Friday, December 26, 2008
Padawan Fly Fisher
Yesterday, Christmas day, my 11 year old son received his first fly rod. It was a combo I put together from an Albright 5wt rod and reel I purchased back in October when they were on sale. He was very pleased with it. Today we started the first casting lesson.
Of course, as luck would have it, the wind today is gusting to 29 mph so it was an added challenge among all the other challenges of learning to cast with a fly rod. We started with the basics such as starting with the tip low to pickup the line, making a short speedup and a hard stop to load the rod, getting the line moving and making the forward cast then making a hard stop and as the line shoots forward and the loop begins to unroll, dropping the tip a bit. Easier said than done.
I myself am a visual learner. I have to see how it is done to get a good grasp of the concept so I demonstrated the cast to him while highlighting what all is going on. I also held his arm so he could feel what I meant by a short speedup followed by a hard stop. I then placed my hand behind him at the point where his should stop so he hit it and would know not to over travel.
Teaching someone to cast, particularly a child, is not as easy as it seems. We spent maybe 20 or 30 minutes practicing before stopping. I didn't want to overdo it as the lessons will continue over time. I expect he will pick it up soon enough but the lessons are also helping me in concentrating on places where I have gotten lazy in my own casting.
Maybe one day when he is older and masters the fly casting arts, he will take on his own apprentice. In the meantime, I will resist the urge to talk like Yoda as I continue his education.