Fly Casting Secrets

or, what maybe used to be secrets but aren’t any more.

in fact, a lot of those secrets are now more than questionable but thats why i find this old gem from Jim Green filmed in 1975 to be just that: a gem to look at and listen to and be analysed by not just casting instructors but casters of all levels as there’s a little something to learn for everyone.
since i brought up ‘questionables’ here’s two and i’ll leave the reader/viewer to find other inconsistencies or whatever if such is your calling. i obviously don’t mean any disrespect.

– the Drift by “opening up the wrist” is called Rotary Drift and its rotating/domed/convex movement automatically opens up the loop by pulling the rod leg down.
its alternative is the Parallel Drift where the rod tip is drifted (gently directed) straight towards the unrolling loop. this movement lengthens the casting stroke, prevents the caster from creeping forward and all the other goodies one can get from drifting without changing the line’s course. easy to see which one’s better. more on the Drift from the Tim and Steve Rajeff bros HERE.

– point two is a bit subjective but its one i can’t stray from when analysing fellow casting instructors and it doesn’t have anything to do with what is being explained but how an instructor conveys the message.
to be honest, i can’t remember most of my teachers but the ones i do remember all had one thing in common; enthusiasm and they made it a contagious enthusiasm that got us interested even in subjects that where typically more than boring to us kids. i’ve seen far worse than Jim’s performance and he’s not bad at all, its just that he reminds me of teachers that drone on monotonously and also feel the need to include “you must” and “you have to” to get their point across instead of finding a way to teach without giving orders. i don’t expect fly casting instructors to put on a show or appear fake but i guess i expect them to at least look like they’re enjoying themselves because when they do, they transmit that enthusiasm and learning then becomes a joy and not a chore. i hope this will be taken as constructive criticism, a little something to keep in mind for anyone who shares our passion of fly fishing to others and not just a random rant.

enough ! here’s some vintage casts. enjoy !

as a side note, almost the exact rod and reel Jim’s using hangs on my wall doing what it does best: sitting pretty and doing nothing because to be honest, apart from being a physical, concrete memory of a wonderful moment in my life as a fly fisher, its not really good at anything else.
nevertheless, its my first ever fly rod, a 7′ 6″ 5wt and one that i won in a fishing contest from the Fenwick company itself when i was thirteen after having caught an eight pound largemouth bass with a popper on a borrowed (Fenwick) rod. every few years or so i take it out for a cast or two and put it back where it belongs but the joy of having won it is still as strong as forty-one years ago.
who knows, since he worked there designing rods and such, it might have been Jim himself who decided to award me with this treasure. whomever it was i thank deeply because even if its not used, this rod and its history has kept me fly fishing ever since.

And with enthusiasm may come ambition.

previously posted here a year or so ago i thought it good to bring this one back up again.
enjoy !

Mike Heritage has been an enormous inspiration to me and many others aspiring to be casting instructors and for those continuing to higher levels.

this comment is a deep reflection on what keeps a lot of us casting instructors going.
it isn’t about making money, it isn’t about fame, it’s about personal development through passion and sharing the little we learn in the hope of inspiring others to develop on their own. it’s a real honor to be your friend Mike, thanks.

” And with enthusiasm may come ambition. We may decide that as we have come so far we may as well see if we come up to the mark and challenge ourselves to become instructors. We choose the test we want to take and we work towards the first step on the instructing ladder. Remember how you sweated and worked to get to a point where you thought you were good enough? Were you so certain you would pass? Wasn’t the test even slightly daunting?

We pass, we have our foot on the bottom rung and as we gaze up the ladder to the next level we hear whispers coming down from above that perhaps the test was too easy or you had a poor assessor and it makes you feel slightly diminished but never mind, you are officially an instructor and you are still enthusiastic.

The next level looks inviting, we now move in circles that mean we rub shoulders with the great and the good and we aspire to be one of them. We are still enthusiastic so we start to work hard and sweat to reach the next level. Problem. The great and the good we rub shoulders with are so far elevated that we think we just cannot match their standard no matter how hard we try, but, we are still entusiastic so we keep trying and one day we think we may, just, be good enough to have a go and wonder of wonders we are found to be good enough to join the Gods. Then the whispers start again, the test was too easy and the assessors were poor and, once again, you feel slightly diminished. Hang on, there isn’t another level we can aspire to so how come you still feel several rungs of the ladder from the top?
How come you have put years and years of effort to get where you are and still don’t feel you are able to rest on your hard worked for laurels?

You may still want to be a better instructor/caster/fisherman and you know that provided you remain enthusiastic that will happen anyway.

But the whispers are taking a toll on your enthusiasm and you begin to wonder if it’s all worth it. The goal posts keep moving and you really can’t be arsed to keep running around the field trying to find them.

Wait though, what about becoming a Supreme Master? They don’t officially exist but we know they are there…somewhere. “ 

we’re all different

one of the most interesting and challenging aspects in teaching is taking into account the different personalities of ever-changing individuals and groups, perceiving their enthusiasm and motivations and then trying to adapt to all this and turn the session into a happy, fun and enriching experience for all parties involved.

some talk a lot, some stay mute.
some bounce around enthusiastically, some don’t.
some concentrate and some dream of far-away places…