PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

First Lesson

Moderators: Paul Arden, Bernd Ziesche, Lasse Karlsson

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14093
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

First Lesson

#1

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:01 am

Just out of curiosity for a beginner what do you try to teach in the first lesson?

I teach -
Overhead Cast both shoulders
Roll Cast both shoulders.
Change of direction casts for both
The retrieve
Shooting Line
Trajectory angles for casting into the wind.
Roll Cast pickup and overhead cast sequence.
Playing fish.
And quite often the Double Haul.

Sometimes I’ll cover more, specifically directed to the fishing type. Maybe for example quick shots, line management, slack line casts etc. But the above I really think it’s important to get all in.

Of course safety is covered and basic knots, flies, leaders etc.

What I don’t normally cover is variable Casting Arc, Drift, 5 Essentials. With a full day and a group absolutely. But first lesson I specifically aim to cover what is required in order to fish safely.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Lasse Karlsson
Posts: 4195
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: There, and back again
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#2

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:50 am

How long is that lesson?

Cheers
Lasse
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

http://www.karlssonflyfishing.com

***Bring Mark back!!!!!! ***

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14093
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:27 pm

90 minutes, not including knots and leaders etc. Just the casting and playing fish.

It used to be 2 hrs. But in recent years it’s quicker. I would much rather short lessons but it’s usually not practical with travelling etc. Apart from that first lesson which is quite extensive I don’t think there is much point in giving lessons longer than one hour.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Lasse Karlsson
Posts: 4195
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: There, and back again
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#4

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:10 pm

90 minutes, I'm impressed!

Thats like 5 minutes for each segment, and since you both have to show it and the student perform it to a point where they'll remember after the session, I am impressed!

I want your students 🤣

Seriously though, I'm with you on the shorter sessions, and leaving the casting mechanics theory for the later sessions.
Beginners I want to have enough to go fishing asap. Overhead and rollcasts, and hopefully get the double haul in there, rarely that doesnt work out, but we all learn at different pace and have different movement qualities.


Cheers
Lasse
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

http://www.karlssonflyfishing.com

***Bring Mark back!!!!!! ***

nicholasfmoore
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:41 pm

Re: First Lesson

#5

Post by nicholasfmoore » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:18 pm

Hi Paul,

That's a really nice lesson plan you have there! But i expected nothing less :cool:

I do a similar thing to yourself. If it's a casting lesson then how long do you give them, an hour? Trying to give a socially distanced lesson, is challenging, as you cannot use a kinesthetic learning approach. So we have to use a lot (and i mean a lot) of analogies, and different drills to try and get across the feel of casting. We can't give them teaching aids, as this is cross contamination. One of my absolute favorites is the paintbrush, which really fixes inappropriate application of force, but it cannot be used now. I'd love all the analogies that you can think of to be in one place, a kind of aide memoire if you will. :cool:

The first think i mention is safety. Sunglasses/safety glasses and a hat are to be worn at all times, even with fluff. I then go through the acronym 'SWEEP!' There are sections inside the main headings of course. :laugh: Wind consideration is also discussed, as well as being environmentally aware (people walking etc)

S = Suitable clothing
W = Weather
E = Electric shock
E = Environment
P = Plants and diseases

Giant hog weed is particularly nasty. It sprouts up around this time of year, and a lot of people do not know how dangerous this plant is.

With the doom and gloom out of the way, i move onto;

1. Setting up the equipment, explain, demonstrate and teach

Explaining all the equipment, and a bit about how it all works. Putting the rod together (twisting sections), parts of the rod, attaching the reel etc. usually a fly shop has loaded backing and fly line on to the reel with a fly line that has a loop, so i show them how to string the rod properly without breaking it, tell them to use 'the claw!' to unravel a leader properly, and the correct handshake loop to loop connection. I then show them a grinner/uni knot to attach practice fluff. Seems to be a good starting knot as most leaders come with a loop anyway, it ensure consistency, as adding tippet is achieved by using two back to back grinners, fly is added with a grinner also.

2. Grips/stances explain, demonstrate and teach

Self explanatory, however i favor right foot forward and explain why.

3. Lee's triangle method, on and off shoulder. This shows them that they CAN cast, and are more inclined to stay focused. explain, demonstrate and teach

I do it exactly the same as his videos, explain safety with wind etc, 45 degrees or so with around 30' of line, except that i stand in front of the student and ask them to follow my hand, whilst also imagining that i jammed a sharpie in the tip of the rod, and they have to stay on this line by colouring it in. Starting off with minimum movement. At the end of the back and forward cast i do the Mel K tongue click or snap my fingers.

Raise triangle to overhead and turn body and feet left (if they are right handed). Then i do the same off shoulder. Their feet and body are turned a mirror image to the previous exercise.

4. Roll cast both shoulders (if there isn't water) explain, demonstrate and teach

Using Brian's wave(?) technique flicking loops around different targets on the grass, usually three distances, anchored leader with pencil. If there is water, i do the same, but without trying to anchor the leader to the water with a pencil :laugh:

5. Pick up and lay down both shoulders, explain, demonstrate and teach

This is a combination of the PUALD, shooting line with peters '3 chances to shoot' and retrieving line. Closed stance, dart throwing position etc.

