If you are doing this yourself then I would recommend breaking down flycasting into four disciplines: Accuracy, Distance, Presentation Casts and Speys. Each of these four disciplines can involve lots of fun casting time. I also believe that you want to train all four disciplines regularly. And it must, above all, be fun as well as productive. That’s really the key to sustainable training.
Many use the CCI test as a training route. For fishing I think the Essential Level Challenge is a better plan:
But don’t just practise the maximum distances but all distances up to, including and preferably beyond, what is listed in the above game.
If you are new to this, or can’t Double Haul, then going through the videos of the manual, up to and including the Double Haul is a very good plan and involves many core skills. Loop control is the key that will unlock the flycasting door for you.
Accuracy and Distance are both measurable and I would recommend doing both regularly and measuring both. Line carry is another useful gauge; it is less affected by the wind, and is an important measure. I like to know maximum line carry for Closed Stance Accuracy, Open Stance Distance and 170. Line carry is directly related to technique (but can be limited by tackle).
Now that my Zoom lesson format has become more established, I will write write out some lesson plans. I’ve been keeping notes over the past years, while developing this course.
Briefly I do this, in different orders:
1 Accuracy, Open Stance Distance, Double Hauling
2 Roll Cast both shoulders. Three Stops - hard, pull-back, stopless. Jump Roll.
3 Backcast deliveries.
5 Jump Roll and Spey family
7 Presentation Casts. Curve over/under powered, both sides. Tuck. Collapsed. Fly First (Torque Twist).
8 Rod Planes/ Loop Planes
9 Wind - Rod planes, Trajectories
10 Line Management
11 Presentation Mends. Reach, Curve, Hump, Wiggle.
12 Saltwater shots, heavy flies, slipped lift.
The above covers all bases and each topic leads into a wide array of sub topics and exercises. I look for a rounded programme that incorporates an ability to make all casts in all directions, and then I build training plans for each topic. You should spend close to half your time making casts off your opposite shoulder. I’m sure that none of us do enough of that but I build that concept into every exercise.
It’s also very important to train different line lengths, distances, speeds and planes. Almost everything should be to a target. You can have a lovely roll cast but if the fly lands up a tree then what’s the point?!
So, coming from me it might surprise you, but if you want to truly develop your flycasting then you need some structure.
Just like in everything else incidentally. You don’t train for an Ironman by just running around a park. You don’t train casting by just carrying 40’.
Buy a Hot Torpedo Fly Rod and I’ll give you a free Zoom lesson, we can have a look at your casting and put together some exercises to develop your skills. That’s always fun!!