Expected time for newbie casters - 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 08-05-2004, 08:21 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Expected time for newbie casters

Over the years I've taught a lot of newbies how to cast. Some are ready to fish later that day, others will not be for several more sessions on the lawn.

Most of the single hand instruction has been for coastal saltwater fishing purposes. Certainly not as easy as freshwater, although stream fishing for trout is far from trivial the demands on physical control and timing to put flies into wind and waves effectively to catch fish can be a harder challenge overall.

I would like to get a broad sense for what the general readership thinks about this topic, just for curiosity's sake.

If you wanted to set a guideline for training before taking someone fishing...
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Old 08-05-2004, 09:35 AM
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Penguin Penguin is offline
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Training/behavior modification incentives...

The use of a remote controled, instructor operated "electric" dog field training collar set on stun to insure "proper form" not withstanding, it's NICE to provide some time onthewater to play around with "new and/or previously unfamiliar concepts" and to practice the days lessons while they are still fresh...
The immediate self-induced and typically humbling feedback and the opportunity to "catch" will greatly enhance the overall "fishing" experience and firmly set a positive spin.
The newbie will leave with every intention of a speedy return...and will/should have plenty of time onthelawn to further refine the process!
Eye protection highly encouraged!!!
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:04 AM
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Dble Haul Dble Haul is offline
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I tend to agree with Penguin in that some time on the water can reinforce the practical application of what is learned during instruction, even if the casting isn't perfect. The notion of positive feedback by potentially catching a fish doesn't hurt either.
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Old 08-05-2004, 10:11 AM
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North Island North Island is offline
just say no to bait
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I like to see the new fisher get on the water ASAP.

I try to put them on water that does not require them to cast very far at all. Unfortunately it has been my experience that the eagerness of new fisher counter effects the patience it takes to learn fly casting, ending up with a major flail session.

Student with some athletic ability and a patient coach at their side can learn on the water in a fishing situation. This definately works best one on one IMO. With any luck maybe they will catch a fish

Cheers N I

Although the remote dog collar would prabaly work faster
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Old 08-05-2004, 12:32 PM
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jfbasser jfbasser is offline
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I like the idea of the lawn first session because there is much familiarization with equipment that needs to take place and there is no need for water nearby. Lawns are usually a short commute away and can cut down on the initial investment of time and you can usually get out of the wind. I would leave a book or video behind and suggest a little self practice. If the person is willing to devote a little time to self practice over the next few days then you know they are serious. Second session can be on the water without fly and try to add a fly and get fishing as soon as possible.
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Old 08-05-2004, 12:45 PM
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I find that nothing can replace the resistance of the water. Whether snapping off a roll cast or setting up the back cast with tension of the water flexing the rod as you lift line from the water that resistance is extremely important. The lawn is OK but having your line in the water is what the goal ultimately is and without it even the most basic nuances of casting are compromised.
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:20 AM
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I am a total newb, I got a lawn session then practiced on my own on the lawn and two weeks later I was hacking it up on Davis lake, I think practice practice practice before you waste your buddys day on a fishing trip. might sound silly but watching a vid on some one casting at sexyloops really helped me, now I only slap the water with the fly instead of smacking my fly with my pole and making spectacular knots.
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by North Island
Although the remote dog collar would prabaly work faster
I think that would have helped me.
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:05 PM
OC OC is offline
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I like the collar idea also. But in my perfect world everyone who fly fishes would have a collar on but me. And not surprising I would have the magic button.

Seriously though I wish beginers would start out slow. Lawn is great to practise after dinner and then playing around on lakes for sun fish and the likes. By biggest concern in todays world is that folks want to fish for the most difficult of fish right off the bat, stripers on the flats, Tarpon, permitt, spring creek trout and NW steelhead. To me that's like saying I want to learn to play baseball and going up against Roger Clemens 1st time at bat. Have a feeling that on the great Salmon rivers of Europe not too many newbies just step in and fish a beat. Can imagine they are told quickly that they are not so welcome. I remember it was that way when I was young on many of the great eastern trout streams, you worked your way up to them in skill level, you walked softly and learned the ways of those that came before you. I know in the USA anyone can fish for anything just about, be he beginner or not but I got to say I feel loathing at times to see beginners just stepping to the batters box to face a 100 MPH fastballer. I also feel sorry for him because it can not be as enjoyable as catching sunfish and learning all that goes along with casting, like observation, fly tying, building leaders and the likes.

I have no problems with guides on rivers or flats who's clients are good fishermen and do not have to be hand held. But boy it can be frustating to those who have worked there way up in their fishing ability to have other not so worthy plugging up runs and flats alike. I would like to see guides or teachers take their clients or at least try to convince their clients to fish for fish that are more to their level because the client will get far more out of it and his skill level will not only increase but he will understand more of what he is doing.
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:25 PM
Morania Morania is offline
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The water's free

