Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Oh What A Perfect Day

Bloody Hell, I’m a Master! How the hell did that happen?

It’s difficult to explain how I feel about it. It’s neither shocked or even surprised. It just feels a bit surreal.

I honestly did not expect to pass this time although I intended to give it my best shot. Because of that lack of expectation I was very relaxed about the whole thing, even an hours delay on my start time didn’t faze me. I had been expecting the butterflies to arrive for days but they just didn’t come, thank goodness.

Finally the call comes and I get to meet my assessors, Dan McCrimmon, Andrew Toft, Thomas Berggren and Fredrik Hedman. A stoney faced bunch of hombres you could ever wish to meet. Handshakes and introductions and we are off to the field, only to be trapped in the car for five minutes as a hail storm passes over. Good start. The weather is cold, wet and windy with the occasional squall just to make things interesting. Luckily I had taken notice of the weather forecasts for several days and had packed a precautionary seven weight outfit, just in case. I had only tried it out the day before, just to see if it was suitable, I had never used it in all the months of practice. It turned out to be an inspired choice.

With one or two exceptions the casting assessment is a bit of a blank. Dan was lead assessor so did most of the questioning but the others chipped in with some probing questions as well. I struggled on a couple of the tasks, mainly because of the weather and the unfamiliar equipment I was using. I know I struggled with the accuracy, especially the offside stuff. I had one or two pointed comments made that I was running out of attempts. There was even a (half-joking) suggestion that I use my left hand and failed miserably, but it was a light-hearted attempt that broke the tension. I switched back to my right hand and completed the task.

After the tasks the assessors went into a huddle and I went off to figure out how I was going to react to being told I had failed. I was summoned and walked forward to meet my fate, which, to my open surprise, was to be told I had passed. Of course there was still the oral examination to negotiate.

Because I knew there was someone else waiting to be tested, the weather conditions had slightly improved and time was getting on, I suggested that I could do my orals later if they wanted to get the other practical test done, which they agreed to.

I was now in a bit of a limbo And I honestly can’t remember what I did to pass the time. There were other ‘loopers in the field so I guess spent the time with them until it was time to go back to the hotel and await my call to be interrogated.

I was getting texts from my wife and sons asking me how I had got on. Of course they didn’t know about the delays and were wondering what was going on. I phoned Heather to tell her I had passed the practical but still had the oral to do. Lasse Karlsson also texted a few time wondering what was happening and I got someone to text him what was happening (I am just so slow at that stuff).

Back at the hotel everyone was just sitting down to their starters when I got the call to take my oral. Again, I don’t remember much about it except standing my ground on one or two points and admitting I didn’t know the answer to one or two of the questions.

So, from a delayed start of about 2.30pm I finally learned my fate at 8.55pm on Friday the thirteenth of May. I had passed. I received the congratulations of my assessors in stunned disbelief. Me, a fucking Master! Dan, Andrew, Thomas and Fredrik were actually smiling, so I guessed it was true.

I was ushered into the dining room where all the ‘loopers were having dinner. I am not sure if it was me or someone else that answered the question ‘well?’  but the reaction to the word Passed is one I will savor for years.

I had someone text Lasse to put him out of his misery and I phoned  Heather with the good news.

 I would like to thank everyone who sent their congratulations via Sexyloops, texts, pm’s and emails. There are also a hell of a lot of people I need to thank for making the whole thing possible, and I mean a hell of a lot of people. However, the standout person who started me on the road in the first place is Paul Arden. So blame him.


May 19, 2011 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. Hi my friend

    Again Congrats on passing, and thanks for putting me out of my misery through Lee 😀


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | May 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi Mike!

    Congrats and well done friend and collegue! It was a pleasure to work with you the day after your exam!

    Now you can start working on your distance again, MCI-tests tend to rob 10-20 ft right off.

    Best Regards

    Comment by Stefan Siikavaara | May 19, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi Mike,

    Congratulations, suppose its touching of forlocks now, must come up to the field again for my annual leg-pull?

    Regards – Alan

    Comment by Alan Sandom | May 20, 2011 | Reply

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