Originally Posted by wjc
. . . Another good way to practice is to stand with both legs spread on an imaginary line, and cast parallel to that imaginary line with the rod held horizontal. Then you can watch the entire loop formation both front and back. See what happens when you vary the stroke length. Slow the cast to where it barely straightens out both directions. . . .
Jim is right on here with this tip. When I got back into fly-fishing after several decades' absence, I took several series of classes from our local FFF Club's casting instructor, and even though they were free they would have been worth real money. The best self-correcting tip I got from these classes - Beginning Flycasting, Intermediate Flycasting & Double Haul Flycasting - was horizontal casting in front of yourself. It's also a good way to warm up. The real advantage of horizontal casting is that you can easily see what you're doing right and wrong, and what little changes in technique will do to your cast. When I got to Double-Hauling, horizontal casting was essential to learn what to me was the tricky line-hand timing of the Double Haul.