Are lessons really necessary for beginners?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Wadecalvin, May 3, 2012.

  1. DocDoc

    DocDoc Member

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    Necessary no, very helpful yes. It all depends on how you want your learning curve to go. Good instruction will drastically shorten the time needed to become proficient. It will also prevent the formation of bad habits, that others noted can be difficult to reprogram.

    The second set of eyes can help you quickly learn the little things that make a big difference in the success of the cast.
     
  2. k2flyfisher

    k2flyfisher You're only so smart as what you choose to share.

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    i agree with that it depends on how you learn. im self taught in both single and double hand, but a big part of this is because i derive my enjoyment from the learning process. its when the bulb goes off in my head when i figure something out, that i enjoy the most, even more than the result yielded. this may explain why i enjoy sharing what i know with both friends and students so much, is to see THEIR moment of clarity take place. ive been like this ever since i can remember, from sports, musical instruments, studying, etc... i believe that this form of learning, although it can be slower than instruction, taught me not only the how to do something, but the why, and on my time and "language".

    with that said, i believe that if you are of the type that would like to yield a result sooner (catch fish), then by all means, hire an instructor or go out with a guide....but if the process itself holds value to you, then you might be surprised at what you can teach yourself from trial and error. chances are that, like myself, it wouldnt be the first time youre learning how to do something this way.

    the production lines available nowadays have definitely steepened the learning curve, but i always make sure to remind beginners that bad casts catch fish....if youre in the right water. learning how to cast well and catching fish are two different things, so it depends on what your priority is. the majority of people i have met on the river and in classes tend to want to catch fish first, and then learn to cast in the process, if at all. completely understandable, how can you blame em? we all need some kind of checkpoint to mark our progress as we learn.

    i think theres also something to be said about a network of good fishing buddies to help chide you along the process and for you to laugh at because they have no river right double spey either ;-)
     
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  3. speyforsteel

    speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

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    From a casting instructor-if you can live with a low to medium skill level no instruction is required-if you want better find a good coach.

    I was self taught, when I got serious I wasted 4 years undoing what I taught myself.
     
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  4. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Guides and instructors are for the weak. Only yuppie, hippie, leftist, treehugging, effeminant, urban, terrorist sympathizers would go that route.

    All joking aside, my only true lesson was from a dude I paid a can of cope and a 6 pack of mountain dew. I've seen Kinney speak once and had 10 minutes of instruction from him at AATF. Those were 10 really educational minutes.

    I rarely fish with anyone, so I think that it's remarkable that I can cast at all. I seem to always learn something when I do fish with a better caster/angler. It isn't all that hard with the modern lines provided they are matched properly.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
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  5. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

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    Well said! Charles,

    If you can get a GOOD coach, why not?! But beware of BAD coaches... there are some of them out there and try to guide you into the wrong paths ...

    My suggestion, don't just learn from one single source... learn as much as possible and learn from GOOD sources... good guides, good instructors, good books/DVDs and good friends... internet? beware of biased information...
     
  6. Creatch'r

    Creatch'r Heavies...

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    Nailed it! Couldn't have possibly said it better.
     
  7. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Aaron up north is a great instructor.

    Steve Buckner is not only a great casting instructor but a great fishing instructor.

    Brian Chao in the Portland area can at times help but........;) No all kidding aside, he has helped me a ton in my two handed game.

    The caveot to this is that Steve Buckner is a top hand guy. Brian is a bottom hand guy. Simon VS mort thing. Its funny as my own style develops Steve and Brian are always trying to help me in their own ways, and I can see the difference in their styles.
     
  8. Etamaman

    Etamaman Member

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    I learned alot from just fishing with quite a few people and watching people cast on the water. The internet has some good videos also, but I agree that some have to have the "hands on" instruction with someone pointing out their mistakes.
    When the casting does come together, it sure makes casting all day ALOT easier. Especially on those multi-day trips when you are swinging from sun up to sundown.

    Number one tip: ALWAYS debarb your hooks and wear eye protection when learning to cast!!
    I sold a spey to a first timer and told him to wear glasses and debarb his flies. Well, a few weekends later, he impailed himself with a size 2 (not debarbed) fly in the calf while fishing in shorts....Ouch!
     
  9. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

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    I think Kerry is right.

    If your goal is to be a good fisherman and you have limited resources (TIME, and $$), you should allocate those resources primarily in learning how to catch fish - meaning things like learning how to read water, etc. As we've heard over and over, most steelhead are caught within modest casting distances. It's pretty easy for someone to teach themselves to cast 60-75' with a 13' speyrod given a little time and motivation. Won't be pretty but it'll be fishable.

    If your goals is to be a great caster who can fish, then the reverse is true. Invest the $$ up front in the casting technique.

    I'm a perfect example of the former: self-taught crappy caster but I can still get it out farther than I can effectively fish on my normal rivers. My water reading and tactical fishing skills, however, basically suck. Thus, I spend my very limited time and non-gas/gear money for fishing on the occasional 'learning trip' with a guide that'll teach me how to fish better. I really need to spend less on gear and push that into gas & guides but I haven't been able to take control of my reel fetish quite yet.

    YMMV...
     
  10. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    I have to backtrack a bit. I had said that Steve Buckner was a top hand proponent. Well I was incorrect in saying so. Just got this message from him:

    "Hey,​
    Saw your post this morning on WFF about Spey Lesson, thanks for your support. One quick item to clarify though, I am not a top-handed proponent, I'm not sure where you got that. At least 70% of the power should come from using the bottom hand. The top hand is used primarily as a guide. Lots of casting errors result when too much top hand is used. Anyway, just wanted to clarify my position on that.​

    Hope everything is going well. We'll have to get out on the water once it drops and the early fish come in.​
    Best Regards,​
    Steve​
    Steve Buckner
    FFF Certified Casting Instructor
    FFF Two-Handed Certified Instructor"

    So I stand corrected. But yes if you want a great casting/fishing lesson, Steve is def an amazing resource.
     
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  11. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    don't be stupid the answer is yes. be happy
     
  12. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Coming into this thread 'late in the day' but if you're new to two-handers get a lesson (from someone whose a reasonable caster - doesn't have to be a paid up thing) ASAP. I, as well as Jim Jones, have taught a lot of folks down here on the Rogue how to cast a two-hander and the hardest to 'teach' was someone who was 'self-taught' to begin with.

    You have to 'break the bad habits' to instill 'good habits.' Can be frustrating for all concerned.
     
  13. bhudda

    bhudda heffe'

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    Thank God for Sundays on the river w/ Mike K, I am forever indebted to that Jedi for paying it forward!! Anyone who attended would agree im sure!! Our crew grew very proficient, to the point we could spot each other on the river by our cast. Many industry peeps would stop by, got to try many, many rods, and lines. Thanks AATF and Mike K !!!!!!!
     
  14. Ian Broadie

    Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

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    2nd on that.. I would probably still be flailing around and trying to blow my shoulder out whenever I go fishing if it wasn't for those Sunday sessions... a second thanks to AATF and Mike! It is true I know for a fact that I can spot Bhudda by his cast from a hundred yards away or more.

    Lessons from a good instructor will only save you agony on the river and in my opinion trying to power through bad habits by fishing through them will only reinforce the bad habits.
     
  15. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Brings to mind a period when I was really into bluegrass banjo. Playing in a band, jam sessions with other musicians, sharing licks, technique, always picking up little nuggets whenever I could. Same applies here. Whether it be casting, fishing, indeed life itself. A teacher teaches. But it is up to the student to absorb and apply the lessons learned and, sometimes leading to new discoveries along the way. Always keep an open mind towards learning.