Association of Certified International Casting Instructors- a new site for fly casting instructors

brand new on the scene, the ACICA proposes an interesting formula: the possibility for all certified instructors of any group in the world to have a forum of their own.
take note, it is reserved exclusively for certified instructors and not the general public.

how will this differ from Sexyloops ? specially considering that a lot people are on both forums ?
i don’t know, time will tell and i’m anxious to see how it goes.

click on either image to access the site. see you there !

‘must have stayed up too late.

one of saturday’s fish had a particular feature :

i’m doing part-time work at a local fishery (cool work, i watch out for poachers and ask guests to show their day tickets while fishing at the same time) and a number of fish recently have shown signs of what may be a parasitic infection in the eyes. this one, although otherwise healthy with plenty of strength came to the net with a surprise.

the local biologist has been advised, we’ll see what happens next. i hope this somehow gets fixed soon, although it’s a pretty color it’s sad to see them this way.

Big Flatty

hard to add comment here. suffice to say that it’s not every day i look at a fish and get a chuckle !

girls and boys, here’s a newly discovered species, a Tonguefish from the Kermadec Ridge, an offshore territory belonging to New Zealand.

i would have called it something else, specially today being fish-head day and all… !

click the pic for more  lingual info.

meet Mr. 20+

” Mr. 20+, these are my readers, say hi  ! “

20+ kilos is 44+ lbs.
his mate in the foreground is at least 15 kilos and the both of them are just below my window just about every morning waiting for the baguette-breakfast i give them.
now, this is both fantastic and horrible at the same time. a while back i managed to catch, land and of course release ! a 22 lbs carp and although it’s no record, it’s quite an exceptional fish.
ever since, i’ve been wanting to beat that personal best quite badly. it’s not like i’m after records but i’m in serious need of a good tug right now…  ;D
anyway, i have been out a dozen or so times to try to temp it with artificial ‘bread flies’ but they don’t get that big by being dumb so, so far it’s a no-go. no problems there, that’s all part of the fun but there’s other issues. if i manage to hook and fight the beast, the only possibility to release it properly is to net it first and lift it to the bank (this is in town and the banks are a little wall). this net needs to be ridiculously strong, something the commercial nets i’ve been checking out don’t seem to be. sounds like it’s time to start planning a custom home-made job that’ll live up to this quest.
off to the hardware store !

How to be a happier fly casting instructor.

(And make your students Happier !)




by César de la Hoz – FFF-MCCI Madrid, Spain
translation and text editing: Marc Fauvet
from the Federation of Fly Fishers – The Loop spring 2012

After the first approach on the happiness of the fly fisher, we need to talk about another important character in this equation, the fly casting instructor. Why? Because the fly fisher speaks with himself, he only has to care about his own happiness. The instructor also talks with others so he is responsible for the happiness of his pupils for a time of their lives. To achieve this goal is a huge responsibility.
How many of you remember a very good teacher? All of you, for sure. How many of you remember a bad one? All of you, for sure. And what kind of emotions bring back these memories? Of course, you are the one to answer these questions, but I can imagine… Happiness or sadness. I choose the first one, so I chose the teacher of the first question, the one who woke up good vibrations. This is the key as a Casting Instructor: If you want to be one of the best CI or MCI, you need to transmit happiness with a fly rod in hand.


One of the most interesting discussions there is in the fly casting world. One in which you have to choose, Are you an engineer? Are you a poet? You can find this kind of conversation today on a river bank, a fly casting course or during a demo in a fly fishing fair. You can find a lot about fly casting physics in forums, boards, threads… And yes, people like to be a fly casting instructor “engineer”. This probably makes you cool and attractive in the casting field but not to woman because woman want happiness. Just joking: All Human beings want happiness.
And on the other hand we have the poets, these days underestimated. Oh man!, if you´re a “poet” casting instructor its because you´re no good in physics and hide yourself under the wings of assonance, rhymes, sonnets and stuff like that. In fact, Mel Krieger talked about poet and engineers at a moment when almost no one knew about fly casting physics (well may be Alejandro Viñuales did…) but today things are different, so now we need to redefine these terms.
My purpose is to create a new word, one word derived from two: poet and engineer. Maybe a casting instructor is a POETEER, half poet and half engineer. Lets try.


Do you remember Super Grover in Sesame Street? Hey I´m from mid 70´s! A Poeteer is like Super Groover. Neither an engineer, neither a poet but what does he do? He tries to make people happier. That´s it. So, a Poeteer has to create happy fly fishers, helping them to improve their skills and helping them to cast better. That´s all. Why? Because to be a happier fly fisherman is to be a successful fly fisherman. And here is where a Poeteer appears, like Super Grover, solving problems. The problem is not to be a poet or to be an engineer, the problem to solve is to teach properly.

