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.

strike-fight-land

one of the more interesting activities of the Sexyloops Gatherings is the demos we give to the group. most participants are casting instructors, guides, and fervent fishers of all levels and fishing specialities but more importantly, friends. this last part means we can get and give honest constructive feedback on each others ideas and demonstrations. it’s not just the usual clap, thank you and walk away.
the learning curve goes way high in these situations, specially after a while of consideration and testing and adapting and incorporating or not what has been learned to our own ways.
this year i did two demos, one on striking, fighting and landing fish using the rod’s potential to its maximum while maintaining as close-to-possible perfect tension on the fish and another on casting Tenkara rods.

strike-fight-land demo SL Gathering 2013
photo: Al Pyke

the SF&L demo has been part of all my courses for the last year and the Tenkara was mostly to share this ‘newish’ style of equipment to several people who hadn’t had the chance to either see or try one out. it was an extremely easy demo because outside of exploring a different dimension of fly fishing there’s absolutely nothing to learn casting-wise because it’s just another fly rod. most where blown away however by seeing how easy it is to have extremely nice drifts with these rods in fast waters.
speaking of waters, i’ve been close to Glasgow for the last few days where the waters mostly come from above, it’s not so warm and i only managed three salmon yesterday on river Tay but those salmon happened to be babies that fit in my hand.

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