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The Midwest Fly Fishing school is a group of seasoned instructors who bring you hundreds of years of combined experience in teaching fly fishing. These instructors have been brought together by the folks at Mad River Outfitters, one of the largest and most recognized names in the Fly Fishing Inudustry.


After years of helping frustrated beginners and misled intermediate anglers, head instructors Brian Flechsig, Josh McQueen, Jerry Darkes and Jeff Liskay have put together a series of schools, classes and seminars designed to take the mystery out of learning to fly fish.

Our Instructors-



Brian Flechsig

Brian is the founder and President of Mad River Outfitters and co-founder of the Midwest Fly Fishing Schools. He has been teaching and guiding in this business since 1989 and considers himself an educator 1st and foremost. He has developed a series of classes and clinics designed to take the mystery out of learning how to fly fish. His simple and straight-forward methods have helped thousands of anglers over the years find their way to better angling. He has been featured in numberous instructional DVDs, authored several books and can be found teaching on the internet via his Blog, YouTube and Podcast projects.


Brian oversees the operations of MWFF from the home base in Columbus, Ohio but can be found teaching our 2-day and 1-Day Fly Fishing Schools as well as many of the in store classes that we offer.

Josh McQueen

Josh Grew up in cetnral Ohio chasing smallmouth bass on the Kokosing River. He also went on his first trip to Lake Erie at age 11 and has been hooked on the fishery ever since. He has been fishing with a fly rod since age 14 and after catching a bowfin at East Harbor on a wooly bugger, his love and passion for fish on the fly has never stopped growing.


Josh is an excellent fly fishing guide and instructor. He guides anglers in the region for steelhead, smallmouth bass, trout and pike. His knowledge of fish and fly fishing will impress you and he loves to share. We are thrilled to have him on staff and you will enjoy working with him.

Jerry Darkes

Jerry is certainly one of the most well known names in the Midwestern fly fishing arena. With over 40 years of experience, he has been teaching and educating the whole way. He is a published author, sought after speaker, well-know guide, veteran educator and has also been a sales rep in the industry for more than 20 years.


Jerry has also worked closely with Mad River Outfitters for many years and we are thrilled to have him as a lead instructor here at the Midwest Fly Fishing Schools.


Jeff Liskay

Jerry Darkes, and many other respected anglers in the region will tell you that Jeff Liskay is the finest and most talented angler they have ever known. On top of that, he is simply one of the finest instructors that we have ever worked with.


Jeff is an Ambassador for the Patagonia Company, a memeber of the Scott Fly Rod Pro Staff, a Scientific Anglers team member......amongst many others. He is simply a top-notch professional and we are thrilled to have him on our staff here at the Midwest Fly Fishing Schools.


Although he will of course be involved with the 1 and 2 day Fly Fishing Schools, Jeff's forte is 2-handed and Switch Rod fishing and we plan to use his talents to offer up some courses in this hot style of fishing.

Ryan Ratliff

Ryan brings with him over 20 years experience in fly fishing and fly tying. He is an absolute professional in everything he does whether it be his job, his fishing......or being a father and a husband. You will feel this when you work with him.


He is the Fly Tying manager at Mad River Outfitters and has a passion for fly tying like we have never seen. Questions about anytying fly tying? Ryan is your man!


Ryan will be heading up the Fly Tying classes, clinics and "retreats" for the Midwest Fly Fishing schools and we couldn't be more thrilled to have him aboard!

Secondary Instructors-



Although the bulk of the schools will be staffed by the above, we have also put together a team of specialists that you may find teaching some of our "On-River Seminars" and specialty classes. Again, we are extremely proud of the talent that we have grouped together here with the likes of:


Andy Jensen- "Carp School"


Pat Kelly- Smallmouth, Pike, Musky, Fly Tying


Josh McQueen- Steelhead, Smallmouth, Pike


Kevin Lottes- Trout, Smallmouth, In-Store Classes


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