Fly Casting Accuracy with Simon Zarifeh

Simon is a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Master Casting Instructor from Australia and a fine example of the high quality of fly casting instruction from that part of the world.

i’m very much in tune with his approach, in fact i’ve been working on several articles that incorporate most of what we’ll see below but in the meantime… highlighted here are the key points of the presentation you’ll want to focus on.

Precise Focusing – simply put, we can’t place our flies precisely if we’re not visually and mentally focussing on a specific and well defined spot.
Dominant Eye Detection – common to all types of shooting activities, dominant eye detection is basically unheard of in the fly casting world. do this simple test, it just might change your life.
Stance, the Triangle – i’d never considered envisioning the stance as a triangle but it makes perfect sense and am super glad to have learned this here. to add to Simon’s explanation, this stance combined with a little SRB prepare our bodies for supple and relaxed casting.
Head Position – what came to mind when listening to this part was a medical study i read years ago on the main cause of motorcycle crashes. these where wipe-out-in-turns crashes caused by the rider themselves, not collisions with cars etc and they where all related to over-tilting the head. basically, tilt your head and you loose or at least weaken distance and three-dimensional perception. thank goodness we don’t suffer from broken bones, road rashes and death when we fly cast but its still something to think about.
Pick a Target – this comes back to Precision Focusing but the trick here is to learn to focus away from the fish target and create a fly target, often where there really isn’t anything concrete to focus on. that’s the trick !
180° and Narrow Loop – back to The Five Essentials. they’re always there…
Elbow Movement – the elbow needs to go up on the back cast and come down on the front cast. elbow, rod hand, rod tip and loop all in the same plane. this is an integral part of Jason Borger’s ‘Foundation Casting Stroke and was probably the first thing i picked up and worked on when i started taking fly casting seriously. this makes casting, specially short and typical fishing distances easy, precise and repeatable.

this is really-really good stuff i hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from.
there’s a little something in it for everyone.

11 thoughts on “Fly Casting Accuracy with Simon Zarifeh

  1. Hi, I am right hand and left dominant eye, should I learn to cast with left hand? 😊

    • hi again Dario !
      oh, that’s a tough one… ultimately yes, because the dominent eye should dictate which is the dominent hand.
      going against that is almost always counterproductive.

      i used to be an archery coach and dominent-eye detection was the first thing we did with any newcomers to the sport and even those who had been practicing for a while.
      every single person who was like you instantly found a much greater improvement in their scores when they learned to shoot left-handed.
      now, pin-point fly casting accuracy usually isn’t as important as in archery so it just depends how far you want to improve your natural abilities.

      on the other hand, pure accuracy or not, anyone will greatly benefit from being able to cast with either hand, it just makes sense.
      the best thing about it is its a lot easier than what most people think once we get past the mental “i can’t do that” barier. 😉

      • I Marc, I play archery for many years ( both olimpic and compaund).
        I played archery with rich hand bur my left eyes. Dos not allow me to reach interesting results..
        I learnt. to duplicate the target immage and aiming on the right one. I am an expert of archery, believe me. I also tried on the left and I always obtain more precision. However, because I probably a problem on my right hand to find the right grip of the bow, I was not able to load the rod.
        However, In the rare moments in which I was able to separate the image I enjoyed archery.
        For fly casting I think is simpler, after two times with left hand I fish my first bass. 😊

        • ok thanks for all that, sounds like a complicated issue… 😆
          but hey, it seems you made the transition from right-to-left very well !
          here’s a thought: i’m right-hand and right-eye dominant but i had to practice the left hand a lot to prepare for the IFFF-Master exam.
          the non-dominant hand exam tasks are accuracy to 3 rings and the basic roll cast (no hauling on either).
          practicing those regulalry and then adding double-hauling (that can be tough at first… ) really-really helps.
          i also switched (well, at least pretended to) to my left eye to do this.
          maybe that can be of help to you too. let me know, ok ?

          • Hi Marc, thank you for the tips, I will try them
            I think that my pain on harm, elbow and shoulder when fly cast is related to my cross dominance. What I learn from archery is that if you go again your dominant eye soon or later you will have bak problem due to the not perfect alignment. In fly castin is the same but you can appreciate in term of result in the target. 😊

    • Hi Marc,
      In few months I have increase my casting from the left side because I am right hand dominant with left eye dominant.
      However, sometimes I need to cast right hand and I feel that my loop tend to go foward on my left dominant eye. Therefore, which is the best position for a cross dominant eye like me when I cast using my right dominant hand?
      Best Regards

      • hi Dario ! nice to have you back.
        to be perfectly honest, i really can’t find any suggestions that might help you as i’ve never encountered this situation and even if i’ve given the subject quite a lot of thought.
        however ! i’m lucky enough to be in several fly casting discussion groups and i’ll see what my colleagues will come up with.
        this is an interesting challenge for sure !
        hope you’re well,

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