6. Bills 1' at a time drill

I show them how little effort is needed to make loops, i tell them that every loop needs to stall at the needle nail knot, from a rod length of fly line up to the head length. I then explain about loop size in relation to pizza (think that's morsies analogy?) and focusing on studying the loop. Fat loops need to go on a diet, so they need less pizza. If the loops tangle, then they are too thin and you need to give them a bigger slice. This is my favorite.

7. Fishing exercise

False cast shooting line, casting to an imaginary trout after you have cast out (pick up and lay down), retrieve, roll cast pickup and repeat.

I avoid casting terms as much as possible (for a beginner!)

I then give them exercises/practice sessions and a follow up email. I urge them to ask as many questions as possible.

Not sure if there are any holes in there? By the way if i have miss referenced someone, then let me know!

All the best

P.S.

I have never managed to teach the double haul in the first lesson, have you?
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14093
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:15 pm

Hi Lasse,

What I need them to be able to do in order to go fishing and safely is to be able to make a roll cast pickup, false cast slipping line and then delivering the fly. They need to be able to do this off both shoulders. That is basically what everything works towards. The trajectory adjustment is good, not because it allows them to cast into the wind, but actually they end up putting the line where it is supposed to be :D

I’ll go through your complete post shortly, Nick! But yes I often get the double haul into the first lesson. Even if they don’t pick it up there and then I give them 1.2.3.4 on the Triangle Method to learn at home. Not always of course. It really depends on loop consistency. But it’s not uncommon either.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14093
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:37 pm

Ok well first up, I haven’t taught anyone since COVID and fortunately we don’t have any local cases. Not swapping rods is going to be a challenge, but I often teach with two rods anyway. There is a lot you can do with that and I really don’t like taking the rod away from the student. How many times have you done this and seen that the client is annoyed or disappointed. It’s his rod and if he has COVID he can bloody well hang on to it.

So I do a lot of mirrored casting anyway. Casting together, mirroring loops etc. So I’ve got a rod, they’ve got a rod, everyone is happy.

Safety - big thing for me; can they swim? This is my first question. If they can’t I need to know. Medical problems I need to know too. But if they can’t swim - and in this part of the world many people can’t - but not only here - we had a guy drown on Ardleigh Res one year, young chap slipped off the dam. Couldn’t swim. And that was it. So if they can’t swim I need to know.

Went through the rest. That’s spot on mate. I usually don’t do Bill’s one foot drill. I’ll do minimum power drill. And maybe Mel’s rod bounce in hand. I might throw in different planes to keep it interesting. But Bill’s is certainly a good one.

I’m very light on theory in the first lesson. My focus really is on getting them fishing.

Second lesson is different - assuming there is a second lesson. Sometimes they are years apart! Second lesson will have variable casting arc (and Bill’s one foot!), double hauling for sure and in my world of stillwaters and saltwater students it’s distance and wind. But I’ll start with Accuracy, which is always a good way of finding out where people are, particularly if you didn’t give them a first lesson!

Cheers, Paul

PS I’m sure you can guess what the next discussion is going to be about :D
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

nicholasfmoore
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:41 pm

Re: First Lesson

#8

Post by nicholasfmoore » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:38 pm

Hi Paul,
I’ll go through your complete post shortly, Nick! But yes I often get the double haul into the first lesson. Even if they don’t pick it up there and then I give them 1.2.3.4 on the Triangle Method to learn at home. Not always of course. It really depends on loop consistency. But it’s not uncommon either.
I had to lie down after i wrote that, it was a bit of a long one! :laugh: Sorry about that :D
Not swapping rods is going to be a challenge, but I often teach with two rods anyway. There is a lot you can do with that and I really don’t like taking the rod away from the student. How many times have you done this and seen that the client is annoyed or disappointed. It’s his rod and if he has COVID he can bloody well hang on to it.
I personally think that using two rods generally is the way to go (which is why i have two of yours now, a bit of a luxury). Interestingly, a lot of people ask me what line im using, and of course it's the thunderbolt. I even use this when fishing! :laugh: Asking them to bend their knees is an amazing trick too (i think i learned that one from you?) The last one is a big thing for me. You wouldn't push someone off a bike when they are just getting the hang of it, whilst simultaneously telling them to 'watch me' :laugh: the covid contamination is equally important of course! :ninja:
Safety - big thing for me; can they swim? This is my first question. If they can’t I need to know. Medical problems I need to know too. But if they can’t swim - and in this part of the world many people can’t - but not only here - we had a guy drown on Ardleigh Res one year, young chap slipped off the dam. Couldn’t swim. And that was it. So if they can’t swim I need to know.


