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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone. Some key takeaways I'm seeing are:

It's a process and a journey that will evolve over time, and it's important to enjoy it along the way.

Getting some professional help will go along way to making said journey more enjoyable and help narrow gear choices.

I'm going to try and ease into this. Get some initial training and help and have a fly rod handy to try when conditions are right
 

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Lessons are a good idea but if you have some experienced buddies who are good casters you may be able to use them. I personally think that understanding the physics involved is a big step. My dad had an old video from lefty back in 80s that I watched so many times I can’t count. Concentrate on getting your fundamentals down.

Biggest mistake I have seen from new folks is focusing on the fish and the catch too early and that will promote really bad habits. IMO
 

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I love sight fishing and some of my fishing buddies have really been pushing me to learn to Fly fish. I have a hand me down TFO 8 WT and received a basic tutorial.

Is fly fishing casting technique something you can pick up from other folks, watching videos, and practice....or is it recommended to get some basic instruction from a pro?

I used to teach firearm instruction and saw the consequences first hand of bad habits folks develop from casual instruction from a friend.

I live in the Tampa area so I'm sure I could find professional instruction, but would appreciate some perspective on whether it's necessary.
a fly casting once told me "Do something wrong long enough and you'll do it perfectly wrong". Do your research for a good casting instructor and take a few lessons. He can point out your mistakes and make you a better caster.
 

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I love sight fishing and some of my fishing buddies have really been pushing me to learn to Fly fish. I have a hand me down TFO 8 WT and received a basic tutorial.

Is fly fishing casting technique something you can pick up from other folks, watching videos, and practice....or is it recommended to get some basic instruction from a pro?

I used to teach firearm instruction and saw the consequences first hand of bad habits folks develop from casual instruction from a friend.

I live in the Tampa area so I'm sure I could find professional instruction, but would appreciate some perspective on whether it's necessary.
Ive take a few lessons the help fine tune things for me but other than that i taught myself
 

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You definitely do not "need" lessons for casting, fishing or tying. When I started, nothing was available in my area so I learned with Lefty's Little Library, trying to figure out what the he was trying to tell me and making it happen. There were no internet or fly shops or clubs near me so it was me.

I have some bad habits that make it harder some times but I can usually do what I need to do in my home waters of NJ. Sight fishing is rare and we do a lot of blind-casting and prospecting. I wish I had the opportunity for someone, professional or not, to teach me when I started. The learning curve would have been much shallower and less frustrating. If you have the chance, get some lessons and if possible, from more than one person. You'll have a better change of clicking with someone who can help.

When it comes to casting, the best advice I can give is: Don't practice until you get it right. Practice until you can't get it wrong.
 

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Get lessons if you can...but don't let it stop you from getting out on the water.

I can't cast 100' honestly...but I have good accuracy out to 70-80'...being primarily self taught.

There are times when I am trying to wade to tailers on a skinny flat that I wish I could reach an extra 10-15', but I don't let that stop me from trying.

One of my more humorous fly casting memories is Flip Pallot telling me that my back cast was a "train wreck"...but I chalk that up to volunteering to cast for him cold, without any warm up, and in front of a crowd. That was only a little less stressful than trying to reach a tailer, in a stiff head wind, with your buddy on the casting platform riding your ass...
 

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I've been fly fishing since the early 50s. Several years ago I was @ a sportsman show and Lefty Kreh asked for a dummy. I was the dummy and learned many times as much as I learned in the 50 previous years in the 10 minutes he spent with me.
 

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i never took casting lessons, sometimes i think I may have gotten more proficient if I had, but the best casting lesson, is completely ruining a perfect shot at a fish, or casting like shit, knowing your cast sucks, getting skunked. I think it’s more important to understand the mechanics of a good cast, and practice, practice, practice. I will say training yourself to slow down, remain calm, and fight buck fever when presented with a quick shot, will go a long way. The first few times I got on the pointy end of a skiff and had shots at fish, I was so over the moon about the idea of it working out, that I managed to absolutely bomb in the moment. Fly lines getting tangled, rushing my back cast and throwing a mangled mess of leader/fly at the fishes head, you name it I messed it up. Trial/error was probably my best teacher (and most expensive)
 

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i never took casting lessons, sometimes i think I may have gotten more proficient if I had, but the best casting lesson, is completely ruining a perfect shot at a fish, or casting like shit, knowing your cast sucks, getting skunked. I think it’s more important to understand the mechanics of a good cast, and practice, practice, practice. I will say training yourself to slow down, remain calm, and fight buck fever when presented with a quick shot, will go a long way. The first few times I got on the pointy end of a skiff and had shots at fish, I was so over the moon about the idea of it working out, that I managed to absolutely bomb in the moment. Fly lines getting tangled, rushing my back cast and throwing a mangled mess of leader/fly at the fishes head, you name it I messed it up. Trial/error was probably my best teacher (and most expensive)
Gosh, it was fun though wasn’t it? Figuring it out on the water, I thought it was great and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Whiffs, buck fever, tangled lines, supreme frustration, bad word, maybe a whole string of them. Wouldn’t change a thing about it.
 

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Gosh, it was fun though wasn’t it? Figuring it out on the water, I thought it was great and wouldn’t have changed a thing. Whiffs, buck fever, tangled lines, supreme frustration, bad word, maybe a whole string of them. Wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Gotta crawl before you can walk. I haven’t had much formal training in my professional life either, but after some years of experience, I am pretty damn good at what I do. Learning things the hard way is effective for me. Never been too good at the whole “monkey see monkey do” bit
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
For the love of Pete, just promise me when you become proficient you won’t turn into an elitist douche nozzle.
Not my style. I enjoy being on the water, no matter what type of rod is in my hand. Sometimes that's chucking bait, sometimes it's sight fishing with a soft plastic, and down the road fooling with the fly rod occasionally.

I have friends I fish with and they all keep a fly rod handy in the boat, but it by no means consumes their life.
 

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As I said Orvis FF101 then FF201 look up store locations in link.
Also this book has great color photo’s and tips for beginners, met Macauely back a few years ago great on instruction.
Brown Gesture Publication Font Material property
 

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I love sight fishing and some of my fishing buddies have really been pushing me to learn to Fly fish. I have a hand me down TFO 8 WT and received a basic tutorial.

Is fly fishing casting technique something you can pick up from other folks, watching videos, and practice....or is it recommended to get some basic instruction from a pro?

I used to teach firearm instruction and saw the consequences first hand of bad habits folks develop from casual instruction from a friend.

I live in the Tampa area so I'm sure I could find professional instruction, but would appreciate some perspective on whether it's necessary.
It's well worth the cost and time. And, lessons aren't important just up front, but at very check points along your journey. You'll find there are little plateaus you'll achieve; say, you'll get stuck on 60', then you refine your timing a little and pop up to 70-75' and get stuck there before you perhaps have another aha moment, then pop up to 80-85' At each of those plateaus a casting instructor can help you find what is holding you back from advancing and give you tips to move forward.

Listen to me now and believe me later... :)
 
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