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Background Information

Employment History


Founding Director

The Orvis Company

Web References (8 Total References)

Remembering the Man Who Invented the Fly-Fishing School - Orvis News [cached]

Bill Cairns was a pioneer in fly-fishing instruction and a Master Caster.

If you've been an Orvis customer for a while, you're surely familiar with the photo above, of an angler laying out a gorgeous loop over the Battenkill. It has become an iconic image-used in catalogs, retail stores, and on the Web-because it captures the grace, power, and beauty of fly fishing so brilliantly.
The artist holding the rod in the photo is longtime Orvis casting instructor Bill Cairns, who passed away last month at the age of 81 at his home in nearby Arlington, Vermont.
Truel Myers, who currently directs the Orvis Manchester Fly Fishing School, says that Bill was an inspiration to him and to all young instructors at the beginning of their careers.
Bill offers a student some advice, while Truel Myers films the interaction.
I was fortunate enough to work with Bill during my first few years as an instructor, and he was a huge influence on my casting. I would constantly try to cast as far as I could. He would just look on and not say a word, then Bill would make a cast twice as far, with a fraction of the effort. I would try to get tips or tricks from him all the time. He would show me a cast, and I would spend hours, days, even weeks trying to figure out how he could make it look so easy. When I would finally give up and ask Bill, "What am I doing wrong"? He would just say, "Don't use so much wrist."
One great thing about Bill was that he was always honest and straightforward, albeit sometimes brutally so. I once asked him what he thought of a lesson I'd just given, and he replied simply, "It sucked. No sugar-coating. Just the truth.
Bill was one of the best instructors, casters, and mentors I've ever had the privilege of working with. The Fly fishing world has lost one of the greatest contributors to the sport. Thanks for everything Bill.
Bill was most at home on the water, chasing "big-ass brown trout."
I picked up an 8 3 piece Battenkill Rod and with Bill went out to the casting pond. He was an amazing caster and flung a line that was a piece of artwork. Last saw him at the Somerset Fly Show about 3 years ago. Sorry he is gone.
Bill would stop in the store once or twice a week while "running errands" to hang out and talk fishing, or baseball, or just about anything. I swear his wife Norma probably thought he was running all over Vermont finding the perfect groceries!
Thank you for this heartfelt article about Bill and the great photos. Bill is my Father-in-law and much loved and missed by his family. I am happy to know that his legacy lives on in the students that he taught.
What an experience to spend 10 years with Bill at the Orvis School. Teaching a student was always great, but watching Bill handle a rod and listen to his stories was the best.. Our several trips were always enjoyable and a learning experience. Bill was a one of a kind individual with talent , whit and just fun to be around. He is missed. Glad I had the opportunity to drive upto Manchester to take part in his memorial.. We never got together in Rhode Island but Bill is always there when I have a Blue or Stripper on the line

Berkshire Eagle Online - Striped bass fishing is hot on Cape Cod [cached]

On Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Tamarack Lounge at the Bousquet Ski Area, the Berkshire County Fly Fishers will have Bill Cairns as their guest speaker.Cairns' presentation will be titled "Casting Styles."He is the founding director of the Orvis Fly Fishing Schools and is widely known as one of the finest and smoothest fly casters in the world.

« Fly Casting Clinic with Bill ... [cached]

« Fly Casting Clinic with Bill Cairns EclecticGuy> Blog Archive > Fly Casting Clinic with Bill Cairns

Fly Casting Clinic with Bill Cairns EclecticGuy May 14, 2005 family, fly fishing No Comments
Bill Cairns was the founding Director of the Orvis Fly Fishing School and is a phenomenal fly caster - right handed, left handed or both hands at the same time! It was spectacular watching him cast. My Trout Unlimited chapter - Squanatissit - hosted the event that took place on one of our member's farm. A good size group of members came to watch and learn - and I bought my son Nick too.
Bill started by giving demonstrations of different casts and his prowess at casting with either hand. His Steeple Cast was spectacular - I'll be working on that one!
After the demonstration, Bill worked with individuals in the group 1 on 1. He spent a lot of time with Nick and his cast really improved from it.

Fishing line,backing and [cached]

(Bill Cairns is the senior fly-fishing instructor and guide at the Orvis Fly Fishing School, Manchester, Vermont, an institution he helped launch in 1965.)

fishing line tying, fishing line tying information [cached]

In addition to the ... Bill Cairns is the senior fly-fishing instructor and guide at the ...

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