I'm relatively new to fly fishing and may not understand the protocol and etiquette that goes with it, but the idea of a beginner "getting in the way" of the experienced doesn't make sense, and may even ring of snobbery.
It all becomes balanced out when a professional beach caster gets to my favorite hole on the surf before I do. I should have gotten there faster. I can't fish at his level but he's still in my way. If a guide wants to eat, he has to get clients. They pay, they play. If they get to a favorite hole first, alarm clock adjustments are in order.
Get the rod, go to the water and cast to to your hearts delight. If you stink and can handle the embarrassment, more power to you. You'll either learn or go get womeone to help you.
The water is free. (Mostly.) I'm going to use it no matter how hard they laugh at me. When I'm finished, it's your turn.
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:34 PM
Jake_R Jake_R is offline
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F-N-G (friggin-New-Guys)

they cant or dont usually catch much of any thing but they will low-hole you and look right at you and waive bacause every thing is friggin new even his simms goretex, matching vest and faggy hat. but over the years of fishing crowded california and oregon waters ive found that you can use them to your advantage by keeping them below you and close enough that your swing can get past them into the water you want to fish by timing.they wont get it until theres a three foot long rocket taking off right in front of them and then its all you my man and they are none the wiser they just think its cool to see a fish. some guys,being new are easily persuaded to move on some arent . its all about perception,if your demeanor is kind,warm and friendly on the outside then use your cunning and calculate a strategy to get around the obsticle to acomplish your goal. may sound selfish but i'm thinking about steelhead not about the other guy.
never give a sucker an even break.
but if the guide hes with is worth his salt all of that wont happen. so all you F-N-Gs out there dont be afraid. get out there and make your mistakes and dont forget the most important part ,HAVE FUN!!!!!!!

Last edited by Jake_R; 08-28-2004 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 08-28-2004, 03:33 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Here in the PNW I've had new fly fishers tromp right in the water below me, walk and splash and fast as they can out to waist deep, and scare every steelhead that was lying there out of the run all because they can't cast more the 45' and think that they have to be waist deep to "get to the fish". This is very maddening because in another 40' of cast and step (as steelhead and atlantic salmon fishers cover the water) I would have been covering that water and the steelhead that used to be in it. Even more maddening is the attitude of the dude who low-holed and scared the fish in this manner when he is informed of his breach of stream etique and why he should have either started above those ahead of him in the run or waited his turn to avoid scaring the fish. The all-too-often response from the new guy is "this is a free country, the water belongs to everyone, you are a snob, etc.".

Another all to often scenario here in the PNW is the new fly fisher jumps in the water 150' below you and then parks there instead of moving downstream a step or two after a 2-3 casts. This causes the experienced fishers to move down in the step and cast, step and cast that is the most efficient manner to fish a steelhead run until he now has his casts running the risk of foul-hooking the new guys line or fly. Upon being asked if he would move down a bit, the new guy far too often ignores the request or says the same inane "the water is free, this is a free country, I'm just out for a day's fishing and don't appreciate your hasseling me, etc." Then to add insult to injury, when you move downstream of the new dude, he gets all huffy and angry that you are fishing "his water" despite the fact that he hasn't moved in the 45 minutes he has been fishing. And all too often as you draw near him from above, he starts giving you the look and many time says something about you crowding him and that you should go elsewhere if you can't respect another angler's "fishing spot".

Also, many time the new fly fisher will wade out to where you are casting, instead of waiting until you are finished fishing through the run, just to "chat" and visit. This is also very maddening since he almost invariably stands in the way of back casts or D Loops, chatters along while you are trying to concentrate on your fly's progress and how it is fishing, and in general just gets in the way. If the new guy would simply wait until the experienced fisher is finished fishing through the run before he starts talking to him, the experienced fisher would visit and be pleasant. However, when the new guy wades out and disturbs the experienced fisher, the experienced guy is less than happy, gets a little peeved at the inconsiderate actions of the new guy, and wants to get rid of him as soon as possible.

Likewise on a public spring creek when a new guy walks right up to the stream and scares every trout in the pool that the experienced fisher just spent 20 minutes sneaking up to the water's edge to cast to the fish without spooking them. Or the new guy slaps the water from the other bank with his casts and scares the fish that the experienced fisher has been working to catch for the last 15 minutes.

This is the stuff that OC was talking about. And the only way the new fly fisher learns how to do these things with consideration and fish and cast with skill, is by starting on easier to catch fish like sunfish and bluegills before he goes for steelhead or spring creek trout. Even the world's greatest guide cannot teach a newcomer how to cast 80' on steeelhead river in one day, nor can a great guide teach a newcomer how to make very gentle casts of 50' on a spring creek in one day.
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Old 08-28-2004, 06:39 PM
Jake_R Jake_R is offline
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sounds familiar.................
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Old 08-28-2004, 09:42 PM
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well so far I have only seen me fishing so I don't think I have upset anyone, however a dude drove by and honked excesivly at me, possibly a fellow angler from the great pnw.
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Old 12-04-2004, 01:46 AM
fishingbum fishingbum is offline
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i practiced for about four months on grass and ponds before even tying a fly onto my leader. it's a bit different when the fish start to rise or the water's flowing fast and cold, but i think the practice helped. i couldn't (still can't) afford casting lessons, so i took a freebie and the instructors liked my cast except for a small twist in the wrist which i've been watching. practice helps. now i'm back, landlocked from trout, and again practicing. trying to get good at longer, tighter casts so i can hunt reds on the coast.

i was lucky enough to get to fish some not-so-travelled areas in northwest colorado for three months so running into experienced anglers wasn't a big deal for me. if i did get a spot that was crowded, i'd either go elsewhere or wade as softly as possible. if i was alone and tripped and splashed, i only hurt my own chances. doh. sometimes, i think it's best to quietly watch experts fish a hole rather than try to fish the hole yourself if you're a relative newb like me.
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