Fly Casting for the Beginner...

There is little that gives me more satisfaction than helping to introduce someone to a pursuit that has given me so much pleasure over so many years...I guess you could say that this website is a way for me to "pay it forward". I will warn you, fly fishing can become a bit addictive and can have an impact on your bank balance if you let it. It is certainly possible to learn to fly fish on a budget and I hope to help guide you in that process. So, to become a fly fisher, you must first become a fly caster. As you read this section, do not be deterred by its length. There have been numerous books written just on fly casting so consider this the highly condensed version. I believe that reading and generally understanding the information offered below should come before you start watching videos of fly casting so you have a better idea of what you are watching. You will find numerous videos as you move through this section so just be patient.

I am not a "Certified" fly casting instructor but I was taught by one of the great fly casting teachers of our time...Mel Krieger. I have taught many people...adults and kids how to cast a fly rod. I have also watched many of them as they made their first efforts to fly fish so I have seen both the real happiness of successes as well as the "agony of defeat" of many beginners. The ability to cast a fly 20-40 feet is most often the difference between success and frustration or, worse...failure and the decision to quit before even getting started. So, if you have not yet gotten this point, learn the basics of casting and be able to apply them before you ever attempt to get on the water. It will be critical to everything that follows and will determine your future as a fly fisher. Be. patient...a fly caster is not made in a day.

 

As I have stated several times, fly casting requires time and practice. If you are like many people I know, you are in a hurry to go fly fishing. The very best and fastest way to learn to fly cast is to get yourself a casting instructor/teacher that has experience teaching fly casting. There are fly casting schools and clinics in many areas that are typically taught by certified instructors...this is the best way. Other ways you might find good help is through a local fly shop or through a local fly fishing club. There are even dedicated casting clubs like the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco and the Oakland Casting Club. This article and the associated links are probably the next best choice. You might have realized I have not mentioned your buddy or neighbor or your uncle...my concern about suggesting them is simple...the vast majority of fly fishers are not especially good casters and almost all of us (me included) have developed bad habits over time. Unlearning a bad habit is way more difficult than learning properly the first time.

Dozens of books and hundreds of videos and probably thousands of articles have been written and produced just about fly casting. I have read a number of the books cover to cover and read many articles and watched way too many videos in my time. Many of these books, articles and videos are excellent and well worth your time down the road. What I find troubling with much of this information is that the authors or video makers assume some readers/viewers preexisting knowledge of fly casting. I suspect I have also been guilty of this in the past. In this section for beginner fly casters, I have tried to assume no prior knowledge of fly casting. So, if you already know, or think you know, a little about fly casting some of what follows may seem repetitive or a contradiction of something you may have learned. My goal here is to help someone who has zero experience with a fly rod learn enough to make a 25-40 foot basic overhead cast...nothing more.

So let us begin...by the way, there is a test at the end of this section. It is a pass or fail test. The question is "Did you really enjoy your first day of fly casting?"

For the next step, click here...

My philosophy on fly casting...click here

Fly Fishing Terminology...

Like most other professions, hobbies and sports, fly fishing has its own jargon. Here is a handy "lingo" reference from the good folks at Redington...click here

NOTE:

For those of you that just cannot put up with more reading and no action, here is the link to the page with the links to the videos and articles I find to be the best for a beginning fly caster. I would especially like to credit Orvis and Peter Kutzer for their many fine videos on fly casting. Also, a shout out to Joan Wulff for her really great videos. Click here to find these quality videos and articles...