“Becoming a confident and effective caster has never just happened to anyone overnight in their sleep, and no one has ever been able to tell me a single disadvantage to becoming a better fly caster”.
Fly-fishing is defined by fly-casting, and not much else. Some used to think it was defined by the salmonoids but these days there’s almost no species of fish that fly fishermen won’t present a fly to. What makes it “fly fishing” is how we deliver that artificial imitation of a food object to the fish, we cast it using the rod to form an unrolling loop of line that carries the fly line to the target. It’s creating and controlling that loop of line that is the skill to great fly casting.
I’ve been teaching fly-casting and fly-fishing for more years than I care to remember, but in 2007 I undertook the instructor certification exams with Fly Fishers International. I passed my Certified Instructor (CI) test that year, and in 2009, after 2 years of intensive training, I passed my Master Instructors Certification, (MCI).
In 2017 I was deeply honored to be awarded the FFI’s Mel Krieger Instructors award.
The journey to get to this point was one of the best things I’ve done in my life. This journey teaches you a great deal about casting, about yourself, and especially about teaching. I really enjoy teaching and get a special kick when a student “gets it” and understands what good fly-casting is and how it’s achieved. It gives me a huge thrill because I know as a consequence they’re going to be far more comfortable fishing in most conditions, their confidence climbs and consequently they catch more fish.
I teach on many levels, from beginners to advanced casters, I teach accuracy, presentation casts, increasing your distance, improving your general stroke, dealing with the wind, dealing with big flies, roll casts and Spey casts single and double handed, through to mentoring those who are taking the step of becoming instructors themselves to those who are moving from CI to MCI. I am a level 2 examiner with the FFI.
With in excess of 300 species caught on fly, I bring to my fly casting instruction an extensive depth of knowledge of fly fishing generally; from tactics and techniques, to knots, rigs, flies from flats to bluewater, from mountains streams to tropical jungle rivers.
With my ambassadorship roles with Sage and RIO I can turn up with 14ft double handers that could be rigged with a wide selection of lines down to little 2 weights and most things in between.
I also travel extensively to teach, doing a road trip up the east Coast to Townsville and Cairns every few years teaching (and fishing) on the way.
I am available for private lessons here in the Blue Mountains.
Cost $200 for 2 hours minimum for up to 3 people.
For club casting presentations and lessons.
I run organized casting days for groups that cover a wide range of specific themes. Cost is $150 pp for the day from 8am to 4pm. Maximum number 8. These are logged here. These are usually held at the International Regatta center in Penrith.
I also run intensive training weekends for budding casting instructors. These are limited to groups of 6 and run over 2 days. In this time we cover the CI test from beginning to end with full expectations and participation.
What’s Covered In My Casting Days?
Basic casting – improve your tip control and therefore your loops.
Dealing with the wind – from all angles.
Distance casting – throw flies further and better.
Presentation casts – slack lines, aerial mends, curves.
Casting heavy flies.
Fish fighting techniques.
And many others.
Instructors demonstrating what tailing loops look like.
Roll cast and Single hand Spey casting day at Penrith.
Its not always about tight loops. Dean Butler, under the eye of Ken Smith throws a big fly for Murray cod with a smooth wide open loop.