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What to expect from a fly casting lesson?


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 08 October, 2014

During the past 20 years I participated in well over 50 fly casting lessons. Additionally I led a fair number of fly casting courses together with some of the most respected fly casting instructors. And then I was involved in fly casting instructor exams held by different organisations, both as a candidate and as an examiner. All that was just a small part of my learning process. The main part of it was about reading many books and arcticles, studying DVDs, discussing fly casting in different internet forums and simply exchanging knowledge with those fairly being called fly casting geeks. Yes, many of them I met here on Sexyloops! Oh, and then I did a hell lot of slow motion studies, which after all worked best for me.

How many hours I spent to increase my fly casting knowledge?

Way over 10 000 hours! This may sound a lot. But actually it really was a lot more. 10 000 hours holds true for just the past 10 years already and I am into fly casting for more then 20 years.

Last weekend I participated in a double hand tuition led by Andre Scholz (team Winston). A good friend of mine asked me, if participating was worth it. And yes, it was!

Andre was very enthusiastic about fly casting and teaching it, which was a great basement for a really positive atmosphere during the whole (1 day) lesson. Also his own casting was on an excellent level. He was able to demonstrate nice loop shapes in proper line speed. Pretty smooth casting - making it easy to see what he was refering about. He was not fixed on any label (like Winston), but was positively open minded to all the different tackle, that the participants brought into the lesson. What I liked most: Andre was changing those fly lines, which in his point of view did not match the students rods perfectly. That was in order to give every student the best chance of using well adjusted rod-line combinations. All shooting heads were weighted precisely with Andre's scale. In the end of the lesson Andre did not focus on the clock, but ended the lesson, when everyone was happy with his own process. And yes, we all made a proper process. It was easy to see, Andre ran a large number of fly casting lessons and due to that mostly stayed well in his (teaching) routine. All in all it was a fine fly casting course. Physics aside it was among the best double hand courses I participated in. Thanks a lot to Andre!

As do many fly casting instructors Andre was teaching - what I like to call - the big loading concept. "You have to load the rod as good as possible in order to let the rod do the work for you."

Now it's fair to say Andre's explantions in these points matched with a large number of current fly casting books, DVDs and articles. But it's also fair to say they are all wrong in regard of the contribution of rod loading to fly casting! Fly casting mainly is rotating the rod in order to create the desired line speed. Well, you may want to check the thread linked above about the "big loading concept".

Back to the question of what to expect from a fly casting lesson - this question I think everyone can only answer for oneself. For me the whole course with Andre Scholz was well worth the money and since Andre told me to never have participated in any fly casting course at all, but to have been completely self taught instead, I wasn't expecting 100% precise explantions of the fly casting physics. Based on the fly casting knowledge situation as it is today I find it fair to summarize it takes a hell lot of effort to get one's knowledge in fly casting physics correct. And I shall add to be carefully about how correct mine are today!? Maybe in ten years I will have some of my current concepts rechanged again. Ok, I don't really think so, because slow motion videos are simply offering the truth. The truth at least seen from one point of view (one position of the camera).

So in the end I always focus on what to learn in a fly casting lesson first and then I will look for an instructor to (hopefully) fullfill my requirements. From my own experience I have to say very view (if any) instructors I have been with would fullfill all requirements for all fields in fly casting I am interested in! When it comes down to serious fly casting physics being involved I am glad to have had the oppurtunity to learn due to the exchange of knowledge with (for example) Aitor Coteron, Paul Arden, Lasse Karlsson, Alejandro Vinuales, Lee Cummings, Bruce Richards, Peter Morse and all experts on the technical forum of the Sexyloops board. Still I think all of them would agree to not nearly have everything correct yet (as of course haven't I)!

What's your expectation of a fly casting lesson?

Nice week to all of you!




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