At its core, fly fishing is about fly casting because this is the action that will carry your fly to the fish. It follows then that the more water you can effectively and efficiently cover as you cast and present your fly, the higher the probability that ultimately you’re going to put your fly in front of a fish. A requisite for success is having the knowledge, muscle strength, and muscle memory to cast both short and long distances in a wide variety of circumstances. Knowing and practicing a wide variety of casts will allow you to place a fly where the fish are.
Joan Wulff once wrote, “There are two areas of expertise that are deemed most important to fishing success, and fly fishermen, especially those who pursue trout, often argue about which is more important. The first is knowing where the fish lie (reading water) and the second is being able to present the fly (presentation/casting). My thought is this: if you don’t know where the fish lie but can cast well enough to cover all of the water with finesse, you are likely to solve the mystery and catch fish. If you know where they lie but can neither reach them nor present the fly naturally, you are not even in the game.”
In order to be a successful fly fisherman, it is paramount that you learn how to cast well. Simply stated, if you can’t cast, you won’t be able to place your fly near the fish. Fly fishing demands that an angler is able to cast both short and long distances (70+ feet) using a variety of casts, tirelessly. If you don’t enjoy casting a fly rod, fly fishing is NOT the sport for you.
Knowing a variety of casts will allow you to present your fly to fish in lmost every situation. The goal of instruction is to teach you various casts, when to use them, their application in windy conditions, the mechanics of casting, and ultimately to teach you enough to solve your own casting problems when they occur on the water.
Here is a short video on fly casting
Thanks to Kelli Clouse and VisitRanier.com for putting this together!
Where are the fly casting classes taught?
The fly casting classes are taught at the lake at the Toledo County Park in southwest Washington. The lake at this park provides an ideal classroom for the student to learn about casting. Water is a necessary component of many casts and the lake provides an ideal situation to learn. The park is located approximately 45 minutes south of Olympia and approximately 70 miles north of Portland, Oregon, near the town of Toledo Washington.
When are the fly casting classes taught?
The fly casting classes are offered year-round. If you’re interested in taking a class, please contact me and let me know how soon you’d like to take a class and whether weekend or weekdays work better and I can work with you to get a class scheduled. These classes are private to maximize my time with you or your group.
Spey Casting Instruction
Spey casting originated on the River Spey in Scotland and has been around for hundreds of years but is becoming more and more common in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere because it solves many casting problems that we face while on pursuing fish in many locals. Spey casting allows one to cast for long periods of time without tiring and it allows long casts to be made when there is very little or no room for a back cast. Spey-casting is most commonly used with long rods, rods that range from 12-17 feet in length. These rods allow you to cast great distances with relative ease. However, Spey casts can also be made with a single-handed rod and the same techniques become invaluable in many situations. We’ll go over the following casts: Single Spey Cast, Double Spey Cast, Snake-Roll, C- Spey, Snap-T. Although spey casts can be performed on grass, it is suggested that Spey casts be done on water. You’ll get far more out of a personalized spey casting lesson than you will from watching videos, reading books or attending free clinics. If you’re interested in learning to spey cast, this is the best way to do it! Here is a short clip of me performing a switch cast.spey casting demo (this may take some time to download). In addition to spey casting, I also teach fly casting using a single-handed rod. The lessons are tailored to the individual and I offer classes for the beginning to the advanced caster. Please read on…
The odds are that you need formal fly casting instruction
- Can you double-haul?
- Can you throw a fly line in excess of 70 feet comfortably and consistently?
- Are you able to roll cast 50+ feet?
- Do you know how spey cast? (It’s not just for “spey” rods you know…)
- Do you know what creates wide casting loops?
- Do you know what creates tight casting loops?
- Do you know what creates wind-knots?
- Can you throw curved casts?
- Are you able to throw aerial mends?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions AND you’re serious about fly fishing, you need to enroll in a casting class taught by a trained, experienced casting instructor. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced caster, you ought to continue to improve your skills by practicing and seeking instruction.
Overhead or basic fly casting
The goals of overhead or basic casting is to help you gain proficiency while casting the fly line ‘overhead’. We’ll work on roll casts, basic casts, false casts, ariel mends, curve casts, and distance. To achieve distance, we’ll work on learning hauls – both single and double. These casts are suited to both novice, intermediate, and advanced casters.
Where have I given demonstrations?
Northwest Fly Tying Expo – Albany, Oregon
The Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Expo – Port Townsend, Washington
The Northwest Fly Casting Exposition – Carnation, Washington
Maximize your fishing time and your success by improving your casting
- Do you get frustrated undoing wind knots?
- Do you find that the big fish are just out of reach?
- Are you able to get your fly to your target when it’s windy?
- Can you make a 70+ foot forward cast when there is a high bank, rock wall, or row of trees within a few feet behind you?
A fair majority of fly anglers have elementary casting skills at best. As a guide who works with hundreds of guests per year in both both Alaska and here in the Pacific Northwest, I’m often amazed at the number of fly fishermen willing to spend tens of thousands on equipment and traveling to remote/ exotic/expensive locations with such a limited set of skills.
In order to be a consistently successful as a fly fisherman here in the Pacific Northwest where big, weary fish inhabit our waters, it is paramount that you learn how to cast well. Some species of fish may not require long casts. However, for many of the more difficult species such as steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, bonefish, tarpon, rooster fish, and permit, you’re not going to get by with those 30-foot casts that you may get away with when trout fishing on small streams.
You deserve personalized attention
Because the class size is kept small, no more than 4, you’re guaranteed to receive the personal attention required to help you understand the mechanics of casting. Each class is tailored to help you advance to the next level. The goal of each class is to teach you the mechanics of casting so that at the end of the day you have the tools necessary to solve your own casting problems.
Fly fishing is about fly casting – Improve your skillset
Simply stated, if you can’t cast well, you won’t be able to catch the more challenging species of fish. Fly fishing demands that an angler is able to cast both short and long distances (70+ feet) using a variety of casts, tirelessly. If you don’t enjoy casting a fly rod, fly fishing is NOT the sport for you.
Knowing a variety of casts will allow you to present your fly to fish in almost every situation.The goal of instruction is to teach you various casts, when to use them, their application in windy conditions, the mechanics of casting, and ultimately to teach you enough to solve your own casting problems when they occur on the water. There are courses for overhead casting and traditional spey casting.
Here is a close up of performing the double-haul : Double-Haul (this may take some time to download)
You need an FFF certified fly-casting instructor
When you take casting lessons from me, you can be assured that I have the necessary instruction skills because I am a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor & Two-Handed (Spey) Certified Casting Instructor. I have had the good fortune of training with some of the best fly casters in the Country and am please to say that I was the 22nd person world wide to achieve the Two-Handed (Spey) casting certification. As of January 2008, there are only approximately 30 of us world-wide.
What skills are required to become a FFF Certified Casting Instructor?
Two-Handed Certification Requirements
Certified Instructor Requirements
$99.00 per person for a 4-hour class. Rods/reels/lines included if necessary.
Unlike many of the crowded “free” classes that are offered by fly shops, when you take a lesson with me you will never be put into a class with more than 3 other people so that individualized attention can be given. I have a range of rods in different weights available. If you’re interested scheduling a casting lesson, please let me know and I can give you additional information.