Teaching Fly Casting

Teaching Fly Casting

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 29 January 2020

I have been teaching fly casting for about 25 years now. For the past 15 years I have been teaching nearly every week. I would like to share some reflections, now.

I don't know, if any fly casting teacher around the world ever started teaching on a professional basis. Probably not, since fly fishing for 99% of us is a great hobby, but not a job. Yet there is very little excellent knowledge available about how to teach fly casting. It takes serious time, effort and for many of us at least a second language being able to find and study those few excellent resources.

I made a rough calculation and it's fair to summarize I spent significant more than 4000 hours studying fly casting details on the internet and about half of the time myself being on the field casting, filming and exchanging knowledge with other teachers. Crazy amount of time, I think!? Most of that time I learnt casting aspects, which later on proved to be wrong. The most difficult part was finding the correct core knowledge about fly casting.

In regard of improving as a fly casting teacher, I have to admit, that looking back today all lessons I was running during the first decade were far off being proper ones. I am pretty sure the best teachers in the world would agree to have started their teaching carreer in the very same slowly improving way. Still today there is too much wrong information available, that needs to get sorted out first of all.

To those of you who want to get started in teaching fly casting I recommend to find the answeres to some key questions like:

How does a student learn?

How can you best structure your lessons?

What can you do to increase learning speed for each student during the lesson?

Which exercises help best for learning each particular key element of fly casting in general?

How can you teach each key movement in fly casting in different ways and which way works best for what students?

How can you best and in the quickest way identify all fly casting issues your students bring into the lesson?

What is the smartest order to help correcting each of them?

How much demonstration of your own fly casting skills is helpful in teaching?

How can you make sure every student is ALWAYS performing each exercise in proper quailty instead of starting to train bad (fault compensating) fly casting techniques?

How can you make sure your student doesn't get exhausted, then losing concentration during the lesson? 

How can you make sure to hit the requirements each students brings into the lesson?

How can you make the lesson being fun for everyone?

How can you motivate your students to keep training their fly casting skills post the lesson?

How do you control your teaching success, both in short and long terms?

How can you make sure, your students can't lose any of the teaching contents post the lesson?

How can you always improve your teaching instead of starting to believe to have become the greatest teacher you can be?

There are of course a lot more important points in order to help your students achieve great improvements for their fly casting skills during and post the lesson. But it was answering the above questions, which truly helped me to get closer to maybe one day being fully satisfied with my teaching. Yet I still make fine improvents every year!

Ok, right now I have to finish my preparation for the next lesson. This time it will be co-instructing my fine friend Aitor Coteron in Bilbao, Basque country. We will be teaching in English and Spanish language. We will do our best, to make the lessons being as successful as possible!

To all you fine fly casting teachers out there, I hope you too love to teach as much as I do and have some fine classes in your pipe soon!

Great week to all of you fly fishermen out there - always keep your fly wet! ;)

All my best

Some pictures of my last days...

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