Fly casting instruction and fly fishing lessons in southern Ontario
for all skill levels. Learn to flycast on the Grand River, or on
another Ontario river, like the Thames River or the Maitland River.
Recieve solid and practical fly fishing tuition - from one of the
most experienced fly fishing guides and fly fishing instructors
in Ontario - with no bull and no guff.
you need instruction?
In fly fishing you have to be able to cast the fly. You may not
need to cast it very far, but you do need to be able to do it, and
you need to be able to cast safely and accurately.
I have over 40 years of fly fishing
under my belt, starting way back when I was a wee lad of 6-years
old in Scotland. Over those years, I have picked up a trick or two,
which will help me show you how to cast a fly. It's not all that
difficult, if you let the rod do the work for you.
For me, the last 27 years have
been hands-on, in the river teaching as I was was the first full-time
casting instructor and guide in Ontario. I was certified as an instructor
by Peter Anderson, ex World Fly Casting Champion, on the River Spey
should hire Ian
Like golf, fly fishing is fraught with many bad habits. Once you
have them, they are quite difficult to get rid of. If you start
out with a few hours of clear and concise instruction, you will
be well on your way to developing good casting habits. More importantly
you will be able to identify and correct the "bad stuff"
as soon as it shows up when you are casting.
What you will achieve
My philosophy to teaching fly casting is a rather simple one. Pull
the fly off the water, point the rod at the target and then deliver
the fly to the target. If you let the rod do what it was designed
to do, then good things will happen. If you try to make the rod
do weird and wonderful things, or if you try to throw the fly line,
then bad things will happen. At the end of the day, you will be
able to cast the fly where you want to, you will do it using the
minimum amount of effort and without faffing about. You will be
able to cast safely and accurately, and above all, you will look
good. We all know it's all about looking good out there on the river...
The youngest person I have taught to cast was a
4-year old boy and at the other end, the oldest person was an 85
year old lady. Several of my students have gone on to open up their
own fly fishing shops and guiding services, which ain 't that bad.
My key points
In a nutshell, here are some of the key points I emphasis when I
am teaching someone to cast.
Learn to cast
safely and accurately.
Learn more than
just the basics of the overhead cast and the roll cast
Pick up some casting
pointers which you can actually use.
I'll even show
you how to stop making all those nasty false casts.
all skill levels from beginner to guide/guru.
All the equipment
is provided, or you can bring your own.
"Fine Tune" and improve
your existing skills or learn new techniques.
If you want to cast like a seasoned pro, or a non-seasoned
pro, here's your chance.
It's all about lunch
I've said it before and I am saying it again, bring your own lunch
and eat it on the riverbank. The streamside snack shown on the right
was brought along by a lady from the Emerald Isle who was feeling
peckish. God Bless the Irish!
Think it through
Sadly, there are far too many fly fishermen who believe that fly
fishing and fly casting are complex. This notion is simply untrue.
You do not need to spend 3 years in the wilderness atop a Tibetan
mountain, armed only with a fly rod and a box of flies, to become
a good fly fisherman. What you may need to do is learn to cast.
If you can't get the fly out to where it should be, it's tough to
catch fish. In some fly fishing techniques, like Czech Nymphing,
you don't "cast" further than the length of your fly rod
and the fish will thump the fly right at your feet. Of course you
need to stand in a river to make this system work, because history
has shown that it's not productive in places like; an airport terminal,
a parking lot or a downhill ski slop.
In keeping with the notion that fly fishing is
complex, there is a ton of "confusing guff" written each
year about things like leaders, tippets, fly selection, matching
the hatch or identifying aquatic insects. Luckily to be a successful
you don't have to worry too much about all those things. You can
take a chunk of monofilament, the same line you would use when spin
fishing, tie it onto the end of your fly line then tie a Hare's
Ear Nymph onto the other end of the monofilament and off you go.
You will get fish, if you can put the fly in front of them. See,
it all comes back to casting.
Mixing it up
When you can cast the fly out to where you want it to go - don't
worry it won't take long - I will teach you how to retrieve the
fly. Most of fly fishing's great unwashed never give this part of
the sport any thought. Once you have the fly out there, bringing
it back properly is critical. You don't want to fall into a "retrieving
rut," by fishing the fly the same way each time you cast it
out. Who the dickens wants to eat vanilla ice cream all year long?
Casting the fly is the easy part of fly fishing. It truly is. Remembering
to vary the retrieve is the hardest part of fly fishing. By the
end of your casting lesson with me:
1. You will cast the fly where
you want to without losing a limb, and eye or your unborn child.
2. You will have two or three productive
retrieves you can use.
3. Above all you will understand
why you must let the rod do the work.
There are also a few other things you will learn when we are on
the river, but I am not willing to divulge them here.
Are you sure
Are you 100% sure your next-door neighbor's, sister-in-law's, hairdresser's,
lawnmower mechanic is in fact, your best source for fly casting
instruction? If not, I'd be pleased to offer you a second option.
$150 to $200 per person for 3 to 4 hours.
Having said that, most folk book in a day of guiding and they use
part of that day of guiding to tune up their casting skills.
If you want to pick up some casting lessons, send
me an e-mail.
I am not making this request for myself. This is for a friend. Honest.