Expected time for newbie casters - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

View Poll Results: For saltwater flyfishing, how much instruction before fishing? (stripers)
Fishing the same day as first instruction 15 44.12%
1st session on lawn, self-practice, then review on day of fishing 7 20.59%
As many sessions as needed until ready, then fishing 12 35.29%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-04-2004, 07:26 AM
FishHawk FishHawk is offline
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The biggest problem facing both experienced and new anglers is the proper timing of the cast. Most people work too hard and don't wait long enough for the rod to load. Once the timing is down the rest is tweeking the cast to get more distance. This my sound a little crazy but take the newbie bluegill fishing. The fish are willing to bite and you learn a lot about playing a fish ect. That's what I do with younger anglers . Once they get a fish on the line they are hooked. FishHawk
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Old 12-04-2004, 10:17 AM
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Quentin Quentin is offline
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Location: Berkshire County, MA
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I think a lot of it depends on whether the pupil is new to fishing or just new to fly fishing.

An experienced fisherman could probably pick up a fly rod for the first time and, with some basic instruction, begin fishing and hopefully catching fish on the fly rod the same day or even the same hour. Of course, if they focus on the fishing rather than the casting then they will probably develop some bad habits and may get frustrated when they wrap the line around themselves or have to play cat's cradle when they are trying to catch fish.

Someone who has seldom casted any type of fishing rod and has little knowledge of fishing would probably be better off getting some casting experience before trying to deal with the "fishing" part, especially if it is a more specialized type of fishing such as fishing in the surf or on the flats or anyplace where they may encounter more experienced fishermen who get upset when a newbie doesn't know "the routine". Of course, if the beginner has a knowledgeable instructor who is teaching him to cast, then the instructor should also spend some time explaining the "fishing" part so that the beginner can learn how to approach a pool or work a river or wade the flats without spooking all the fish or violating the rules of etiquette that are (hopefully) followed by the more knowledgeable anglers. The beginner might not "get it" right away but they will at least have a clue, and as they improve their skills and spend more time on the water they will begin to understand what the instructor was trying to teach them.


p.s. I voted "As many sessions as necessary, then fishing." That could mean fishing on the first day or not, depending on the type of fishing and the skill level of the client.
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 498
Lawn First!

Good morning,
Lawn first is essential! What it offers is "Angling" with out the fish. Allowing the Angler time to associate him / herself with the equipment. But a key thing here is to instill in the student at that time that this is a practice that is life long!
A cast is like a great painting, book, poem, or anything that requires lifelong duty. How many of our seasond readership still get out the equipment in between seasons, when the river is not producing, or just to spend a few with the kids on a cool spring evening after a hectic day at work, throwing some line. I do! A quick trip up to the local middle school field, or just in the front yard, people may look at you funny at first, but most understand "commitment" when they see it!
Practice makes perfect! If we are to become truley good Anglers, and to teach same, then the practice needs to always be there. This is the sign of a well rounded Sportsman.
I had the pleasure of living next door to Skip Morris some years back. He practices on grass. I think if more "Newbies" were given this instruction along with "How to cast", you might see a higher level of "Maturity" on the river when the time comes.

Hope you all are having a great weekend

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Old 12-05-2004, 08:17 PM
salt dog salt dog is offline
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Location: Puget Sound / Mazama
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Probably sounds strange, but one of the singular pleasures I've had in flyfishing is teaching casting to newbies, mostly ages 8 thru 14, boys and girls, up to 5 at a time. Lots of fun if you can let go and just sit back and enjoy the whole process.

I try to keep learners joking around to keep them loose and having fun so they willingly follow 'suggestions'. Keep lessons short: two short stints on the lawn, before and after lunch, then down to the river the next day. The water is carefully chosen for clear back cast area, safe water, with lots of little dumb rainbows in it, diverse enough to allow better casters (read that as athletic and good listeners) onto faster water, and slower learners on the slow big pools where I can easily pick out knots, dodge flies, shadow cast with them, and take off fish. Oh yea, and water where no other ff can be bothered, as it is very frustrating to others. Generally, kids are so much easier to teach then adults; women are easier to teach then men (Women aren't expected to perform well, so they leave the ego out and just have fun with it). IMO, keep lessons(2) short, and spaced out so they have time to digest it: they will think about it on their own in between; make it fun. Some newbies get by with one lesson, most need 2 or more. Most courtesy breaches are really about ignorance, but not always. I have had beach fishing wrecked by someone throwing balls for his retriever into the water next to me, then when I sulk to the beach to wait the fool out, they want to chat me up about how much fishing they do! Go figure. A newby can learn from a patient mentor, some fools will never get it. Be patient with newbies on the water, but do tell them politely about breaches of fishing etiquette while explaining how better to fish that section, or while offering them a better fly pattern to use. It will have much more of an impact than an expletive.
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Old 12-16-2004, 11:42 PM
Morania Morania is offline
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I guess the experiences are different. I'm out here in the middle of nowhere. If I see a human around the marshes, I log in in my "life book."
It's usually consoling to see company so far from help. If he makes noise though, he may become part of the eco system.
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