Wanna learn? Teach.

Wanna learn? Teach.

Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Over the last few months I have had the privilege to work with a very dedicated student on almost a weekly basis. This flyfishing addict-to-be has come to the sport a bit later in life than optimal, but I expect they will easily make up for lost time with good old fashion “want-to”.

I hope the learning experience has been as rewarding for this student as it has been for me. And, I am not, in any way, referring to some sort of financial reward. Their journey has been so much fun, for me, that getting paid for my services has been the least of my concern. They possess a few extra challenges above those of most of my previous students, and therefor I had to up my game accordingly.

Casting has been, of course, the major part of their curriculum. Unlike many students, they doggedly performed their homework tasks, and at each session they demonstrated improvement. That fact, in itself, was as much fun for me to watch as it was likely for them to perform. The smile and the ebullient “Yes!” escaping from both of our mouths, as each step in the casting process was conquered, was simply a blast to share.


The lessons were not limited to casting alone. There were periods of downtime as my student occasionally needed some chair time to rest. These periods were dedicated to fishing oriented techniques that I seldom get the opportunity to explore with the more common “one and done” student. We went over things like saltwater quick casts, strip strikes, and line clearing. The subtle differences of presentations to the different saltwater species also came out.


I got to dust off many of the “toys” I have accumulated over the years to help with common casting faults. And, throughout the process I had the opportunity, for educational purposes, to relive the many failures and occasional successes I experienced throughout my similar but much longer self-taught journey. Other than fishing itself, what can be more fun than that?


In a way I envy my student’s unlimited post-retirement free time and their financial ability to travel to the best saltwater destinations. But, I am somewhat sorry they waited this long to begin. I know that no matter how hard I tried, they will have to make (and enjoy) their own mistakes.


For, as we all know, its not really just about checking off species from a list. Is it?