By Neal Hoffberg
As a long-time micro dry fly angler, I know how complex casting can be. It took me some time to learn that when fishing for selective trout the three most important things are: presentation, presentation, presentation! Well…how do I achieve the presentation that will get that selective, eighteen-inch brown trout to eat my size 22 male trico? There’s lots to consider. The wind is blowing from my casting side at ten miles per hour. An opposite shoulder cast with a tight loop is a must. But what about drag once the fly lands on the water? Should I add an aerial mend?
Personally, I spent years gathering bits of information from the anglers I knew to create a precise cast. At times necessity was the mother of my casting; trying to figure things out on my own. Talk about a witch’s brew! And this leads me to our WSC Fly Casting Fair this past August 13th where participants could gather lots of knowhow in a single day.
Ryan Smith, FFI C.I. and owner of Avid Angler held two beginning casting classes. Both the morning and afternoon class were filled with people excited about learning how to cast a fly rod. Some had done a little angling. Others had never held a fly rod. It was great to see smiling faces learning how to do a ‘pick up, lay down’ cast.
In a separate class, Tom Cammarata, FFI C.I. was holding court with intermediate and advanced anglers teaching how to shoot line, cast into the wind and cast aerial mends. This is a lot to learn. Those in Tom’s class left with new techniques in their casting quiver and feeling a lot more confident about their next outing on the water.
Molly Semenik, FFI MCI Level III Examiner and owner of ‘Tie The Knot Fly Fishing’ held an afternoon beginning casting class for women. Women entering fly fishing is the fastest growing segment of the sport. Molly’s way of teaching put smiles on the ladies faces, laughter in their learning and most importantly, silky smooth loops in their casting. Molly was assisted by advanced angler and fly caster, Marion Hiller, a C.I. candidate.
The Overlake Fly Club volunteered their time with the Casting Skills Development course. The Skills Development is designed to have anglers work on targets and distance. There are three levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Jim Black, FFI C.I. was the Facilitator as WSCFFI president, Steve Jones achieved all three levels! Thank you to Bill Fields and his crew from Overlake for setting up the course.
Throughout the day the Walk-in Clinic was available to all. Pat Peterman, FFI Master Casting Instructor put together a premiere group of MCI and C.I. volunteers who spent one on one time with anyone looking to fix a problem or learn a new skill. Thank you to all of you for being part of this event.
In closing, I believe that everyone had a very positive experience at the Casting Fair. This was the first WSCFFI event since COVID-19 and our fair in Ellensburg. Looking forward to 2023, my goal is to correct any short comings we may have had and expand our classes. Anyone interested in learning Spey Casting?
As Manager of the casting events I am deeply indebted to Don Simonson, MCI Level II, for his knowledge, support and participation in helping to put our event together. Don was constantly shining a light on what was needed and what was missing. The day would not have happened without his involvement. A big thank you to all WSCFFI council members for their ideas.
I hope that I have conveyed how the day went. I doubt this reads as well as the closing speech in ‘The Big Lebowski’. I don’t know about you, but this fly caster can sure use another Sarsaparilla. I look forward to seeing everyone at our event in 2023.
Tight lines and tight loops to all, Neal Hoffberg