Who is the authority you trust for learning the fly casting fundamentals?

joeriver

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Hey all,

I'm a complete noob. Barely have gotten my fly wet. But I want to be sure that I start off with good solid fundamentals in fly casting that will last me a lifetime. I realize that nothing can beat in-person lessons, but it's rather difficult right now to get those. I've been scatter-shotting YouTube how-tos, but different voices seem to emphasize different things, and it's a bit confusing.

So my question is: Who is the ONE voice you feel would be the authority on the technical aspects of the fly cast (and all things involved)? It would be a bonus if this voice had video tutorials online, and if you could vaguely direct me to where I might find them.

Thanks.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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My own... seriously, I think everyone has slightly different body mechanics, arm length, height, strength, flexibility, etc. These all play a role in dictating your optimal casting form and cadence. This is probably why you hear so many different voices.

That being said, check out videos from Pete Kutzer at Orvis. You can tell that he teaches a lot of people to cast by the way he communicates. Very clear and simple.

Also, don't expect to be throwing hero casts any time soon. Take your time, throw 20, then 30, 40 ft of line consistently before you start trying to throw bombs. Watch your backcast, keep your elbow close and relaxed (to start), and accept that you are going to have bad days. Even the best casters I know get caught in trees. All it takes is a surprise gust of wind.

Good luck.

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100954

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If you ever have the opportunity to see Gary Borger in person, do it. He is excellent. Does not over complicate. Just teaches how to execute and master the basic casting stroke. I don’t know if he any videos out. You could do a google search.
 

mike_r

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Tim Rajeff. His brother Steve may hold more tournament wins but Tim has more energy and is a fabulous teacher that does not talk over your head or ability. When you get a bit more confidence, slide up to Paul Arden of sexy loops. Paul is an Aussie with an endless amount of enthusiasm for all things fly casting.


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JoJer

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I read (pre-video years) several different how-tos in magazines and books. The one that helped me most was Lefty Kreh. He published a set of books called Lefty's Little Library of Fly Fishing, a 25 Volume Hardcover set, January 1, 1994 . I bought one but couldn't afford the rest right then. I think my daughter has the one I bought, I can't even remember which of volume I bought. But I found the instructions concise, short memorable tips that added YARDS to my newbie casting, i.e. "Where ever the rod tip points last is where the fly will go", and "a fast acceleration and a sudden stop".
P.S. still can't afford the whole set.
PPS I found a pic of the set on Amazon + blew it up to read the titles. The volume I had was, "Lefty's Little Tips".
 
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silver creek

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thomasw

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Some great ones already mentioned, but the one that taught me how to double haul and a few useful casts (the reach etc) was Mel Krieger. An enthusiastic teacher whose passion is infectious...

An example is the following:>
 

Gotribe

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I like Rajeff’s approach, the guy knows how to communicate visually. But you know, go take a live lesson at your local fly shop. Having that instant feedback is valuable even if the instructor isn’t a 5-star YouTube personality.
 

sasquatch7

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Some great ones already mentioned, but the one that taught me how to double haul and a few useful casts (the reach etc) was Mel Krieger. An enthusiastic teacher whose passion is infectious...

An example is the following:>
I had been having trouble with double haul hand work but after watching this video I have no trouble at all . Thank you for posting .
 

SamLam

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I really like Brian Flechsig who has a series on you tube. Brian owns a store in Columbus, Ohio called MAD river outfitters and is more than willing to answer questions by phone or email. He is trustworthy and has never steered me the wrong way. I highly recommend his shop (online) as well as his videos.

Full Disclosure: I met Brian through email and don't make anything by recommending him. He's just a good guy.

Sam
 

joeriver

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Thanks, everyone, for the awesome feedback as usual.
Found myself in Bozeman, MT, this week at the tail end of a road trip with my wife and dog. So on a whim I hired a four-hour guiding trip on the Gallatin with Brian of the Gallatin River Guides based in Big Sky. Was just showing me the fundamentals of drift when I hooked and landed a nice rainbow.

Was a great and inspiring start for me, being the first time I ever wetted a fly. Realized there’s a long ways to go before I’m anywhere close to even being a novice, but was glad to get in the water and looking forward to learning more and hearing the unique perspectives of many.
 

fq13

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If you have Kindle unlimited, Lefty Kreh's Fly Casting Fundamentals is free this month. It is a great book. But, my advice is to read this And pay for a lesson.
 

silver creek

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I just taught a member of my church to fly cast using Bill Gammel's method I posted earlier. He knew that I held a fly fishing class at our local university extension program but no class this year because of CV-19. So I agreed to teach him as long as we were masked up.

I taught him the principles of fly fishing and casting for two hours on one day and showed him the first two steps of Gammel's method and sent him home to practice. The next day, I had him show me that he could perform the first two steps, then we progressed to the side arm cast and then to the overhead cast.

I had him overhead casting 25 feet in about an hour and then I showed him the various aerial and on the water mends he needed to work on. So he was overhead casting in two sessions.

I demonstrated the thumb on top grip, the three point grip, and the V grip. I don't demand that students use a particular grip. I tell them to try the various grips and find the one that allows them to make the best casts.

Bill Gammel's method is the best I have found. I think the reason is that step one separates the forward cast from the back cast. It also teaches loop formation and that the backcast and forward cast must be 180° apart from each other in a SLP.

Step 2 A- The student then links one sidearm back cast and a single linked forward cast in one cycle with a 180° separation and the student allows the backcast to land. The student practices this exercise starting with a short line and then progressing to casting a long line. The student cannot go to the next step UNTIL they can successfully link ONE backcast and ONE forward cast with 180° separation and good extension of the the leader and with SUCCESSFUL REPETITION at all line lengths.

Step 2 B - Then the student advances to link TWO sidearm backcast and forward casts with 180° separation and the student allows the backcast to land.The student repeats the exercise until they get good extension of the the leader with SUCCESSFUL REPETITION AT ALL LINE LENGTHS. At this time they are FALSE CASTING AT MULTIPLE LINE LENGTHS.

Step 3 - The student now performs the same exercise 2A and 2B at multiple line lengths with overhead casts. For a right handed caster, they place the left foot forward and the right foot back so they can see both their back cast and their forward casts.

Once they have completed Step 3 at multiple line lengths, they are ready to start fishing.
 
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