30 Minute Lessons
By Captain Paul Darby, Shalimar, FL
Why did I write this and bring it forth here?
Perhaps it is to prove a point, perhaps the
need to tell the story, but on a deeper level
I suspect the drive came from a simple thought
"Knowledge shared, is knowledge multiplied," and
if given wings it will return to me, more mature
and much improved. It is likely you will find
as you read this the use of short phrases and
single thoughts. Those are the tools used to
bring insight, key points to provoke your own
understandings. Sometimes the biggest concepts
hide behind the smallest words. So too, can the
greatest roots of confusion be spread thru the
common acceptance of terms often used, but seldom
In the world of fly fishing the word 'casting'
has shown itself to be one of the most important
examples of the "why" folks just don't grasp the
simple principals to operating the fly rod. Now
before you start dipping your torches in flammable
liquid and massing at my door step, to burn the
hieratic of casting instruction. I warn you here
and now, my wife has the phone number to the nearest
donut shop on speed dial and I have the utmost
confidence in her to summon the local constabulary
to my assistance.
Now why would a great strapping guy like me want
to pick on something as little as a word. Of all
the four letter words in our language in need of
a public relations make over, why the word Cast?
I learned a long time ago that if you will stop
trying to "cast" a fly rod your personal potential
to understand incredible.
For years I tried to teach folks what Casting
Instructors to this day are still trying to teach,
with what seem to be pretty much the same results.
It was taking much too long for the concepts to
become usable. The information was all there, but
the message was getting lost somewhere in the
translation. Some were between teacher and student
knowledge was not being articulated and understood
on the same level. A disconnect was accruing, and
my frustration is what lead me to search for the
key to unlocking a students potential to understand
and apply the information. As with so many things
the answer is language. No matter how good the
message, regardless how receptive the student, if
the words held different meaning for student from
teacher, the message is not understood.
About twelve years ago I set a goal, thirty minutes
to understanding. It was and still is my contention
that most students can gain a clear understanding
of the fundamentals that they will need to see
themselves, becoming comfortable with a fly rod
in thirty minutes. Even without a mentor people
can and do connect the dots, if provided clear
and usable information. I have found that its
not a matter of can they learn, but rather will
they understand enough to become inspired and
motivated before shear frustration snuffs the
flame of interest.
In the columns to follow I intend to discuss such
words as, casting, control, power, and balance. I
intend to try and explain why they work for or
against your understanding. Stay tuned!
~ Capt. Paul
Have a question? Email me!
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