Fly Life Magazine

Tips &Tactics: Practice… Don’t be profligate!

By Capt. Andrew Derr:

I couldn’t have said it better than ORVIS’ Monahan did. Although most of my clients are regulars, each season brings a few newbies to my boat and usually one or two are totally out of water when it comes to fly casting. When I successfully get them off fruitlessly fly casting, and get them to spin for our fisheries’ albies, blues and stripers they always seem relieved of the pressure of performing. Back on dry land, I always give a quick casting lesson and some things for them to practice for next time.

A little practice goes a long way. Think golf, baseball and tennis. Practice makes perfect.

How to Prepare for a Guided Fly-Fishing Trip?

The following written by: Phil Monahan / ORVIS

Some people fish with guides all the time, but most anglers have probably never done it. Others might hire a guide just once or twice a year. So if you do make that leap and hire a local expert to take you fishing, whether its on the Roaring Fork or the flats of Belize, what’s the best way to prepare for the trip to ensure that you have the best time possible?

I sent this question out to some guides from different parts of the U.S. and Canada—asking them to list three things they’d like their clients to do before a trip—and as you might imagine, I received a wide variety of answers. Some guides offered location-specific advice, dealing with things like altitude and weather. But three things appeared on almost every list:

1. Practice casting

This is a no-brainer because the better you can cast, the more likely you can put the fly where the guide asks you to put it. Frank Smethurst, who has guided from the Rockies to Baja California, wrote:

The three most important things that would make any guide trip on any waterway better would be casting, casting, and casting. The toughest thing to hear before any day of guiding begins is “It has been a couple of years since I have picked up one of these’” while the client vaguely wiggles the rod. . . . All of the flies tied and articles read will never help as much as an hour spent airing out the line and throwing some yarn around at plates or hoops on the lawn. Taking the time to do this also illuminates the condition of the line and equipment a bit better than a hazy remembrance of how the tackle worked the last time out.

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