Each time I am given the opportunity to offer casting
instruction or just some pointers in a 'tune-up'
situation, I am again reminded how differently each
of us casts a fly rod. Think about it, have you ever
seen two guys who cast exactly alike? At least I never
have. Also, it seems that with any given group, such
as a TU or FFF outing, many would really like to be
able to cast better, but really don't know how to learn.
The biggest stumbling block is vanity. That inner
voice who tries to keep us from making a complete
fool of ourselves. It keeps many from practicing
casting. But, I am here to tell you that, without
exception, when we do any teaching, the group is
sure glad they came. Most learned and are all a bit
less self-conscious about casting in public.
Here is what I am proposing. Darn near a challenge.
Get your group together for some casting fun. Plan
for a Saturday, or Sunday event. See if someone will
be responsible for a couple of Bar-B-Q's and pass
the hat for some chow. Serve the food about noon.
Find someone who will take over the duties of running
the class and give some good casting instruction. It
may be the guy from a local fly shop, or just someone
in the bunch who can get the job done.
Make the day fun. Dream up an accuracy contest,(a few
old hula-hoops work great) they are a fine leveler of
abilities. Distance is fun but tends to be won by the
same person most of the time. When I do these things,
I supply the rod for the distance event, a mushy,
semi-worthless eight weight I bought from a drugstore.
It cost $9.95 (not on sale either) Casting from a
sitting position at targets is great too, simulates
casting from a drift boat. (If you have an actual boat
or personal pontoon boat available even better.) All
this is on dry land of course. Work it out. Take charge.
Group fishing outings are fun, but a little variety is
always good. Some casting games will offer more opportunity
for all to get to know each other better and improve
their casting at the same time.
Another good point is the swapping of fly rods. Not to
keep, just to cast. It becomes a 'big-boys-show-and-tell.'
We are all pleased with our stuff and most happy to let
someone else get to play with it. And we get to try
So, go for it. Plan it at the very next meeting. Bring
it up under 'New Business.' "Hey, I want to have a
casting picnic. Castwell says we should. Anyone
willing to give me a hand with this?"
And how about this? Send me an email about how it went,
maybe some photos too. I can find a place on FAOL to
put it up. ~ JC