"There may be as many types of casting instructors as there are casting instructors."
I have known a few and one thing seems to stand out. None of them is the same.
Take Mr. L. Ongline as an example. When he is teaching his students to cast, it is
for one main thing, and one main thing only. Distance. But, you may ask, what is
wrong with that? Perhaps that is what the student wants to learn? Well, I say my
friend, motive and his willingness to teach and coach (a big difference there) you
how to be a better caster than he is!
You see, there are a few 'casting instructors' who are more interested in showing
you how great (or, near great) they are, than helping you learn everything they know.
Don't get me wrong here, for sure most are not like him, but a few are and it's a
shame. These guys want to show off, but really would panic if one of the students
ended the class able to so some part of casting better than they could. Wrong attitude.
What do you do if you recognize that in your instructor? I don't have a clue, but
realize that some are like that. Make the best of it I guess. You could have started
out with Mr. G. Otbucks. This guy is only after one thing. Your dollars, and he hopes
the class gets over soon as he has far more important things to do. Often his class
instruction will consist of rather simplistic-repetitive drills, such as 'pick-up-and-lay-down.'
It's the only thing he can think of and he does not have to get too involved. His teaching
skills are very moderate at best. There are a few of these guys out there.
On the other hand you may find Mr. T.E. Acher; a true instructor, (and coach) who is
truly interested in you learning and doing your absolute best. If so, he will become not
only an advisor in and for your casting, but will probably become a good friend as well.
These folks are not as rare as some may believe. They are, in my opinion, probably in
I think most who attempt to teach have been fly fishing for a while. They have learned
from the bottom up and have absorbed enough to have the confidence to be known
as an instructor. They have a bit of dedication to the sport and some respect for it. A
guy would have to try very hard not to have ethics after fly fishing for a few years.
They just seem to come with the territory.
They each may have a slightly different method of teaching, that is not the point. It is
the reason they are taking their time to teach (help) you and others needing
instruction as well.
Lastly comes the great majority of instructors. They do not call themselves that at all.
In fact, they would strongly disagree with the title. These are the core of the instructing
elite. The ones who are doing most of the work with those coming into our recreation.
The great silent and unheralded mass of 'just-good-ol'-boys.' They are the "Hey, I've
got a buddy who fly-fishes, lets call him." The fellow next door, the guy at work, your
brother-in-law, someone you meet on the stream perhaps.
And you know what? We are still learning. I know for a fact I am a long way from the
best and am always eager to find out more from anyone who will spend a bit of time
with me. It really is a great sport, isn't it. ~ JC