Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Danke Shoen

I am back from the EWF show at Furstenfeldbruch Nr Munich, tired but very happy. Where to start? It was full on casting, talking, casting, talking and, maybe, drinking too much. In other words very good practice for the Sexyloops gathering in Scotland in a couple of weeks time. The setting is just beautiful, an old Bavarian monastery. The people welcoming, and the hotel………interesting!

Mark Surtees and I travelled out on Thursday and we met Aitor Coteron and Cesare Del La Hoz at Munich airport and traveled together to the hotel (which wasn’t open when we arrived). Aitor and I have sparred on the ‘loops board and you may have read some of his comments to some of my posts on here so I was especially pleased to finally meet him in the flesh, and he didn’t disappoint.

After we had checked into the hotel we went straight to the show and William van der Vorst, who organised the FFF side of the show, outlined the who, when and where for the rest of the day. William, you did a great job, well done. However, Mark and I were thrown straight into testing, which was a bit of a surprise to both of us. Mark stood as support for an MCI test and I seconded on a CCI test. Luckily Cesare has more experience (well I assumed he had) at testing and he led. Thibaut Giband was the slightly nervous candidate. So we had a Spaniard and an Englishman testing a Frenchman. With the exception of a couple of minor glitches Tibaut did a very good test and once Cesare and I had congratulated him on passing he then went and did the task that had caused him a little problem and did it perfectly, which just goes to show what nerves can do to you. I am sure Tibaut will be a great asset to the FFF.

Mark, in the meanwhile, had to fail his MCI candidate and with the exception of one other CCI pass, that, unfortunately, set the standard for the weekend.

Thursday evening was back at the hotel drinking, planning the next day, drinking, waiting for some food, drinking, still waiting for the food, so may as well have another drink, and, eating when the food finally turned up at about 10pm. Then we could settle down and start drinking properly!

On Friday Mark and I were down to do a CCI prep workshop but Mark was called away for more testing so I was on my own. Three turned up and they were already CCI and working for their MCI so with their agreement I upped the workshop to MCI prep. A bit off the hoof but it worked well and I hope they all enjoyed it, I did.

Lasse Karlsson, CBOG, lead Mark and I on an MCI test which we unfortunately had to stop half way through the test. Not a nice thing to have to do, but the candidate agreed with us and he readily accepted our offer to turn the rest of the time into a workshop. I am certain he will pass next time.

Friday evening we all had our meal in a Greek restaurant across the road from out hotel and then went to another hotel in town where Mark gave an excellent, and humorous, power point presentation on flycasting definitions, nymphing antlers and all. What Philip Greenlee, president of the FFF, made of it we don’t know. We will have to wait for his report of the event in the FFF magazine!

The EWF show opened to the public on Saturday and our time was used to give casting lessons and attending workshops. Some of us didn’t attend as many workshops as we would have liked because one or two of the failed MCI candidates asked us to help them run through the tasks and prep them for the next time and we were more than happy to oblige. It did mean I missed Malik Mazzouris (sorry if I have misspelt that Malik) workshop on TLT casting. I was fortunate to have a little one to one session with him which just whetted my appetite. Sorry about the mangled leader Malik.

On Sunday Philip Greenlee and I were taking our turn at the FFF stand together and as our session ended he asked me if I could teach him how to cast a overpowered curve cast. I asked him if he just wanted an explanation? No, he says, I want you to teach it to me. Is this some sort of test thinks I. No. He genuinely wants to learn it. I grab a rod and we head off to the casting area where we had an enjoyable (if, for me, a slightly surreal) time. We nailed the cast and were talking about aspects of the Masters test when I heard myself ask him if he could do the 85’ distance cast, sure, he said, gimme the rod. Ok, the loops weren’t perfect but he did it. Fair play to the man. I don’t know how old he is, let’s just say he’s getting on a bit, but he is as enthusiastic as ever. Mark came over and joined in and we showed him the Lee Cummings method for tuning up the loops and I learned a couple of things as well. A good little session all round.

