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This page outlines my approach to fly casting and fly fishing tuition in the following areas:
> Why Have Fly Casting or Fly Fishing Tuition?
> Tuition for Beginners
> Tuition for Intermediate/Advanced casters
> Tuition for Groups
> How much does it cost?
> Gift Vouchers
> Contact me to book tuition
There are many reasons why people want tuition. If you're starting out in fly fishing, a couple of hours of lessons may just be the best investment you can make. Many of us (me included) are initially self taught, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. But unless you are naturally very gifted, you will end up with some built-in faults which can limit your enjoyment and effectiveness out on the water. The best way to start is with some lessons from an instructor (AAPGAI, SGAIC, or FFF), who can give you a sound technique to build on, as well as good advice on tackle to buy and places to go.
As I said, I was self-taught, and I reached a reasonable standard. But I was perplexed by recurring tailing loops that tangled the leader; I was limited in the distance that I could cast - no matter how much effort I put in, or how heavy the gear; worst of all I always ended the day with a sore arm and shoulder. All of these faults were easily cured by getting some sound instruction. I wish I'd done it earlier!
Talking to really good casters is always worthwhile. I've cast with some truly great anglers and casters and without exception they all say the same thing: They can all see areas for improvement and development in their own casting. They all take every opportunity to get other people to watch their casts and see if they can improve further. Great casters all know the same thing: It's almost impossible to see your own casts in an objective light, and a trained instructor can spot the little things that turn OK casts into great ones.
The world of fly casting is huge and complex, with many different casts and techniques to learn. Happy with your distance? Why not learn some curve casts? Overhead casts really cooking? Why not add some speycasting to the mix? Going on the trip of a life time and worried about slinging big flies on heavy gear?
A good instructor can help you grow as a caster no matter how experienced you are.
If you are thinking of starting fly fishing, I really recommend you get a lesson from a qualified instructor - even if it's not me! Get a lesson before you think of buying a rod, reel, line, or flies.
A good instructor will be able to explain how the kit works, give you a sound basic technique to get you started, and answer the hundreds of daft-sounding questions that you have but didn't like to ask. A good instructor will be able to tailor the lesson to your needs and give you the confidence to get out there and catch fish.
A typical beginners session will generally cover the following:
- Safety and the fishing environment
- Explanation of fly fishing, what it is and how it works
- Explanation of the tackle used, how it works, and how to put it together properly
- How to get started: The Roll Cast, and a pick-up and lay-down overhead cast
- False casting and shooting line
- Line control
- Hooking, landing and handling fish
Other areas which we can look at dependent on time and need, are things like: what fish eat and how to imitate it, locating fish.
At the end of the session with me, you get a list of reference material to help you continue your learning and if required a recommendation as to a suitable balanced fly fishing outfit within your price range to get you started.
Here the field is wide open and the emphasis really is on tailoring the session to your needs.
Before your session we will talk in detail about what you want to get out of it. We'll talk a bit about your experience to date, any problems or concerns you have, and what you'd like to achieve during the session. You may want to focus on just one aspect of fly casting, or to get a broad introduction to a new area - it's up to you.
There really isn't a limit to what we can cover, however typical intermediate/advanced sessions can cover any of the following areas:
- Hauling/double hauling techniques
- Slack line casts, curves, hooks and mends
- Distance casting
- Casting big/heavy flies for pike or saltwater species
- Using sinking lines and sink tips
- Saltwater fly fishing techniques (tailored to the location of your choice)
- Spey casting (Single, Double, Snake Roll, Snap-T, Circle-C, Jump Roll/Switch etc.)
- Individual fly fishing strategies, e.g. Dry fly, Wet fly, Streamers, Still-waters, Pike fishing etc.
At the end of your session I aim to provide you with a written summary of what we've achieved and a suggested plan for you to continue your development should you wish.
On my own I'm happy to help small groups of anglers, up to a maximum of 5 people. Group tuition can be fun and in some circumstances can help learning as each member of the group gets to watch other peoples casts develop.
I can arrange tuition for larger groups if required, although this needs a little notice as I need to bring in additional qualified instructor colleagues to ensure quality of tuition is maintained.
Again, the emphasis will be on tailoring the group session to you needs. Please contact me and we can agree the best way to ensure that everyone has a great day.
For an individual session in and around Edinburgh I charge £40/hour, with a minimum session of 2 hours. I will charge for any significant expenses incurred (e.g. petrol or lunch where provided), and will make this clear upfront before a session is confirmed. I am more than happy to travel around the Lothians, and across Scotland to a venue of your choice.
For sessions of 2 people or more I charge £30/hour per person, again with a minimum of 2 hours, (expenses as above).
For larger groups, please contact me to discuss your requirements and I will quote for a tailored session.
If you'd like to give someone a fly casting lesson as a gift just get in touch with me and we can arrange to send you a tailored gift voucher redeemable against tuition with me.