If I were to tell a person how to cast (and mind you I said "if") I would say do what feels right for you for it is your personal experience and quality of life that you seek to improve and enjoy.
Wellll, sort of. But I think that the time it takes to actually get a line in the air and keep it there can be shortened with some good instruction. The hardest hurdle for newcomers, I think, is getting to the point where they learn how to control loop size. And that is where, I believe, good instruction comes in to help shorten the learning curve.
Start with feet and shoulders perpendicular to the target, no slack in the line, lift and accelerate to a hard stop at the 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions while false casting. Straight overhead (assuming no shoulder injuries etc). Grip, a matter of comfort - unless the "comfortable" grip prevents all progress.
I merely suggest that you find and conform to styles that fit your personal needs. These may require a stiff or 'locked' wrist when attempting long or double haul distance casting and a more relaxed wrist and casting style when tossing a three weight line 25' to a trout.
Absolutely. Once you start getting time with line in the air (not your personally Ard
), and start feeling the line straighten out behind you, then you will start fine tuning your timing without even thinking about it, based on the results you see in front of you with every false cast.
Once the timing and loops start working, that's when you'll start developing your own "default" style based on your own body makeup, comfort zone and perhaps even personality.
But as conditions change, so will the "style" of your cast, as Ard pointed out. For instance, a right-handed guy in the stern of a canoe cannot use a sidearm cast (even if that's his default "style") when casting over the port (left) side of a canoe or skiff with another angler in the bow. It is simply too dangerous to the bow man.
And it makes little sense to use a wide open stance and huge stroke when standing in a stream casting 20-40'. For a cast like that, with a dry, I would probably be using a thumb on top, elbow forward, straight overhead cast using mostly wrist with a little bit of forearm for a straight cast. And the reel would not be jammed into my forearm for the backcast because it's totally unnecessary, counter productive and not as comfortable as not doing it. My hand would also be closer to the reel than it is in those pictures.
In short, I would be using a totally different style of casting. Much more like Joan Wulff's fresh-water style than my own default style. And, from what I hear from friends, when she used to fish the Keys, she used a style more like mine down here than her own.
But I really can't agree that a newcomer do what feels right for them, because what I've seen most often is that what feels right to them is generally a 180* windshield wiper cast that doesn't work. And that is followed up by a more vigorous windshield wiper cast that doesn't work even worse.
, eventually followed by discouragement and a return to the spinning rod.
Now for hard-headed people like us, Ard, who started out as kids determined to learn this fly-casting business with no one around to show us anything, we wound up learning stictly through trial and error. But it would have been a lot nicer (and faster) I'm sure for me, if I had had a few lessons way back then.