I had the pleasure to sit in on the Explore One Fly class last night. That class, much like the Open Fly Tying Nights and the Discover Fly Tying classes offered at the Covey, are actually apprenticeships to learn a craft, an art. People with a range of abilities, but with a common interest (or two), are alongside the mentor. In this day and age of youtube videos and DVDs, the classes really are old school learning. That's not to diminish the videos that are available; many are very high quality and can guide a person through the steps to get the fly tied.
But there is something incomparable about having a person with a bit more expertise, a bit more time spent at the craft, take you through the process from start to finish.
More importantly, the value of having the expert lean across the table and give you the guidance to make the next move, to shorten the thread, to trim the feather, to start your wrap a little nearer the eye, is simply not possible via video or from a book.
I'm sure we have all watched our share of videos or read sections of a book on fly tying, or casting, or czech nymphing. The opportunities, though, to sit next to the mentor, or stand next to him or her in the river as you learn that parachute cast, cannot be beat.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside