Learning fly fishing-Strathfisher

Achieving the perfect cast

My intention is not to provide a whole load of new instruction and advice, as there is plenty of good clips available on Youtube, on the GAIA website or other instructors websites plus good books and DVDs available. What I will do however is point you in the direction of some of the ones I would recommend to help you improve your casting and your fishing techniques with additional few hints and tips.

What is the difference between a good caster and a bad caster?
Im not totally convinced that perfect casting is a prerequisite to catching fish!  I've witnessed some of the worst casters imaginable catch plenty fish over the years, but they do tend to  have one thing in common and that is their fly spends more time in the water than those that dont catch as much. Guess when you think about it that's a simple recipe for success. I've taken this on board myself and will often minimise my casting strokes to ensure that my fly is operating in the water as efficiently as possible- that is more time in the water looking appetising, than in the air fishing for swallows! Efficient casting, or another term we can use might be 'lean fishing' that is to remove any unecessary actions involving too many muscles, avoid mistakes, keep the fly in the water longer, fishing at the right speeds, depths etc to meet the current conditions. 

So why bother to improve my casting you might ask?
The biggest difference (or benefit) between someone that can cast properly against someone that can't is the sheer enjoyment gained from the whole casting experience. A perfect cast that leads to the the perfect rise from a perfect fish is the 'holy grail' of fishing for me. These are the fish that remain in the memories for many years. You will also be able to adapt to a multitude of conditions, some extreme where fishers will often retire as they just cant cope.
The list is endless..............high and fast water, wrong bank requiring the use of the left hand more, high winds, squalls, high banks with no wading access, requirement to wade deep, overhanging trees, wind in our face ........................................

These are the conditions that require the ability to understand the principles of casting and how to ensure we can always beat the worst of them. 

Also worth noting that flycasting itself can be addictive and a good way of relaxing
 Think Tai Chi- Think Fly Chi
30 minutes, purely spent fly casting in a field, involves a wide range of  slow movements, using synchronisation of a variety of muscles and  requires deep concentration, creating a feeling of relaxation similar to what we probably achieve  from meditation

try it! 

Like every other sport or past time if you want to get better and improve you need to practice. Fly casting is no different to golf, cricket, snooker or darts. You need to practice if you want to improve and hopefully as well as the relaxation and enjoyment casting it will help you catch more fish. 

Some handy books to buy
Flycasting Skills by John Symonds and Philip MaherISBN No. 978-t-906122-49-2 This is easily one of the best illustrated and instructional books on flycasting available,
Well written, explaining the various casts and the techniques for performing them efficiently.
Check out Johns other excellent book "How to FlyFish"

Some useful websites to visit
http://www.sexyloops.comPaul Arden is one of the worlds best single hand casters in the world and a highly qualified instructor. His site is excellent for the more advanced fly fisherman with lots of good technical stuff and some quality dicussions
http://www.robertgillespie.netRobert has a neat way of explaining Spey casting and some very handy hints and tips. He is a master of the art and his casting clips and instructional technique is excellent.
http://gameanglinginstructors.co.ukThe GAIA website with a list of instructors available across the UK. Watch out for some useful casting clips, advice and events as this website evolves.
http://www.thebfcc.co.ukSite of the British Fly Casting Club. Recommend joining for a fee of £20 as even attending only one event will teach you so much about flycasting, with free lessons at the event plus the chance to enter or just watch some amazing casting.