Fishing is, as far as I am aware, one of the only sports where as a general rule, people do not get lessons. Why? Why is it that so many fly fisherman will not get lessons?
“Everyday is a school day!” This comment was put on a short film showing one of the best casters in the world. It’s so true, but why is it that only the best of the best seem to think it’s necessary to practice and continue to learn?
Throughout the world and here in the UK there are many fly fishing instructors. I am not able to vouch for all however we have some of the best who are willing to teach. It’s not only casting that needs constant attention but revolutionary tackle, river tips, fish management and an understanding of the habitats we encounter on our adventures.
I was lucky enough to be born into fly fishing. Some might say madness but my childhood memories consist of practice. Many days during school holidays I would place buckets in different places around the garden, tie fluff onto the nylon and spend hours working on my distance and accuracy. If I had a garden big enough now I would do the same thing today!
With developing casting techniques and tackle came an absolute need to learn. The rods we used to use are now a completely different story to what is available now. How can we expect to fish to the best of our ability or well enough to be in with a chance of catching a fish if we don’t know how to use out kit? Fly fishing is hard enough.
On the river only yesterday I had this very conversation with a very competent caster who equally could not understand. Articles have been written previously explaining the benefits of learning and becoming a better caster however not one lesson was taken up from it.
Shooting is the same except you have longer to wait between seasons. While shooting with a great friend of mine I always enjoy chatting with his father. An gentleman who has fished all over the world and is one of the finest shots I have every come across. What I loved hearing was that before every season he would practice, get a lesson and re-engage with his shotgun and rods.
To date he is the only client of a reputable sporting agency that took up the offer of a free casting lesson as part of booking a trip. How ironic that he was one of few clients that didn’t actually need a lesson.
Every season for me is a learning season. Each time you step out to the water you learn something new. No matter who I meet, I watch, listen and try to take anything I can to improve my fishing ability.
Eoin Fairgrieve is a master and a true gentleman who is one of the finest casters in the world. Based in Kelso, Scotland on the mighty river Tweed, Eoin will not only improve your casting but help you understand you kit.
Practice makes perfect or in this case will make you a better fly fisher. I would encourage anyone to have lessons even if its only one.