Forever the student, now a Sniper

Forever the student, now a Sniper

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 25 May 2021

The great thing about teaching is that you are constantly learning. If you really want to understand what it is that you do, then try teaching it. You have to dissect your movements, often into the tiniest details, explain how to make them and in a way that your student can understand/duplicate. This in turn gives you insight into where you yourself can improve.

It is strange however, when you think about this. It means that we have developed techniques subconsciously and in order to teach them we have to bring them to our conscious level. I often break the cast down into slow motion elements. Sometimes I analyse video of my own movements. I often discover things that surprise me – both good and bad. Occasionally I find something so challenging to learn and teach that I wonder if I should let it evolve naturally in the student. Utilising “Slide” on the forward delivery cast of the Snakehead Shot is one of these conundrums. But then I question whether I use it subconsciously because I spent a year or so experimenting with “Slide Loading” in my distance technique some two decades ago? In which case I then have to find ways of teaching it to advanced students in the jungle, because, in this case, it extends the length of the fly leg prior to the forward Casting Stroke.

There is some discussion on this here:

And this is how things develop. It’s possible to teach in days, or perhaps weeks or sometimes months, things that took 5 or 10 years – maybe even half a lifetime – to develop. And from there it’s a springboard to yet new techniques and more advanced casting.

I particularly love taking shots. This to me is the my personal current fly casting thrill. I realise that others might prefer and get more satisfaction from presentation casts, or all-out distance (that was another of mine for a long time), or Competition Accuracy or indeed Speys. Right now however, everything I’m geared up to be, almost all of what I practise, is all about taking shots. It’s marksmanship fly casting… or “The Sniper”.

It’s also what I like teaching the most, partly because it often means I’m taking someone fishing but also because when teaching “shots” I learn more about it and become better myself. And the better I can be, the more fish I catch! Quick shots, without false casting, opens doors that I never knew existed until now and I’m constantly finding new ones.

I thought this week I would make you a short line management video. This is something I’ve rarely seen discussed and it’s a crucial skill. Particularly getting the line hand in position for a quick strip.  Also I stuck my popper over a stump so I could demonstrate the technique of unhooking a fly from a snag with a Roll Cast. Or something like that.



We have a lockdown here in Malaysia which is quite restrictive. Still no International travel. Maybe later this year, certainly I would hope I can have guests again next year.

We are very busy this week with rod building. We have stock of a few rods but mostly we are building to order and it’s about a two week delay. Thanks for your support!

As always I’m still giving the Zoom casting classes. If you would like a flycasting lesson then drop me an email on and if you don’t hear from me then my email did not get through!! Please check your junk filter and/or resend me an email. The only emails I don’t answer are those annoying ones where companies want to write an advertorials for themselves with a link back to their website. WTF?? :D

Have a fantastic week!

Cheers, Paul