Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


A question for all you fellow instructors. Let’s assume the usual standard of client; beginner to intermediate. They have never had a lesson and have never given the mechanics of fly casting a second thought. The beginner can’t cast, obviously. The intermediate can cast a fly onto the water, in a fashion. He catches fish, he just knows he should be casting better than he is.

With beginners I do an explain and demonstrate emphasising accelerating the line by using casting arc, stroke length and stopping the hand, which, if done correctly, will lead to loop formation. I really emphasise that the whole point of the excercise is to create a dynamic loop.

I have often been astonished at the lack of understanding about what is going on during the cast when I teach intermediates so I often go through the exact same explain and demonstrate to try to flesh out their understanding of what should be happening. Several times I have had the comment ‘you were right about the loop thing’. It can be a real eye opener for some.

I then pass them the rod and see what happens. Sometimes, like last weekend, I hand them the rod and they can make an acceptable cast immediately. I have even had a few beginners ‘get it’ almost straight away and the next hour or more is just pure joy. Most don’t ‘get it’ immediately though and that’s when the bag of tricks come out, Lee Cummings triangle method, horizontal, etc etc.

I am now quite comfortable doing it this way but I sometimes wonder how others start with new clients.

Care to pass on your method?


July 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

No, I’m Not Dead

Yes, I am still here. I just seem to be running around in ever decreasing circles. In March my diary ended abruptly (like a good stop should) near the end of June and I had plans to go fishing, mow the lawn, tend the garden and generally chill out. It just hasn’t turned out like that. Even last weekend, which was supposed to be blissfully uneventful suddenly got eventful with only a weeks notice. One minute I was pondering what to do with my free time, like, maybe, go fishing, the next I was booked to do three days demonstrating at the East of England show at Peterborough. Some of you may have seen Prince Charles getting his brogues a bit muddy on the telly. He came up on the Friday when the heavens opened and the site was more than a bit damp. It was so bloody wet I would not have been that surprised to see a run of sea-trout through the arena I was demonstrating in. I think those of us that demonstrate fly casting have drawn the short straw. In my arena we had gundog training, which included a springer pup. Sheep dog trials, which not only had dogs but indian runner ducks (instead of sheep) and children. A heavy horse strutting his stuff. Birds of prey being flown with chicks to be ahhed at. Beagles and foxhounds for kids to play with. And, me and my rod! Gimme a break. They drew adoring crowds, I had an audience of, and let’s be generous, half a dozen, five of which didn’t know one end of a rod from the other (I exaggerate, but only slightly). I need something, I don’t know what yet, that will draw a crowd. Something cute and funny, and I don’t mean Roger. I now understand why Charles Jardine has his Midge. If three-quarters of the audience decide they don’t get loop formation and abrupt stops  they can at least watch the dog misbehaving and walk away afterwards with a smile on their faces. Job done. And it is a job, believe me. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself, I did, especially when the weather improved and I could take my super-duper, extra long mac off.

I have two more weekends of casting stuff, including taking some people to their first casting on water with fish in. I hate that. I so want them to catch a fish and the guilt trip when they don’t. I could never be a guide. How do they cope with the bad days?

Right, off to trawl the internet, I wonder what I will get when I Google small and furry?

July 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment