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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
PS I might have mentioned that Whitney Gould is a champion distance Spey caster and apparetly won the ladies open Nowegian spey casting chsmpionship with casts of 50 meters plus;
Probably 50% more than most of us on here can cast on good day
H
 

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It would be nice to think I have misjudged you. Maybe it's not arrogance that drives your ingratious responces but merely impatience.
Arrogance, impatience or maybe just a passionate dislike of bad teaching references and/or analogies that cause people more problems than they solve?.

I would confidently say most people who know me or have been taught by me would testify to the fact Im not interested in the bull**** or voodoo that can be attached to competent fly casting. I like nothing better than the truth conveyed in a simple manner that makes it easy for as many people as possible to understand and learn from.

You seem to be more concerned with the way I reply to you rather than the substance of my reply. And more to the point why I condemned the 鈥榩oint your toe鈥 instruction and the reason for condemning it.


A picture is worth a thousand words etc but it takes narative from one who truly understands the nuances of the cast to reveal the true science of the DH Spey cast
Thus far i haven't found that narative.
Is it even out there and would you recognise it if you found it? if you dont know what you are looking for how will you ever know when you have found it? Equally you find something you think is it only to later discover it isnt. Personally I think the science behind the perfect fly cast is a bit like snake oil, some people would have you believe its very rare and only they have it, I disagree with that.

There are a number of basic principles that need to be adhered to but there are also a number of different ways to achieve the same thing. Almost everyone doesnt need to know the science, they just need to know how to execute the basic principles consistently and then tie them all together to form a cast.

Sadly, the nearest world class teacher, namely Robert Gillespie is located some three hours drive from me.
Ask Robert about me, he will tell you the kind of guy I am. I do believe I even made a chapter on his website after showing him a few things and explaining to him why I favoured them over conventional teaching. I cant remember for sure exactly what he said but I do remember it was very positive and the term 'instructors instructor' was mentioned, not the first time Ive heard that.

So do you want to look at why the point the toe thing is flawed or not?

Maybe you can tell by the picture I posted?
 

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The penny has dropped.
H
People like simple reference points, there is none better than your belly button when it comes to alignment, I dont think anyone didnt get this when I explained it to them and it was a universal reference, everyones is in the same place and your torso is connected to both your shoulders and your hips.

Feet can be in the open or closed stance (I preferred the closed but it isnt critical) with toes pointing where God put them or the surface allows. If your standing relaxed with your hips and shoulders unwound and your belly button pointing at the target you are good to go in terms of correct alignment.
 

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I wonder if the 鈥減oint your foot at the target鈥 advice is somehow connected to the common technique used for single handed closed stance casting for accuracy.

Maybe some instructions are given in an attempt to relate a new technique to one that we might already posses to some extent.

I would think a stance that allows decent balance and feels fairly natural throughout the range of motion we use in our cast is best.
 

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I wonder if the 鈥減oint your foot at the target鈥 advice is somehow connected to the common technique used for single handed closed stance casting for accuracy.

Maybe some instructions are given in an attempt to relate a new technique to one that we might already posses to some extent.

I would think a stance that allows decent balance and feels fairly natural throughout the range of motion we use in our cast is best.
The problem with instructions, reference points and analogies is that they are easily copied from one lazy or thoughtless instructor to another, therein lies the problem as I see it. Ive watched and listened to lots of instructors, qualified and not and its clear who the thinkers are versus those who just repeat the same old badly thought out rubbish. Sadly the thinkers are in the vast minority.

Undoubtedly there will be casters who's feet are connected via their ankles to their legs and then torso at an angle that if pointed at the target would align them nicely. These people then think 'well it works for me so it must work for everyone' when a bit of thought and observation would establish it couldnt and wouldnt.

I have shown three common types of stance above that we have all seen in life, clearly if the majority of them pointed their lead foot at the target their bodies would be miles away from any form of correct alignment. Thats why you have to give people reference points that work universally, Ive never seen the belly button one not work along with making sure they have no twist in the hips or shoulders. Feet are just a connection to mother earth in a fly cast, nothing more and should never be used as a point of reference.

Stand relaxed facing the mirror, now look down and see where your feet are pointing. Unless both feet are pointing straight ahead and parallel to one and other your going to struggle with the point your foot reference, and thats before you get into the boulder strewn river.

I would go as far as to say this point your toe/foot is so ridiculous I cant believe anyone would ever teach it, what must they be thinking about, or not as it appears?
 

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Thanks for the breakdown Hibernicus.
I think this particular detail is often missed out or glossed over in many online demonstrations.

It's well explained here:
Thanks for posting that - seems I have been getting that completely wrong for years. Explains some of my inconsistency, particularly when trying to cast more square.
 

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Thanks for posting that - seems I have been getting that completely wrong for years. Explains some of my inconsistency, particularly when trying to cast more square.
From what I just watched unless performing a ss over a small angle change, this technique would result in you pulling the line across you. Im no expert but there's a lot of crap on the internet. From the many videos Ive watched Andrew Toft explains it best and helped me immeasurably.

 

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From what I just watched unless performing a ss over a small angle change, this technique would result in you pulling the line across you. Im no expert but there's a lot of crap on the internet. From the many videos Ive watched Andrew Toft explains it best and helped me immeasurably.

I think the fault I have been making, is to start the lift with the rod pointing downstream - where the cast has fished out.
The Rio Gawesworth 'Tip' is to start the lift with the rod pointing at the target.

The Toft video warns about dragging the line upstream once you have lifted (in the first minute or so). I think they are different issues - but happy to be corrected.

I need to watch the whole of the Toft video carefully this evening. I have seen it in the past

I am certain neither Toft or Gawesworth videos fall into the crap category - its just a question for me of trying to understand what they are telling you.

I would like to spend a whole morning or afternoon with an instructor, in a real fishing situation, rather than off a platform - but I doubt that will ever happen.
 

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To me they are two different styles but the 鈥渟traight down stream鈥 lift seems to be more common from what I have seen on the river.

The two approaches are explained in the link that paddymc posted.

I don鈥檛 think either one is wrong but it appears that by pointing before we lift we don鈥檛 have to think about the dip so much. This style seems to promote fixed arm positions through the sweep, which limits an other source of possible inconsistency in our motion. I think it results in a flatter over all line trajectory, which may ultimately be more efficient.

The question I have is, is one approach easier to master than the other and what do the experienced casters on here recommend for someone wanting to improve their consistency?

Do you employ one or the other lift based on the angle change you want to achieve or is it more a matter of preferred style?
 

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I think the fault I have been making, is to start the lift with the rod pointing downstream - where the cast has fished out.
The Rio Gawesworth 'Tip' is to start the lift with the rod pointing at the target.

The Toft video warns about dragging the line upstream once you have lifted (in the first minute or so). I think they are different issues - but happy to be corrected.

I need to watch the whole of the Toft video carefully this evening. I have seen it in the past

I am certain neither Toft or Gawesworth videos fall into the crap category - its just a question for me of trying to understand what they are telling you.

I would like to spend a whole morning or afternoon with an instructor, in a real fishing situation, rather than off a platform - but I doubt that will ever happen.
I guess its all down to how these things are communicated. I am nothing more than a novice fly fisherman but many videos have been misinterpreted by me and led to me becoming baffled as to why things weren't working properly. I can only put this down to things not being covered properly in the video. My current dilemma is a snake roll and a work in progress.

Take the Tropher Brown video, then do a 70/80deg change of direction to target, your fly's still at the dangle angle and you'll pull the fly line across you. In my humble opinion...

ps I know Im sticking my neck out here as there are some very very good instructors reading this so fully expect to get humiliated :D
 

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I guess its all down to how these things are communicated. I am nothing more than a novice fly fisherman but many videos have been misinterpreted by me and led to me becoming baffled as to why things weren't working properly. I can only put this down to things not being covered properly in the video. My current dilemma is a snake roll and a work in progress.

Take the Tropher Brown video, then do a 70/80deg change of direction to target, your fly's still at the dangle angle and you'll pull the fly line across you. In my humble opinion...

ps I know Im sticking my neck out here as there are some very very good instructors reading this so fully expect to get humiliated :D
I guess you are just going down the same path as most people, including me.

Part of it I imagine, is what they call 'Feel and Real' (in golf instruction) - you are totally convinced you are making one series of movements. But when you watch a video recording of yourself, it is absolutely nothing like it. Much easier nowadays to record yourself with a mobile phone.

Also if you get the first bit wrong the rest of the cast is doomed and you go down a rabbit hole trying to puzzle it out, looking in the wrong place.

Most people cant cast properly either , so not much chance of getting help on the riverbank - typically.

It's a challenge.
 

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Pointing your rod tip towards your target is ok if the line outside the rod tip isnt too long, lifting inline with the dangle or even in-bank can be more effective with longer headed lines or sinking shooting heads.

Simon's point about centrifugal force is wrong if the correct tempo is used during the sweep, what he describes would only happen if your sweep was too fast and uncontrolled.

There are lots of ways to skin the cat.
 

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I have taught literally thousands of people to spey cast albeit at very differing levels from group demonstrations right through to long term regular one to one level.

The results of my endeavours have been mixed no matter how hard I have tried. Bear in mind your average fly casting instructor will generally see far more people who are struggling and cant seem to get it than very talented casters maybe aspiring to be an instructor themselves. Why have I struggled to always get the results I wanted? well sometimes people just dont have the patience or determination to succeed and they give up too easily, other times they cant afford to pay for regular lessons or choose not to, occasionally they are just guys better suited to spinning, we cant all be good at everything. Something that has always been clear is the more a pupil would visit me the better they would become because you cant learn everything in a 2hr lesson.

What I have absolutely no doubt about though is that whenever someone is struggling regardless of their level its usually because the dont really understand in a clear way what exactly they are trying to do and why they need to learn to become good at the basics which I will show them. Simple things like line tension, correct alignment to their target, appropriate timing, correct rod angles and observing the results of your actions. Its true you cant see yourself unless to go to the trouble of filming or use advice like I would give of looking at yourself in a mirror or your reflection in your patio doors etc, watching yourself is a real good way to see what your doing right and wrong so long as you have been show what is right and needs to be practised.

I remember a chap who couldnt get the rod back behind him at the appropriate angle of 45 degrees, he barely went past the vertical so I put him in the right position, gave his some reference points to repeat the position and took a photo of him in the right position which I sent him. I then asked him each evening to spend 20 min in front of the mirror adopting the correct position, once in the right position getting him close his eyes and get a feel for it then drop the rod down and repeat. Laterly adopting the position with his eyes closed and then opening them and see if he was there. Next time I saw him his position was perfect, felt natural to him and had became ingrained in 2 weeks, this allowed us to move on to his next problem because problems need to be fixed in an order. If this guy wasn't committed to his training he wouldn't have progressed as quickly as he did.

It is possible to learn from books, videos and demonstrations at Game Fairs etc but only so many of us will progress well that way, the truth is regular 1-2-1 tuition and then practise is the main way anyone will make good progress in a reasonably short space of time but this will cost you money.

I was once the subject of a magazine article where the editor asked the question 'why do salmon fishers spend so much money on fishing and so little on tuition'? something Ive always pondered to myself.

Here is a very simple example of something I see all the time, anchor placement on a single spey. So many people dont know where it should be, thats a very easy one to establish with a very simple foolproof method that isnt hard to remember. So then after that its a case of landing it in the right place consistently, I can then help them to do that but the number of times I would ask a pupil there that last anchor landed and they look at me with a blank expression of not knowing is amazing. When questioned as to why they didnt know they would be quick to answer 'well I wasnt looking', ok so do you think looking to spot your anchor might be beneficial? then the smile comes as the penny drops...

Ive seen this so many times its quite amazing.

If anyone wants to learn then go see an instructor with a good reputation and dont be star struck or afraid of them, if you dont understand then ask them to explain in a different way until you do. Unfortunately like all other things in life all instructors aren't as good as each other so best try and find one who someone who comes recommend and sadly its also not a case of getting what you paid for.
 
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