One example: when you read a self-help book, most of the time this book tells you what you have to do, instead how to do it. Well, I´m going to try to give you some tips on how to make people happier while instructing.

There are three ways to get something: aggressive, assertive and passive. And there is one option in which we can manage this in the correct way: communication. We are beings who speak. Casting instructors are most of the time, beings who speak. We transmit knowledge by telling, not only demonstrating. And this communication has two forms: communicating technical issues (engineer) and communicating and understanding emotional issues (poet). Et voilà: POETEERS.
Remember: We learn much more by dealing with feeling and emotional issues than by memorizing technical data. If you feel the cast you will improve the cast. You can read all about physics on Google but never improve your casting. So MCI´s you need to understand and transmit what a pupil needs before technical issues. Even, when you need to talk about fly casting physics, you need to create a good rapport, a good connexion between the pupil and you. You need to be assertive, instead of passive or aggressive.

An aggressive communicator only thinks of his own interest, talking from his own knowledge and giving no attention to interest of the other. An instructor like this normally talks in this manner:
Pupil: I have to cast from 11 to 2?
Instructor:You have to do it this way: Accelerate to a stop, you need angular acceleration until RSP. Clocks and watches are only to give you the time and nothing more.

A Passive communicator pays almost no attention to his own knowledge, has a lot of doubts and has no trust in himself. Something like this:
Pupil: I have to cast from 11 to 2?
Oh yes…. 11 to 2, normally we need to do these movements to put the fly in the ring. Yes 11 to 2.

An assertive communicator pays attention to his own interest but also in the interest of the other. Trying to put both together and looking for empathy, also he asks some questions to get the job done.
Pupil:I have to cast from 11 to 2?
Yes you can. But do you think that there are other ways to do it?
Yes, of course.
And in how many ways can you do it?
May be between 10 to 3 or 10 to 2.
Perfect ! As you said you have different options to cast a fly and now you understand that you have to adapt your casting stroke to the different situations you have on the river.

Just by asking someone: In how many ways can you do something? you´re opening up their mind. This is crucial. This is the beginning of the learning process because you’re turning it into something mutual, not unidirectional. It´s a big difference. This kind of communication builds trust and generates positive emotions. In this way the pupil trusts the instructor, not only about the instructor’s knowledge but because it links the pupil to the process of learning. Someone involved is someone who pays more and better attention.

Aggressive communicators are very common in schools, companies, clubs… in life. There are a lot of teachers telling others what they have to do and how they have to do it. This makes people that learn from fear, not from responsibility and it normally kills creativity, something essential in fly casting. It also kills the “flow”. Being aggressive is a kind of style that has benefits on a short-term basis because it gives one a sense of control over a situation. But in long-term it generates rejection because the pupil dislikes this impersonal selfish style. The same thing happens with the passive instructor,  it generates unease towards the pupils through lack of empathy and distrust. So, try to be assertive, but you have to work at it, it´s not easy. Some readers now are telling themselves : Hey I´m very assertive ! And I ask them: Do you really think so? Let´s try some questions to find out:

How many times do you ask a question before you explain what to do? How many times do you ask, “Hey how do you feel today?” Instead of: “Come on, hurry up, we´re waiting for you, it´s time to go…” To make changes in the way you express yourself you need to make some little changes in the way you think. If you´re on the bank of the river before you start fishing and the guide asks you: “This river is amazing, How do you feel?” Your thoughts will be happy. You will take a look around and feel comfortable in this amazing place because the happiness runs into your organism in form of beta endorphins. They produce a state of general wellbeing and are released in pleasurable situations like laughter, sex and physical exercise and that’s what fly fishing all about: casting a fly is a form of exercise. So if exercise releases beta endorphins, don´t create through communication a bad and stressed situation telling something like: “What an ugly day, it´s raining again.” Do the opposite, stimulate this wellbeing.


It´s important to know that there’s a big difference between having good communication strategies and being courteous. Courtesy is the demonstration or act that manifests the attention, respect and affection that someone else has. Empathy is the mental and emotional identification of a subject with the mood of another. As an instructor to emphasize is to go far beyond courteous.
Do you like photography? There are three basic terms in photography that will maybe help you understand this: Depth of field and sharpness and reframe. It is essential to add depth of field to our communication, as well as it´s necessary in a photograph to see a larger area. Also you need sharpness in your language, not only in the way you talk about casting mechanics, but also about what the student needs to know. And of course you need to reframe because when we talk, we transmit a unique perspective. Try to see the perspective of your pupil. This will make yourself closer, easier to understand and sympathetic.

To be a poeteer, try to enhance these four basic thoughts when teaching:

1. Casual thinking: Is the ability to determine where the problem is and formulate it. Those who do not have these thoughts tend to attribute their problems to others: “This pupil is very difficult” “This group is very unbalanced, it’s impossible to teach them”, “They don´t pay attention, they don’t´want to learn”.

