When do you use open stance, Vince?now wish I’d learnt open first as the transition would have been easier between styles.
The way I look at flycasting is that there are four main disciplines; distance, accuracy, Speys and Presentation casts. I would argue that because closed stance helps keep the shoulders squarely aligned to the target and it is the most useful style for all the disciplines apart from Distance.
The only other time apart from distance when I teach open stance is when it’s appropriate to watch the back loop. However in a fishing situation watching the back loop when trying to execute anything other than a blind distance cast is generally unhelpful. So even if I use it to establish loop control, I get the caster to switch back to closed and have the confidence that his/her backcast is doing what it should when he/she is not watching it. The problem can be of course when not watching it they forget about it But they have to learn to remember!
Generally when it comes to open stance I would make this switch for distance casting. However a tight closed stance with a fast haul is effective to over 100ft, so even for “fishing distance” casts the closed stance is very effective. Often I see CI candidates switching to Open for the 75’ cast, and while this can make life easier it’s not necessary and can and often does introduce a world of tracking problems.
Ultimately I would hope that any student will learn Closed, Open and Oval styles. In my experience the vast majority of self-taught casters who come to me for their first ever lesson all cast using open stance and have never even tried closed. They all have tracking issues.
Contrary to what you may think, I think you are fortunate to have begun with closed stance!