Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

A True Master

Now and then you meet a personal hero and are not disappointed. I had talked to Charles Jardine a few times but only in passing. Last year I finally plucked up the nerve to introduce myself properly. I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable that he might think I was stalking him when he kept seeing my eyebrows whenever he did a demo, I’m sure I saw a look of alarm cross his face more than once when he spotted me in the audience! After we has chatted for a while I asked him for a lesson and he agreed. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do it last year, what with one thing and another. However, I bumped into him at the Newark and asked if he had any free time at the Detling show he demo’s at and could he fit me in there, he kindly agreed. He also agree that, friend and fellow BFCC member, Mark Surtees was welcome to join us. Well if you don’t ask you don’t get, do you.
 Mark and I turned up early and eventually found Charles. ‘So, what do you want to work on?’ Mark and I had discussed this and we had decided finesse was what we wanted. ‘Ok,’ say’s CJ,’. but I need to see you casting first’. Now, I consider myself to be quite a reasonable caster, so it came as a bit of a shock that Charles said he had seen enough after only two strokes!! It wasn’t so much that he had seen something that needed correcting, it was how little time he had needed  before he had worked out what needed correcting. As most who have had a lesson with me will tell you I’m quite big on less power, no, less than that. ‘Kin hell!, Charles had me casting with even less than less than that. I spent the next hour using less and less and tweaking thisnthat, as did Mark. I think we both came away slightly bemused at how our fly lines still managed to stay in the air and still managed to turn over. We both came away with a smile on our faces and feeling we had been worked over by a true master of his art. So, that’s a huge thank you from both Mark and I Charles, you’re a gent.

 Mark had brought his young son Nick with him and he and Charles’ dog Midge had a great time while we had our lesson, so much so that Charles decided to use both of them in the out-door demo he did later. Being the true pro he is CJ dismissed the old adage about working with animals and children, and probably regretted it soon after, but it was great fun to watch.


March 29, 2010 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage


  1. As you say Mike “A True Master”, but not only is he that he is one of the nicest guys I have met and a wonderful artist. When you watch him closely you realise he is watching nature all around him all the time. He also has a wicked sense of humour, and can be a pratical joker.
    A British treasure.

    Comment by Roger Miles | March 29, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Mike, I love your article and agree with you wholeheartedly. I was lucky enough to meet up with CJ at the Broadlands angling fair last Autumn and he was charming, full of fun and a pleasure to spend time with. I’ve since met up with him a couple of times and he has completly taken my casting apart and put it back together again in a matter of seconds. It was great because I had developed a nasty little habit of moving my shoulder around when casting and he spotted it in a nanosecond, along with many other little things that he send me away to think about. Practise, practise every day, slower, slower and slower still. But also remember to have the odd lesson, no good practising the wrong things.Gilly

    Comment by Gilly | March 30, 2010 | Reply

  3. Last year was the first year for ages that I didn’t take a formal lesson from anyone, the session with Charles more than made up for it. I will certainly have more when I get the opportunity,

    Comment by Mike Heritage | March 31, 2010 | Reply

  4. Am going to the Welsh Fy Fair tomorrow where mr Jardine is giving a demo, I am looking forward to it even more after reading Mikes article and these comments.

    Comment by steve davies | April 2, 2010 | Reply

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