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So you want to be a Casting Instructor


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Ronan's report

Tuesday 12th August, 2008

"I want to be a Certified Casting Instructor (CI)". I hear that statement quite often. Being a CI myself and having worked with a number of CIs and CI candidates I think the first question you should ask yourself is, "Why do I want to be a CI and what will being certified get me?"

I know, I know, it seems like CIs are a big hit with the opposite sex, get invited to the best parties, drive fancy 4x4s, and flash big wads of cash around but the truth is that very few CIs get a lot of notoriety or money from teaching. For most their earnings barely cover the cost of casting yarn and those bright orange fly lines that spook most respectable trout. One clumsy student stepping on your favourite rod can set you back more than a full year in earnings (even though the rod may have a lifetime guarantee the shipping and handling costs of a single repair will wipe out your yearly earnings).

It may look like great fun when you get a group of CIs together on a field and they start comparing drinking and casting styles late into the night, but earning your CI is not like earning a merit badge. It's unlikely that those casting and carousing CIs will exclude you if you aren't a CI. It's also highly unlikely that you will ever be called out to a CI emergency.

The road to earning a CI will make you a better and more knowledgeable fly caster but many people are surprised to find out that it isn't just about the casting. Earning a CI means you also have to have a basic understanding of casting mechanics and be able to communicate that knowledge in a concise and confident manner. It is also hoped that as a CI you will be available to others who want to learn how to cast or improve their casting. There are few things more annoying than finding out there is a CI in your local area but that he or she doesn't actively provide instruction or even answer phone calls.

Still other candidates read and memorize the classics (Mel, Joan, Lefty, etc.) or more contemporary information such as Sexyloops only to find out that very little of that information will help with the CI test. The FFF has its own vocabulary that they expect you to know and understand (SLP, RSP, arc, stroke, etc.).

So you want to be a CI? I and many others would be happy to help you reach that goal. If your real goal is to become an awesome distance caster or develop other casting skills then we can still help but there may be other avenues you may want to explore as well. Join a club with like minded individuals. Try competition. Get out and go fishing 340 days a year. Read the Sexyloops board regularly and get to understand all the neat things people are talking about. One thing you will come to realize from the boards is that nobody knows it all no matter how accomplished they are. Whether you want to be a CI or just have have a great interest in all things fly fishing the learning never stops.


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