The world's best flyfishing site.

Nick says thanks!

AAPGAI

Introduction
Syllabus
Basics
Initial casts
Why AAPGAI?
Knowledge 1
Knowledge 2
Knowledge 3
Knowledge 4
Knowledge 5
Penny drops
Will Nick pass?
The roll cast
Thank you!
The build up
The exam!

The Experience

Nick lands a brown trout
Nick and a pike
Nick saltwater flyfishing
Nick is in!
Nick... again
Saltwater surf action
Nick checks his backcast

Hi Paul,

Firstly many, many thanks for all your time and effort on Monday. Very, very helpful. Like the look of the stuff on site, apart from your reference to my shoes. Nike Air I will have you know and very conducive to sexyloops! ( Well late in the day anyway )

So what did I get out of my day with you. Unbelievably I have started thinking in slightly more simple, get to the point style, which is strange as I often read your site, talk with you etc., and we disappear off on a technical tangent.

From this day I also realised that this hook problem, is not really a problem. It is there because I am looking for it, sweeping my shoulders and causing it. I also realise that a lot of anglers ( including instructors ) are doing this. What I need to ensure is that I can explain what's happening and cast straight when required etc.

Before I go into our experience on Monday let me talk about yesterday because it was a revelation. Firstly what a seriously nice guy Michael Evans is. He was straight up front with the fact that he is "old school" and that perhaps younger guys like you and I are the future of the sport. Not only did I respect him highly for admitting this fact but also I felt relaxed in his presence immediately. BTW he seriously respects you as a caster.

Then came a few differing points in the tuition he worked through with me and his approach. He want's me using the clock, not necessarily because it is his approach but because he tells me this "is" what AAPGAI "will" want. Also he likes the use of weight's, springs and catapults and this is along the lines of how I already teach. Moving on from here he highlighted the fact that while fly casting can become incredibly technical I must concentrate on the "casts to fish" when preparing for this exam and then pursue the more complicated stuff such as ultra tight sexyloops etc., in my own time. As he said the technical stuff is the fundamentals of AAPGAI but it is highly important that the basic mechanics are understood inside out.

We had a brilliant session. He totally backed up the stuff I had been getting from you about arriving straight at the point. Showed me easier ways about visualising the casts, picked out the odd fault in my technical thinking and above all got me really excited about the joys of linking certain movements and thoughts into each cast. I have loads of work to do to get this right and practice will be happening in a big way but I have been spurred on by the fact that Michaels closing comment was that if I demonstrated my casting on Friday as I did in front of him that he would be confident that I would pass my AAPGAI! Believe me I am going to do my very best. He did not pick out any hook problem and I believe that was because it was not there, so THANK YOU again Paul. Plus I was due to finish with him at noon, we went on to 1 and he did not charge me extra, that was seriously appreciated.

Right now that I have got that out of my system. Starting with you on Monday I was disillusioned at my own casting. My knuckles were white on the cork, I was stiff, not visualising and above all trying to hard with the technical explanations. And so it continued through out the day! Being bluntly honest I was not enjoying the experience and this is in no way a reflection on yourself but simply that casting is a state of mind. Session 4 ( I think that was the number we did ) was ground breaking. It clicked, suddenly you had tuned my mind and muscles back into what I am here to do, cast flies and teach people how to. As you will remember from my excitable state upon leaving I was suddenly enthusiastic again about my own ability and the fact that for this to work you have to have belief in yourself. THANK YOU Paul because you unlocked that belief.

So rather than just the technique which is so important Paul I really got to grips with the fact that you need to be in tune. From here we discussed low back casts, high forwards, straight line tips, the importance of stopping, energy values, creating loops, and so the list goes on. If I am honest the tuition we worked through was not so much what I am going to be demonstrating on Friday. The importance is that it has heightened my technical understanding so that the mechanics are now more firmly than ever ingrained in my brain.

Let us hope it is ingrained enough. Friday will tell.

BTW reading your newsletter I back up my comment that you have changed. You are a different person. You should get your comments on life into print because I think you have some Geirach in there!

Cheers for Now, Nick.

Return to whence you came