Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Reverse Psychology

I have recently been introduced to two teaching methods that seem to break the rules of fly casting instruction. One I saw as a demonstration and the other is on Youtube and both, in my opinion, are brilliant.

 Generally when teaching fly casting you start with either the roll cast or a pickup and lay down, then move on to falsecasting, shooting line and finally double hauling. If we start in the middle we would start with falsecasting, if we start at the end we would start with the double haul.

 There are a few things that are always difficult to get over to a student like, the backcast has to be as good as the front, how important loop formation is and, the worst of all, not cast just using the wrist. From that point of view it really doesn’t matter where you start, it’s always going to be a struggle to get those concepts over to the student. So, why not chuck them into the deep end and go straight to the most difficult thing for a caster to learn, the double haul.

 It’s a bit like how my wife reads a book, read the last page first then the rest of it makes sense!

 They have to work out timing, stopping the rod, loop formation and using two hands, if they can grasp that then the rest is relatively easy. When you go back to the beginning (roll cast or pick up and lay down) my guess would be that they would only have to be shown a couple of times and they would get it straight away.

 Starting at the conventional beginning every new cast we try to teach has to be explained and concepts described. If we start at the end the student will have had to learn most of this and they will have experienced, and have a greater understanding of, the mechanics of flycasting.

 I am going to try and marry this to Lee Cummings method that he demo’d in Scotland, which means I won’t be starting at the end but in the middle, then I will go to the end, then back to the beginning.

 Right, who’s first?


May 29, 2009 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction | , , , , ,


  1. Could it be a philosophy at work here?

    When we cast we cast into space.

    Now as we Trekkies know in Space there is no beginning or no end it just is.

    It’s life Jim but not as we etc…..

    Comment by Roger Miles | May 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. ‘It’s casting Jim, but not as we know it’, is my tag on ‘loops.

    We go, where no man has gone before.

    Live long, and prosper

    Comment by Mike Heritage | May 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Vulcan ? with those eyebrows i always thought you were a Klingon !


    Comment by marc fauvet | May 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. Mike
    The same can be said to be true when teaching Someone to ski…traditionally the way to start is to teach the student to “snow-plough” and once they are confident then go on to teach a parallel turn which is infinately more difficult…I met a member of the Bristish Skiing team who said it was perfectly possible to teach the latter first.
    As the double haul is pricipally only made up of three actions I dont see why it shouldnt be possible….what I need is some poor unsuspecting student to practice on!!!

    Comment by Mick Bell | June 5, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hi Mick, long time no see, will you be at Reading?

    Yep, I am on the look out for guinea pigs but they are few and far between at the moment.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | June 5, 2009 | Reply

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