I forgot to include that, but you are absolutely right about swimming and health problems, very sad about that chap.
Went through the rest. That’s spot on mate. I usually don’t do Bill’s one foot drill. I’ll do minimum power drill. And maybe Mel’s rod bounce in hand. I might throw in different planes to keep it interesting. But Bill’s is certainly a good one.
Thanks, Paul! Interesting about bills 1' at a time, but i think i might skip this out for the first lesson and just include minimum power. How many times have you come across someone that thinks that they are casting into a hurricane, no matter the weather conditions or the fly size? I forgot to mention those as well! :p How do you do Mel's exercise, tell them to start slow and bounce the rod at the end? I think the classic 'whuuump!' is very good, but i often get good results with the word 'zaaaaaaaaaaAP!'
But I’ll start with Accuracy, which is always a good way of finding out where people are, particularly if you didn’t give them a first lesson!
Definitely! Almost everyone i see uses open stance, it doesn't matter if the fish is 60 or 6' out which is find quite bizarre. When i was teaching piano i almost ALWAYS had to 're teach' fundamentals which really angered me, why didn't the previous teacher show the student correctly? Consequently it set the student back a little bit, and they feel as if they wasted their time. That's an extreme example though :laugh:

I think it's also important to emphasise that this is supposed to be a fun, and it helps that you are enthusiastic about what you are doing. Some crazy phrase will stick in their mind (the claw springs to mind!)

Any failures in lessons? I've had one which i thought was fail safe, turning the reel upside down to stop them using their wrist too much. I told one chap to keep it there and showed him what to do. He still let the reel come away. I try and avoid the term 'locked wrist' as that implies that you shouldn't use it at all. Anyway, i had to pull out Joan's circle 8's and straights. Pretty much an instant fix, but really surprised me quite a lot! I also mention that if they get stuck with how it 'feels' then try the circles 8's and straights.I don't like the wrist bands or telling them to stick the end of the but in their shirt personally. I think that rod angle is strange, it's much better if your wrist is cocked, and it's how you naturally throw something (reel tucked under the forearm) Don't know if you agree? :)

Speaking of the double haul, i know that you teach to time it with the start of the stroke (do you still do this?) I tend to go straight in with the late haul timing. A lot tend to haul early, even if they are thinking late, but i do the triangle method like yourself, but i change it up a little bit. Once they make great loops, i tell them "at the wrist flick i want you to say, haul!" it's common to start too early and peak out on potential max haul speed so this has worked for me :) anything wrong with this do you think? If they don't have a big enough garden, or if it's winter, then i suggest attaching a zinger to the hook keeper of the rod butt and practicing that. :laugh: How long do you ask them to make the hauls by the way, around 6" to start off?

Sorry for another novel :laugh:

All the best!

P.S.
PS I’m sure you can guess what the next discussion is going to be about :D
Yes! :laugh:
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

User avatar
Carol
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:28 pm
Location: Summit County, Colorado

Re: First Lesson

#9

Post by Carol » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:50 pm

I'm not even a CCI yet, and only about I'm about 500 hours into the 10,000 needed to be exceptional. Further, I am not a casting savant. As such, this is from a student's perspective.

I have often questioned one of the kinesthetic drills I've seen used that violates COVID distancing. It's the "go along for the ride" exercise where the instructor holds the fly rod above the student's hand and casts the rod while the student hangs on. I've never have understood why it's used. What does the student learn when their muscles are not engaged? It's all about training the muscles and the neurons that fire them, or getting the "feel."

I recall my first two casting lessons. They were two group lessons provided through a community college. We'd sit inside and learn about tackle, rigging and knots then go out and cast. I walked away being able to do a wiggle "S" cast, but that was it. No theory was discussed, and I doubt the instructor even knew any. So for the next 13 years, all I did was dig those neural pathways deeper in bad technique. Casting instruction was well outside my reach financially at $80 an hour. It wasn't until I was supremely frustrated with my casting and I'd blown out a rotator cuff that I started to work with a mentor. The first one wasn't all that good. Then I found my current one. JW taught me through theory that it was possible to control my loops, providing my muscles and neurons got the right training and exercise. Thus my experience has led me to believe that some theory is very helpful early on, but not toooooo much so as to overwhelm the student, but enough to get them thinking about some basic things, like pizza slice size (I LOVE that example, Nick, and thanks to Morsie? for it!) and taking the time to practice. It also makes me want to help beginners get off on some solid footing, free of charge.

As for accuracy, you are right, Paul in that it displays nearly every single flaw a caster has. OMG! As I work with it, I see all sorts of weird things I do. :laugh: :laugh:
Carol
Because it's painful getting flies out of spruce trees.

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 14093
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Answers: 1
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: First Lesson

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:58 pm

Jesus too many questions :D :D :p

I’m just going to nip to the bank and see if my card works while avoiding the long 2m separated bank queues.

Mel’s rod thing was to pass a rod around without the line threaded through, sanitise it, and then ask the student to make it bounce. This bounce feeling is what you do at short casts or at the end of the stroke for medium casts. Do minimum power, do the rod bounce thing, back to minimum power and that works wonders for me.

The common thing during that drill is at some point the line hits the rod tip. It’s so common in fact that I demonstrate it and then show how lifting the elbow in the backcast and dropping it slightly on the forwards fixes the problem.

Gotta run. Don’t want to queue for an hour.

Cheers, Paul

Edit sorry Carol cross-posted. Back in a bit :)

Another edit - the bounce is a tiny movement.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Post Reply

Return to “Teaching”