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Beginner Fly Fishing On The Weekend


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Another year for our Beginner Fly Fishing course has come and gone. I first want to thank all the volunteers that helped out. Then a big thanks to Rick for again putting on a fantastic course. I got many comments on how good the presentation was.

Then there is a great big thank you to the particapents you were a great bunch to teach and we had a great time teaching.

Sat was a bit wet but we did get out for a bit. Sunday dawned a much better day. We got the students to do some casting for the first 45min or so. Then off fishing they went armed with a wealth of new flyfishing knowledge they had learnt.

It was a great group and most caught on very quckly.

Yes fish were caught. and a good time was had by all.


I sure hope we see several of them out in the next few weeks. Make sure we give them a warm welcome.


I believe we had another successful Flyfish weekend.


Again thank you to all


Tight Lines Always

Dennis S :fishing::fish_jump:

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Something I noticed about casting instruction- We always start with some sort of analogy. Stab the sky, chop the chicken was a new one for me. So the student starts casting, and we correct the fundamentals of the cast; making them accelerate to a stop, getting them to cast in a straight line path, and stop throwing it at the ground.


It seems to me that once we know how to cast, we can see how it's just like flicking paint off a brush, or tapping a nail with a hammer, or answering the phone. But usually you give the students one or more of these analogies, and they start flailing around like they've never answered the phone before, and they have no idea what a paint brush actually is. It's pretty rare that they do well right off the bat. The next time I teach someone to cast, I'm skipping the analogies.

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I suspect the student's inability to connect with the analogies has more to do with their preconecpetions of what the casting stroke is like than the student's trouble with the analogy. If the student comes to the table with an existng metal picture, or worse, bad habits from learning on their own, an instructor has to overcome that.

Of course I started out as most of us old guys did in learning how to cast by watching another fly fisher (in my case Henry Wachniki, a polish gent who owned the summer resort our family frequented.) From there it was trial and error with some reading. That's a crappy way to learn,

That said, maybe we should start the casting instruction with a short video of a good caster followed by one of our better casters doing a few basic strokes with no comment or analogies at first. The we can start by describing the basic movement and any analogy the instructror finds useful

Visualization is an important part of learning and perfecting any physical activity.So I use whatever analogies I can to make the visualization easier. You gotta start somewhere.

The "stab the sky -chop the chicken" is Barry White's mantra, which he developed and used for many, many years as an FFF certified master casting instructor. It is a simple and easy to grasp concept and can prove useful for the rank beginner.

Other instructors have different analgies and techniques. I've had short instruction sessions from: Barry, Arne Gidlow, Peter Morrison, Doug Swisher and Lefty Kreh. Each one had their own analogies, reminders and tips, and l learned something from each of them.

Being an engineer, I often fall back on some basic physics to expalin certain concepts, but that doesn't work for all students.

I also remember when we did just casting seminars and started with a short session showing how to hold the rod and hold the line, how loops were formed etc. Perhaps we can consider that as part of the intro.

Edited by dave robinson
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I'm not sure and could be out in left field on this conception but I think the analogies are used more to add a bit of levety to a progam. People tend to learn a bit more readally with a bit of hummor added in to lighten the progarm. The one I like and use as much as I can of Barry's is in the hesitation by say " I love redheads" then do your forward stroke. I think I would remember chop the chicken better than if one said put down the phone.


I really don't think there is a right way or wrong way. It's just the preference of the instructor


Tight Lines Always

Dennis S

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Analogies, are definitely a better teach tool then a newfie grand father and a willow branch... which was the "preferred" teaching method when I was learning!!

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it started out in lieu of a rod, and quickly transitioned into a reminder to maintain good form.... to this day a tailing loop makes my shoulder sting!

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