Style is Substance… Sometimes

Tim Rajeff during a masterclass in Germany

I perfectly understand why getting deep into casting mechanics is regarded as useless by a majority of fly fishers. But, that sound casting mechanics is equally rejected by such a big percentage of casting instructors is another matter entirely. Calling yourself a master and, at the same time, avoiding getting deep into the nuances of your trade seems rather weird to me.

On the other hand, some of us find casting mechanics not only fascinating, but —and this is key if you are an instructor— an indispensable tool to use in our teaching.

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Stroke Angle

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Photo by Álvaro G. Santillán

As an enthusiastic reader and book lover I am not very fond of electronic books. Most probably it is a lost battle but I still enjoy the smell and feel of printed paper. The majority of my more than a hundred books on fly fishing are on paper, although, since electronic books have their advantages too, I started purchasing them as well time ago.

One of my latest adquisitions was Jason Borger’s Single Handed Fly Casting, which Jason himself kindly sent to me. Jason’s work is a refreshing new approach and a brilliant start to a change of paradigm in fly casting.

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Schematic Approach

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At the moment I am preparing a mentoring session for two anglers that are getting ready for two different casting certification tests. Writing is the best way I know of putting my ideas in order, so I have started this succinct list. A work in progress, probably. Comments are welcome.

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Fundamentals



“No matter what you think ”advanced fly casting” entails, make no mistake: it is from the devilish details that make up the basic stroke that truly masterful fly casting emerges. No fly-fisher can hope to master the fly rod without first mastering the basic stroke. In some ways, no fly-fisher ever really moves beyond the fundamentals.”

Master the Cast
George V. Roberts Jr.


One of the most useful fly casting quotes ever!

Whatever the technique you are using or distance you are fishing at, if things go wrong get back to the basics! Something I have repeated to myself during my practice this morning.