2. Alternative thinking: Is the ability to generate as many solutions as possible once the problem is formulated. The people who lack these thoughts and don´t know where to find them often seek a unique solution like: “Do this in that way” “Don´t try to cast like that” “This is the only solution”.

3. Perspective thinking: Is the ability to put oneself in another, it stems from selflessness. Aggressive instructors have great difficulties in putting themselves into others. It’s the hardest to achieve.

4. Consequential thinking: Is the ability to foresee the consequences of acts and speech.

Remember that not to be a good one but only to be one, you don´t need to be an engineer or a poet to be an instructor. Knowing a lot about casting dynamics doesn´t make you an excellent teacher and neither does certification. To be a good instructor is to practice good educational skills and to work on these abilities and thinking. I have told you four, but you can find a lot more inside of yourself if you ask yourself the correct questions: What can I do to make my students feel better? In how many ways  can I do it? Is my communication as good as I need to teach properly? How can I control my frustration when a pupil don´t understand what I´m talking about? What are the best ways to explain physics?… These are only a few.

Nowadays, as an instructor you need to know the basics of fly casting of course, but if you don´t know how to transmit those basics properly, technical teaching will be very difficult to achieve.
So first of all, you need to know exactly where the problem is and develop a strategy.
Then you need to add different solutions to fix it, not only one. If you give only one solution, the pupil can either do it or not. You only have a 50% chance of success. This is hazardous at best.
Of course you’ll need perspective thinking, this is essential. If your student does not understand you it’s because you didn´t explain yourself properly, not because he or she does not know how to understand what you are saying.
So, ask questions, and not so many: “You have to…” “You should do…”. A good poeteer, a good instructor, is an open minded communicator. This makes consequences easier to assume and make yourself happy as an instructor and your students happier because they not only learn about fly casting, they see that they have the ability to improve, are confident and of course they will see better loops when they’re casting. And this is priceless.

Sometimes I get very tired of seeing teachers who only put attention in technical stuff, leaving in the background the personal needs of those who want to learn. This classical way of teaching must be broken by putting more attention towards the happiness of the pupil, on his emotions, on his objectives. Remember: All challenges overcome with satisfaction will leave a satisfying emotional footprint which eases the challenges ahead. This makes us happy. However, when we keep in our mind the memory of a failure when facing a new challenge, the feeling is so negative that future problems seem to be second to none. This makes us unhappy.

If you leave a satisfying emotional footprint on your pupils, make sure that they will be motivated to continue on the way, looking for more. If not, they might give up. So, what are you waiting for? Make your pupils happier:
1. Not only be correct, emphatic and,
2. go beyond your typical way of teaching and put your attention foremost on the person, not just in physics, casting errors or tailing loops.

As an MCI I owe much to those who are investigating casting physics and deliver this knowledge for free on forums. I want to say thanks to all of them. I´m trying to participate in that effort by providing knowledge on how to improve teaching. Cooperation makes us happy, no doubt. So, remember:

To be a happier fly casting instructor, is to be a successful fly casting instructor.


Dave’s cdc shuttlecock emerger

by David Wiltshire

a fantabulous pattern for streams, rivers and lakes, this one’s got all the right mojo:
slim, trim, dead sexy and easy to tie . what’s not to like ?
check out the step by step for a super-nice tip on securing the cdc feathers and be sure to tie these up in different sizes and colors/tones !

” I can remember tying this CDC emerger as a ‘trial’ fly. I had used CDC loops to great effect (and still do!) and the simple CDC Shuttlecock. However, I had been keen to develop a more slim-line fly where there was very little CDC actually tied to the hook. The problem came in the durability of the fly as CDC can just slip out from the usual thread wraps if you’re not careful.

However, the solution was simple (read on!) and now this is a major part of my CDC fly box. I love the way the body pierces the surface the CDC really suggests an emerging wing. The butts that remain, I am sure, suggest the wing buds bursting during eclosion. “

WoW, the “ buds bursting during eclosion ” bit got me all excited ! :mrgreen:
click HERE for the full step by step on Dave’s site, enjoy !

the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club

documentary film by Monica Quesada Cordero

” The GGACC was organized in June 1933 as an offshoot of the San Francisco Fly Casting Club. The San Francisco Fly Casting Club, the second oldest casting club in the U.S., was founded in 1894, when the first tournament was held as Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. The world’s single-handed fly casting record of 133 ft. was established by club president Walter Mansfield in 1899, and held for 35 years to 1934. He also cast a 5 oz. fly rod 129 1/2 feet at a 1902 tournament. “

i’m not quite sure what the 5 oz. part above is about but those are some serious distances. i won’t hide for a second how much i’d like to visit this mythical place. forever dynamic with activities for casters of all levels and filled with nostalgia, this is the place to go if you’re in the San Francisco area.

