Had a few private casting lessons this last week and with the weather being nice this is the perfect time to brush up on your loops, if you can pull yourself away from fishing that is. I feel a seperation between fishing and casting is important because when you are fishing usually your focused on catching fish more than the dynamics of your cast. Casting in a park is the way to go since you have no fish to distract you, unless your spey casting in which case water helps. For single hand casting a back yard or local park is perfect for perfecting your cast and gaining control of your loops.
I grew up in a family of fly fishing and never had any casting instruction, that i can remember, other than advice from my dad which always ended in an argument. It wasn't until my early twenties that i finally took some casting lessons from Bruce Richards and after that casting became a relaxing zenlike activity, not a frustrating mess. The consistent practice and breaking down of my deeply ingrained bad habits took a bit of time but was much easier to gain control than i had previously thought.
I always thought that to become a great caster you just had to fish more. Now i realize you really have to seperate casting from fishing and then they will start to come together to benefit eachother. So like many people i learned to fish before i learned to cast and was able to do pretty well working around most of my casting handicaps but was limited to only reaching certain parts of the river. Once my casting progressed it became more of a challenge to see if i could catch the fish in the most difficult to reach water. It opened up another world of ability which instead of dismissing a fish as uncatchable if i couldn't reach it now it's a challenge. I may not catch them all but i definately get more eats since working on improving my cast.
Headed to the park yesterday with Jane from Bozeman, who is preparing for a saltwater trip in March so we worked on the double haul and different techniques on casting accurately in the wind. It was really a lot of fun and we saw dramatic improvement in less than an hour just by analyzing the cast.
Please give us a holler at the shop if your interested in booking a private or group casting lesson single handed or spey. We love fly casting as much as fly fishing so if you'd like to improve your cast we are happy to help.
We will also be doing more casting clinics and fly fishing classes through the entire season so we can help you become a better angler.