since. The Federation is one of a select few organizations which train and test potential instructors. They assure an expert level of knowledge and ability in demonstrating and teaching the joys of fly fishing.
Andy Thornal welcomed Chris as a part time employee in 2004, since then he has taken on more responsibilities in our fly fishing programs. He updated the methods of our full day school which has introduced more than 1,000 anglers to the long rod.
The Andy Thornal schools have also been carried into the community as Chris has lead fly fishing programs at events such as Lake Wales Orange Blossom Barbeque Revue and the Florida Sportsman Expo, among others.
These activities have allowed Chris to work with and learn from world record anglers and professional guides, authors, speakers and other luminaries of our sport. Captain Pat Damico commented, “I have had the privilege of watching Chris grow from when he first expressed an interest in improving his teaching of fly casting. By combining his years of coaching and teaching experience and applying this to fly casting and fly fishing he has become someone I frequently consult to help me stay current.” The Saint Petersburg, Florida guide and Master Casting Instructor who mentored O’Byrne continues, “We have taught many courses together and his insight has always been outstanding. I would not hesitate to refer any fly fisher, beginner or advanced, to Chris for very meaningful instruction.”
Chris’s ability to pass on the joys and methods of fly fishing is not limited to live events. After contributing several articles to the Andy Thornal Fly Fishing Blog, he authored Begin the Adventure, the official notebook of our full day fly fishing school. Covering all the topics of the school, it provides students an outline of topics, and a reference book for future use. In the last few years, On the Fly, Fly Fisher and Florida Sportsman magazines have published his articles on the techniques and culture of fly fishing. Look for The Beautiful Addiction, Chris’s soon to be published, unique and inspiring introduction to fly fishing book.
We look forward to the future of Andy Thornal fly fishing programs and invite you to check us out on line, at one of our special programs, or in our store… where Great Adventures begin!