There was so much going on that this post could be two or three times bigger and I still couldn’t get it all in but, for me personally, the main pleasure was meeting fellow FFF instructors I had heard about but never met such as Aitor , Chris Rownes and Tim Rajeff. I learned a lot from Tim’s workshop, both casting and instructing. Chris is just an all round nice guy, great instructor and (apparently, because I missed it) does a great demo. Aitor turns out to be a pussy cat, provided you put a beer in his hand.

Of those I already know, it was great to get reaquanted. William did a fantastic job organising the whole thing. Paul showed me a method for stopping wristing , which may involve me having to buying more baseball caps and, accidentally, gave me a great tip on distance casting. Lasse gave me a better insight to testing, casting shooting heads left handed, and not ticking on distance casts.

I apologise to (I can’t remember his name) for not being able to find the time to help you with your masters prep.

I apologise to any I may have offended whilst under the influence of German beer.

I apologise to those I have not mentioned.

But I thank you all for just being there and making it a fantastic experience.


April 25, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. “pussycat”…. 😆
    really nice report, Mike. thanks.

    Comment by Marc Fauvet | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thanks Mike and that was a great review of the events! We have our SE Conclave this weekend which we are looking forward to for sure! Sounds like it was a great weekend! It is a good thing when you get that many great folks together to discuss casting theory and application.

    Comment by Mac Brown | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  3. Hi Mac. Not much casting theory but plenty of application…and drinking..of course. I think you would have a hard time being a teetotal vegetarian in Germany btw.

    Marc. He is, no matter how hard he might protest.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  4. I’m not sure he’s read this yet but Aitor’s going to nail you bad for calling him a pussycat…really bad…’gonna be blood man…

    Comment by stoatstail50 | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  5. According to the blog stats it’s been read six times in Spain. Perhaps he couldn’t believe what he read the first time Mark

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  6. Just building up a rage probably

    Comment by stoatstail50 | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  7. Aitor is a pussycat 😛

    Mike, looking forward to the next lefthanded shootout, next time you choose the tackle and not Tim 😉

    Thanks for a good rundown, whish I had had the time to see as much (not drink as much…..)


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | April 25, 2012 | Reply

  8. I will only talk about casting… and not in public 🙂

    Comment by Aitor | April 26, 2012 | Reply

  9. By the way, did the new technique actually work? I saw ticking all over the place 🙂

    Comment by Aitor | April 26, 2012 | Reply

  10. Lasse claims that you just need to add speed. If you add speed shouldn’t you cast further as a by product of that extra speed?
    When we were casting over the casting ponds Lasse didn’t tick, I did, but he didn’t seem to be casting further so I think something else is involved as well.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 26, 2012 | Reply

    • who won the lefthanded shootout?

      Comment by Lasse Karlsson | April 26, 2012 | Reply

      • And what else did I say 😉

        Comment by Lasse Karlsson | April 26, 2012

  11. So the new insight was just about speed? Then it wasn’t new, was it? 🙂

    I think that we have gravity on one hand,  line speed (tension) and line height on the other. We can avoid gravity, so…

    Comment by Aitor | April 26, 2012 | Reply

  12. I didn’t say it was new Aitor, just something I hadn’t concidered. I cast distance on grass where ticking doesn’t matter that much normally.

    I see you are still answering questions with another question Lasse. Line speed, trajectory, timing.

    I don’t know who won the shootout, I just know it wasn’t me!

    Comment by Mike Heritage | April 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Well I have to ask questions untill someone answers them 😉
      I won, and I did also say that speed isn’t the end all be all, I might be fast enough to avoid ticking a long line, but not enough in control to handle the delivery…. Hence the 110 feet curvecasts 😛

      Comment by Lasse Karlsson | April 26, 2012 | Reply

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