Jeff Goodes and Owen Lloyd
Could a person learn to cast a fly rod using a digital delivered instruction?
Yes, you can develop a basic understanding of the mechanics of the skill to properly execute the motions, but developing the nuances required to successfully cast in a wide variety of places that the fish are prone to hide in, might only be achievable with one on one instruction.
The internet offers up ample information with insight to all levels of casting from styles to techniques, but that wealth of information is as much an asset as a problem. There are excellent videos and blogs to guide a novice fly fisher, but the act of fly fishing is a highly coordinated physical ballet of man and rod. It’s easy to watch and learn the techniques on an intellectual level, but much harder to put that knowledge into practice.
Fly fishing and by extension flay rod casting has a passionate following of enthusiasts bringing with them their own nuances of the skill. To that end there is a common thread to what constitutes a proper casting technique but within that framework there seems to be many different interpretations and some personalised modifications to movements.
A novice can dive deep into theoretical information covering techniques and equipment; watch instructional videos and read online content, at which point the learner would have enough knowledge to try a novice cast. They could use an app to find a nearby river or stream for fly fishing, get a fishing licence and learn about fishing seasons. Then, poised by the side of a rushing stream, they could attempt a perfect cast. If they ran into trouble, they could rush back to the computer and review the many steps of a proper fly cast in slow motion, and look for problem-solving tips. At this point however, without one-to-one input, there is the danger of not being able to master the proper form.
To that end, virtual one-to-one feedback could be provided through the implementation of video markup software such as Coaches Eye. This video recording application is available as a mobile app and allows for a user to record their own activities, submit the video to a coach via email. A certified coach could be located from the Federation of Flyfishers web site, and then the coach would be able to markup the provided video drawing attention to errors of technique and motion. In this way, a learner would gain valuable insight from direct analysis of their physical movements.
However, when all this is said and done, would successful learning be achieved to an appropriate level enabling a “proper cast”?
That could only be answered by time spent on the water honing the skills learned.
Sounds like some relaxing homework is in order.
Chris Myers. (2016). How to fly fish. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/TAyj9KF_MQE
Government of Ontario (n.d.) Fishing Licence. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/fishing-licence-canadian-residents
Federation of Flyfishers: Governing body with a database of certified instructor and a full library of video and instructionals.
Youtube: tutorial videos.
Flyfishbc.com: online user forum.