What Aspect of Fly Casting Interests You?

By Rene J. Hesse

A few weeks ago, while giving a fly casting seminar to eight Boy Scouts, we discussed the different aspects of fly fishing. Facets such as the sport, art, hobby and science were explained. I was shocked by what a few of the kids remembered at the end of the two hour class. One thing really impressed me.

To start with, as you know, every kid is different. They all were looking to get their merit badge, but their background, physical ability, attention span and drive were all different. As we spoke, I figured, we need to have fun with this. They need to remember that it was fun, not something they had to do. Make it something they want to do again. The kids were old enough to understand dry humor and sarcasm as well as tease back, so we did.

When we spoke of the science aspect of fly casting, I could see the light go on with a few of the guys. For fun, I explained that kinetic energy played a huge part in casting, and the formula is: KE = 0.5 x mv2. But who cares, we are fishing! We went on and talked about balanced outfits, flies, and then went down to the lake to do some casting. After a quick demo on how casting works, we started by stripping line off the reel and sweeping the rod tip back and forth until there was enough line out of the rod tip to sweep into a roll cast. After that, we went into the basic overhead cast. Using the visual aid of lifting the rod until the fly line was coming out of the water and then snatching the line off the water until the fly was out of the water seemed to produce the best results.

When I could see some of them starting to lose interest in casting, we move on to rock skipping. That got them fired up again, and the casting lesson then continued. By the end of the class, most of them were making a decent 30 foot cast.

We talked about a lot of things in that two hour workshop. At times, I wondered if some of them were listening. But at the end of the day, we were talking about things that were interesting about fly fishing, and two of the guys rattled off the formula for kinetic energy that I had said in passing earlier. Can you believe that? It just proved to me that people enjoy different aspects of fly fishing, and who is to say what a kid is going to gravitate to in life.

I have another grandson on the way. I hope we can explore all the different things fishing and life have to offer and see what he gravitates to.