Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Suit’s You Sir

Strange how things come back to bite you. One day I have very firm views about instructing the next day something happens to make me review those opinions. I belong to an online group for instructors and we have recently been discussing the different characteristics of pupils and how we can change the way we approach our lessons to tailor the lesson to suit their particular way of learning. All very well if you have a degree in psychology and have the ability to alter your approach. I am generally more pragmatic in the way I instruct.  I am also an increasingly a keep it simple instructor, certainly a lot more laid back than I used to be anyway. There are certain areas I now hesitate to go into with the majority of pupils. Of course some of the more advanced ones need to start to know the why’s and wherefores so that they can start to work things out for themselves.

I am currently refining my technique for absolute beginners, a mixture of Lee Cummings, Mark Surtees and Jim Fearne, plus one or two ideas of my own. Of course all students are different and you need the ability change tack if things are not working out quite the way we hoped but you do need a basic strategy to start each lesson and then take it from there, depending on results. The idea of working out which learning group the pupil is in, even if I could, is just not the way I work. When I do all day 15 minute lessons for the BFCC there isn’t a hope in hell if profiling your pupil before you start the lesson, you dive in and hope you give them something useful in the time allowed. The same with group lessons, although I do try to get those of similar abilities casting together it isn’t always practical.

 So, what has made me revise my opinion? Yesterday I had one of those pupils it was a real pleasure to instruct and it became obvious that he needed to the know the ‘why’s’ as well as the ‘hows’ and I found myself going a lot deeper into the technical stuff than I would normally do, even with a quite advanced caster. I am sure that now he understands the ‘why’s’ he will practice more effectively and when we meet up in a month or two he will be an accomplished caster. He only took ten minutes to learn the double haul as well, which is always satisfying for an instructor.

 This is the first time for years I have not attended the CLA game fair but the results of some of the competitions are gradually filtering my way. Young Joe Avery-Harris, who gave me a torrid time at the recent BFCC event at Sportfish, is UK junior Trout and Salmon distance Champion and came third in the saltwater comp. Super well done Joe. Jonathon Tomlinson is recovering from a heavy night of celebration after winning the Saltwater comp. Well done Tomo, I’m jealous


July 25, 2010 - Posted by | BFCC, Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction, forum debates, Mike Heritage


  1. are you using Mark’s World-Renowned Breadstick method, Mike ? 😀

    Comment by marc fauvet | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. No. sorry Marc. I decided my usual students wern’t ready for that,,,,,,,,,,,yet

    Comment by Mike Heritage | July 28, 2010 | Reply

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