In early July we offered a 2-day academy for those who wanted to learn about double-hand or spey casting in Turangi, New Zealand on the famous Tongariro River. Juan Del Carmen of the Advanced Fly Fishing School in Sydney, an FFF Certified Casting Instructor was our tutor. We couldn't have done it without the support of Creel Tackle House & Cafe and Parkland's Motor Lodge.
Here is a quick report on the weekend - we hope you can join us next time.
We started off with a classroom session on Saturday morning at Parkland's Motor Lodge to go through the theory and physics of double-hand casting without the distraction of being on the river bank holding these unfamiliar rods.
The progression to double-hand casting was broken down into small steps throughout the day. The group would come together to go through one of the steps, then spread out along the river to practice the step before moving onto the next step.
Juan would move along the line of anglers for each step offering individual coaching and suggesting changes to the cast to correct any faults.
We also filmed each participant, and on the first night spent we all spent time looking at the clips - a very valuable step to clearly identify the positive aspects and areas for focus of each participant.
We started each day with real coffee and the lunches at the Creel Tackle House & Cafe were top-notch. They are right beside the river and waders are welcome!
We had a wide range of double-hand rods available so that participants could try out different weights, lengths, materials and lines. We had switch and double-hand, most were in the #6-8 range, but some also tried a #10, 15 foot rod too.
By the end of the first day the casting steps where coming together nicely.
Day two started with a re-cap of the steps from day one and then further instruction on additional casts and fishing approaches and techniques in the morning. After another very nice lunch at Creel Tackle House our focus turned to fishing.
We had a great bunch of people on the course and we enjoyed meeting and spending time with all.
A very special thank you to Juan - he is a skilled, patient and dedicated teacher - only picking up the rod to fish himself at the end of day until it was dark.
Thanks to Paul Gummer for most of the photos used here.
Teaching young children fly casting can be fun and challenging at the same time. In my experience over the years, young children from the age of 3 can have fun and learn fly casting. I have 3 children under 8 and all of them can fly cast well.
My main goal with young minds is having fun and nothing else. If a child sees a peer having fun, it creates a desire to join the activity regardless if he or she has not done it before.
My approach to teaching is simple: facilitate fun and make sure I stop teaching/playing before the fun disappears. Done it this way, the children want to fly cast again and again. Subsequently they often request for more opportunities to practice opening the chances to further teach more skills.
I don’t like to give many instructions. I just want the kids to play with their rods, have fun and learn tip control. I become their student gradually. I make sure the kids know I am there to learn from them. At the end of the session they teach me all that they have learnt. This is a very effective method to increase the children’s attention span and their confidence, as kids love teaching adults and don’t have many opportunities to do so. I pretend I don’t know the alphabet and they draw simple letters, like the letter O, with the tip of the rod and fly line. I need to get it right and the children will make sure the letters are clear in the air. Once the children have engaged in the games and the parents step back, the lessons are sweet and easy.I like to set targets on water and challenge the students to place the practice fly on the targets.
That’s all I do to teach young kids in their first lesson.
Juan Del Carmen
Advanced Fly Fishing School Sydney
LOOP Ambassador Australia & New Zealand