There is a famous saying that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. Most golfers will try to get out to the driving range a few times a week. Joggers hit the road 3 to 5 times a week. Most fly fishers I know do zero practice. How much time to you spend simply practicing fly casting?
There are 2 easy ways to practice fly casting. If you have a Park near by, grab you fly rod and head on down. Set your fly rod up exactly as you would to go fishing except leave the fly off, you can tie on a small piece of indicator yarn instead. Its a good idea to have a particular focus in mind for each casting session, such as distance or accuracy, or just casting great loops. Do a quick youtube search and you can find some nice practice drills that are easy to replicate. We have a few here from Tim Rajeff - Tim came out to Taupo a couple of years ago and gave a few days of casting instruction. He has a great way of explaining and teaching casting techniques. Check out this video below or head over to his youtube channel for lots more.
What if you don’t live near a park or don’t have the time? We have you covered! Get yourself a practice rod that you can use at home (or in the office…) then you can practice when ever you get a spare 5 minutes. While casting a practice rod is not the same as casting a fly rod on a river, the motor skills you practice are the same and it really is a great way to improve your casting. Check out this clip of Tim demonstrating how to use his Micro Practice Rod… looks pretty easy eh?
Ask at your local fly fishing club, many offer casting lessons or demonstration days, and have annual casting competitions too which are a lot of fun as long as you don't take them to seriously!
When you get out on the river and spot a double figure brown trout feeding on the far side of the stream, there is a tree behind you and a bit of wind blowing in your face - thats when you’ll appreciate the time and effort you put into practicing your cast!