Are lessons really necessary for beginners?

#31
99% of my casts are complete crap. I have never taken a casting lessons and never will. I completely enjoy the challenges of spey casting and trying to improve on my casting each time out. The physics of spey casting are really not that complicated...Load the rod and unload the rod. If you can accomplish this you are fishing, I accept the fact that my my loops are not lazer tight yet. I look for improved casting at the end of each trip and mental notes on how to improve casting next time out.
 

fredaevans

Active Member
#32
99% of my casts are complete crap. I have never taken a casting lessons and never will. I completely enjoy the challenges of spey casting and trying to improve on my casting each time out. The physics of spey casting are really not that complicated...Load the rod and unload the rod. If you can accomplish this you are fishing, I accept the fact that my my loops are not lazer tight yet. I look for improved casting at the end of each trip and mental notes on how to improve casting next time out.
With a two-hander this can work out. As most of your cast is actually in sight as you're doing same, something doesn't Hunt it's pretty easy to figure out the 'why.' A cast crash is usually only caused by one thing (that may vary depending upon the heap out on the water). If you know 'what causes that' corrective action can be pretty straight forward. Bye the bye, the odds on answer was poor anchor placement or forcing the cast. (Or both) :>(
 

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#33
I'm im my low 20s and just picked up fly fishing. I'm not saying my casts are perfect nor great but I do think I have found it easier than most make it sound. Maybe its my golf background (scratch player) so I understand tempo concepts and rythm... but after 20-30min on youtube I learned to double haul to a decent degree (video of some instructor from reds fly shop. just put the video on repeat and sat infront of my computer going DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN UP and boom!). Again I realize 80% of fly fisherman out there can probably double haul better than me due to time on water alone -- but still, I feel like youtube can substitute for instructers in a lot of ways. Granted most of these videos are done by professional instructors but still...I guess it all comes down to how an individual learns.

That being said, reading water is hands down the hardest part for me. Gotta get me a lesson on that :p
 
#34
I never had a lesson for single hand casting and after 20 years thought I was doing okay. Then a buddy who is a casting instructor filmed my cast for me and I could see that I needed some help. He worked with me for a few days and it was very hard to break the bad habits I had developed over time. Just working with him for a couple of afternoons increased my distance and accuracy. Lesson learned when I started spey casting. I bought the videos and books and was about a month into it on my own when I finally got a few lessons. I had already started in with bad habits and the lessons corrected those. I guess I am like Panhandle, I need someone there to point out what I am doing wrong. I always suggest lessons so you don't start out with bad habits, because my own experience is that they are hard to break.
Roger that on the "was very hard to break the bad habits I had developed over time." I've 'taught' a lot of folks how to cast a 2-hander and the hardest is the Guy/Gal who was 'self taught.' Some general 'rules of the road' I follow is no rod over an 8wt, no rod over 14 foot, no sink tips (all dry lines of one sort or another, leader 10 - 12 foot max., etc.

In the main, I'll use 6 and 7wt rods 12 to just short of 14 foot as this is enough to get a good feel for the equipment without beating the poor fellow to bits. If I know I'm going to be giving a beach lesson I'll bring at least 4 rods and several different configuration of lines from Scandi (NO SKAGIT's! heads are too short) to mid-length head floaters.

Usually start with a 6wt and an appropriate Scandi head and go over the basic's of what makes up a 'Spey Cast.' There's really only three, but each has its own little bits and pieces that take a bit of coordination. The good part is if you 'fluff one' recovery via the other two is usually 'do-able.' About the only thing you can't unwind is a very poor anchor placement.

Which cast (single or double spey) will be a function of he's a right hander/leftie or river right or river left. The next (to me anyway) to 'teach' is the Perry Poke. Reason? There isn't a screwed up 'first cast' that (you must react ASAP!!) that can't be 'saved' by rolling right into that sweet heart. When I finally do hook on a sink tip, this is the cast that gets pulled out of the box first.

The hardest part to 'teach' would seem to be the easiest ..... the 'rod tip lift' at the beginning of each cast. Folks want to lift and 'pull' a the same time. A no-no! All the lift is meant to do is get as much line out of the water as you can so you can set up your anchor placement.

Etc
 
#35
Fred & I fish together a lot. And we have both been coached together by some of best. In spite of all of that, we each have our own style of casting as well as teaching preferences. That is not to say either is right or wrong, just different. My preference, for teaching a beginner, leans toward sustained anchor casts as they are more easily broken down into step one, step two, step three casts, allowing time to think about the next step as it comes up. Also, since a good majority of river access in our area is river right, I'll start the newbie off with a double spey cast. The last of my preferences, and perhaps the least understood is the sink tip. And I'll go to great lengths explaining sink tips and how to cast them.
 
G

golfman65

Guest
#36
Damn Yuhina...your coach must suck then...LOL...sorry couldn't resist..

Every guy I've met who thought he was a good caster wasn't...and bad casters working water in front of you SUCKS large balls!!!!

Learning to make a good cast doesn't mean distance..It means turning over your fly so it fishes from when it hits the water and doesn't spook the hell out of all the fish that can be right in front of you but that for some reasons guys with spey rods in their hands wade out over and scare the anal fin back up by ripping the shit out of the water multiple times trying to get their lines out...

If everyone approached fishing with a spey rod on any river the way they would with a single hander on a small creek they would catch more fish IMHO....

Lessons are invaluable to everyone...new and old...
 
#38
Excellent description by Jimmie (above) about our individual styles of casting and 'teaching.' Jim fishes with a sink tip system (Skagit if memory serves) almost 100 percent of the time. I use a tip or sinking poly leader only when conditions (or on the North Umpqua where regulations - no weighted flies) require. With Rogue Flows at the moment, there are darned few places where you don't need both a sink tip and a weighted fly. Without one or the other (both) you're just getting casting practice.

Me and a 'Newbie?' Until he gets 'dry line' work under control he'll never see a sink tip of any kind. Once that's 'under control' (reasonable level of casting) then on to Skandi's and sinking polies and Skagit's with full on sink tips. Two different worlds when it comes to 'casting' in my small mind.
;>)
 
#39
And I'll go to great lengths explaining sink tips and how to cast them.
I should re phrase that. Casting sink tips is not so much the problem. It's when the sink tip does not match up with the head to which it is attached. Same with the fly. Fred's Scandi lines and poly leaders are great, until the fly becomes too much for them to handle.
 

yuhina

Tropical member
#40
I should re phrase that. Casting sink tips is not so much the problem. It's when the sink tip does not match up with the head to which it is attached. Same with the fly. Fred's Scandi lines and poly leaders are great, until the fly becomes too much for them to handle.
Good point! SF...
"bottom up" approach as it is called... determine fly size first, then select a sinktip (short heavy, or long light), then the line/head to carry them in the air... One of the exciting part of spey fishing (to me) is that you pretty much has endless combinations to get the fly out and having fun...

Mark
 
#41
Good point! SF...
"bottom up" approach as it is called... determine fly size first, then select a sinktip (short heavy, or long light), then the line/head to carry them in the air... One of the exciting part of spey fishing (to me) is that you pretty much has endless combinations to get the fly out and having fun...

Mark
It amazes me that although every single hand fly fisher understands that concept, somehow it's all forgotten as soon as one picks up a two hander. :rolleyes:
And what Al Buhr said as well. I'm a big fan of Al Buhr, and his little book.