Chasing fish in fresh and salt and warm and cold waters, Chris O’Byrne has been an avid fly fisherman for over 15 years. To him, there is nothing better than the thrill of hooking a fish on a fly he’s tied! Having been a coach and teacher since 1985, Chris took over as the Director of Andy Thornal Fly Fishing Schools after starting in our in 2016.
"Fly fishing is my favorite way to get out in creation. It is both calming meditation in that one must focus on fishing, rather than the little commotions of the day and simultaneously thrilling in its own way."
In addition to holding coaching certificates from several sports organizations, Chris is a Certified Casting Instructor through the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Since earning that diploma, he has logged nearly 400 hours teaching fly fishing to eager individuals and groups. He teaches and gives presentations on fly fishing through private lessons, at fishing clubs, the Hooked on Youth Fly Fishing Camps and outdoor events including the Florida FWC youth round up and Florida Sportsman Expo.
"Teaching fly fishing is most rewarding when a student returns to tell us with excitement, the stories of their own great fly fishing adventures."
Expressing his enthusiasms, Chris has broadened his efforts to include writing about fly fishing. His work has been posted on the Andy Thornal fly fishing blogs and published in several magazines from The Supermarket News to Florida Sportsman, Fly Fisher, The Loop and Coastal Angler where his regular column shows readers many sides of fly fishing.
After a long period “research fishing” central Florida’s Bass waters, Chris contributed to Captain Craig Crumblis’s book Fly Fishing Central Florida’s Freshwater. As a part of instruction in the Andy Thornal Fly Fishing Schools, Chris authored the schools official notebook, Begin the Adventure. His distinctive introduction to fly fishing book, The Beautiful Addiction; Learning to Fly Fish Near Your Home, with illustrations by Pete Chadwell, will be published soon.
Recognized as a voice for fly fishing education and outdoor conservation, Chris has been profiled in publications such as Better RVing Magazine and the Winter Haven Sun newspaper.
Chris working with the Peace Creek Guide Service.
As Director of Fly Fishing Schools, Chris has formalized the various programs we offer. He has created new lessons and authored "Begin The Fly Fishing Schools Offered: Fly Casting School, Fly Fishing 101, Corporate Outing Schools, Fly Tying (1st and 3rd Tuesday of the Month)