Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Bean Count

Just to keep you informed I twenty-five beans have popped their heads up so far.

KISS, stirred up a storm. That and the fact I am having to think more about casting because I am helping a friend prepare for the FFF CCI test has really made me consider how I use the information I have learned over the years.

 Anyone I help prepare for the test has stepped outside the usual boundaries of the  student/instructor relationship. I no longer have to consider how little I tell them, or ways of getting a concept over simply. I now have to work out how to get the knowledge I have over to a potential CCI, someone who actually wants to know how things work. I find the whole process quite liberating because I can use the whole vocabulary of the fly casting language. I can expand and expound on the minutia I would normally steer well clear of. Questions are raised and my answers have to be considered (and hopefully correct). It even forces me to re-evaluate the way I look at some aspects of fly casting and fly casting instruction.  I love it. I often wonder which one of us has learned the most in the previous couple of hours.

Lesson of the week; clean your fly line before going fishing. I didn’t and suffered for it. Nothing makes you look a prize idiot more that a line that won’t shoot through the rings cleanly.

 Second lesson of the week; if you know there is going to be a hatch of Mayflies take some bloody Mayfly patterns with you!

 This is post number ninety-nine on this blog. I don’t have a clue what number one hundred will be about but I should make the effort and make it a good one but more than likely I will just sit at the keyboard and tap out the first thing that comes into my head, as usual.

 Oh. Good news of the week; Denise Maxwell has accepted an article I wrote for the FFF online ezine, The Loop. I will be a published author! I also gave her permission to raid the blog if she ever needed a filler. Apparently I use some English idioms that might need some interpreting for an American audience. Lets hope nothing gets lost in translation.


June 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. When I first thought about becoming a FFF CCI I approached Mike to be my mentor.
    As time has gone on it has become clear to me that teaching a beginner or indeed even an intermediate to improve their casting is completely different to teaching someone that has aspirations to becoming a casting instructor.
    Why, you may ask? I can only answer from my perspective.
    The FFF CCI syllabus focuses on key issues that is the foundation used by most if not all of the FFF instructors.
    This in itself then leads to precise terminology.
    It was only when I started to understand the need to learn this terminology that I felt I started to progress.
    I can only say that before I was casting with several layers of sight restricting film on my spectacles and with every session with Mike another layer gets removed and the picture becomes a little clearer.
    Learning all these “Essential” issues has now allowed me to start to understand what other instructors are saying when they talk amongst themselves.
    I suppose the difference is like the average Joe working on his car engine outside his house at the weekend, and properly trained, qualified automobile engineers, working on their engines with the right tools etc..
    Sure both cars will get you there, but the auto engineer’s car will sound sweeter and will be more precise in everything it is doing. In other words the ride is a lot better.
    There is a need to learn and understand these terminologies, as an aspiring instructor, otherwise everytime you do something wrong your mentor will have to stand there and have a whole damn conversation with you about putting it right when, maybe, only two or three “jargon” words would be sufficient.

    It is not about being an elite bunch of instructors, far from that, it is about being albe to communicate with other instructors everywhere in the world, because we then have a common “language”. Only by that communication can an instructor become a better instructor, and therefore the person he or she teaches will benefit from it.

    The only problem that ensues is whether the instructor tries to “pass on” these linguistic items to their pupils.

    If the said pupil cannot understand it then you might as well be speaking “double dutch”. Therefore it is up to the instructor to assess, very quickly, what is needed as in my very short experience of teaching I have to start with a very basic “sign language” before any real dialogue starts to happen. Indeed it may never happen, but there are all differing ways of communicating effectively.

    I am really enjoying the mentoring process with Mike and because of that I do feel I am in it for the long haul, or is it the double haul.

    Comment by Roger Miles | June 11, 2010 | Reply

    • She’s raided the blog big time bro…. now you’re gonna be really famous !!!!

      Comment by Mark | June 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. I am a bit shell shocked Mark! It really is an odd feeling reading that stuff out of the context of this blog. I didn’t realise I swore so much. Denise has surprised me by doing hardly any editing that I can see. Good on her.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | June 15, 2010 | Reply

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