for more info visit the GGACC site. enjoy !

one for the FFF fly casting definitions committee…

from Oxford Dictionaries ‘The world’s most trusted dictionaries’



Definition of fly-casting


anantron midge

for all of us that are in the warmer climes right now, it’s pretty certain there’s some major midge hatches going on. (i live right next to a canal now and the other night the ducks and fish where slurping an enormous hatch so loudly that i thought it was raining and triple-looked upwards, arms outstretched awaiting the much needed drops !)
the silhouette of this Antron Midge, an offshoot of the myriad collection of Lafontaine’s gems is just the ticket for these hatches. with the sunken abdomen and wings and legs sticking out all over, it’s all fish attracting strong silhouette and strong trigger points.

as my own offshoot to this great pattern, several years ago i started tying it with a few variances.
– using a light wire grub/scud hook because i firmly believe they hold fish better and to further pronounce the curved submerged body of chironomids while they’re doing their emerging thing and,
– not including the wing which makes the pattern more of a ‘generic bug’ if the fish aren’t specifically clued-in on midges.
– replacing the Antron with a material that floats better: polypropylene, Aerowing or any other hollow-fibered synthetic or cdc or thin translucent foam sheets often used to protect electronic equipment.
– not really a variance but to turn this fly into a very good winged ant pattern without changing anything else,  all it would take is to shorten the body by stopping the thread winding at the start of the bend instead of going down towards the curve, not place the rib and build up a bulge to give it that sexy plumpish ant abdomen profile. bingo !

now to be honest, even if the fly above is excellent, the video below isn’t the most interesting. we can hardly see what’s going on and it’s rather clumsy and hum-drum to say the least. the photo above should suffice to get this pattern right but i chose to include the clip just to show you how easy this fly is to tie.

Build Your Own (Invisible) Bamboo Fly Rod

here’s another one of those nonsensical internet gems ! this one’s title makes it special…

” Build Your Own Bamboo Fly Rod (or the effects of Special K)

Medium flex rods flex from the heart of the rod to the hint. It hundreds faster and is sufficient to solid in the wind. A medium flex rod is quite adaptable. You can make delicate presentation and/or produce the power necessary to cast into a stiff breeze. Medium flex rods are a excellent decision for beginning fisherman.

Quick action(flex) rods, are potent and load really swiftly. The flex arrives in the higher 1/3 of the rod with the decrease 2/3’s getting very stout. This blend enable for straightforward casting into the wind. Furthermore, rapidly steps rods are the rods of choice for angling sinking lines.

Rod bodyweight. Rods are classed by “weight” not their bodily bodyweight but the fat of the lines they solid. Fly lines are calculated in terms of grains. Rarely any person understands how things are calculated in grains so manufactures devised a system to use to their fly lines starting with the lightest lines to the heaviest.

Matching the fly line to the fly rod.

Manufactures quantity the line in accordance to the grain excess weight that is 1 by way of 14. A #one line starts the lightest line fat and onward and upward to the heaviest #14 line bodyweight. The heavier the line bodyweight the much more potent the rod has to be to deliver it. That indicates, the bigger the fly becoming fished the heavier the line required to forged it. Additionally, the stronger the wind the much more potent the rod has to be along with a heavier weight line. To repeat, the rod is matched to the line according to the line fat. For example, a #5 excess weight rod would take a #five bodyweight line.

Then there is the issue of rod balance. When you select up a properly equilibrium rod, you can really feel it. How? Properly, since it really is well balanced. For me this has to do with the “feel” of the rod in mix with the reel (loaded with the line). Rod harmony has absolutely nothing to do with the flex of the rod but a lot more with the excess weight distribution along the rod’s duration. If the rod is bottom weighty because of the reel, you will not be ready to feel the load of the line as nicely, and conversely if the rod is prime heavy due to the fact the reel is as well light it is heading to influence the timing of the solid. The purpose of excellent rod harmony then is to really feel the functionality of the rod from butt to hint.

A term about fly lines.

Fly lines are designed to deliver the fly to its meant target in a particular way. For instance: If I had been heading to fish dry flies, I would use a 4wgt or 5wgt ambigu taper floating line. Why? Because a tapered line will transfer the vitality of the cast via the line in these kinds of a way as to lead to the line to unroll to the finish, and provide the fly softly–on the water (supplied of training course the chief and tippet mixture is correct).

When selecting a fly line you should decide what fashion of fly-angling you are going to do. “

another dose of K for those in need.

Flight’s Fancy

and fancy it is, what a gorgeous set of wings !

some interesting fly-world trivia, David Stenström and Niklas Dahlin, both accomplished and world-wide respected tiers specialized in the Catskills style both live in Uppsala, Sweden. further proof that the boundaries of style and tradition aren’t what they used to be.

this gem and many others can be found by visiting both of these gentlemen’s sites. enjoy !