Site logo

Picture-Taker-Az7D5L

e mail:
flycastingmatters@gmail.com

M: 00353 (0)86 0536833

Robert Gillespie
Leckee
Castlebar Road
Foxford
Co.Mayo
Ireland F26 RR22



Moy Valley based Fly Casting Instruction

Single and double handed fly rod instruction.

Overhead and Spey casting techniques, including standard double hauling and the Gunther Feurstein back hand power haul technique with the single handed rod.

Overhead, Single and Double Spey, Snap T's C's, Pokes, combination casting e.t.c. with double hand and switch rods. Spey, shooting head and skagit lines.




“The progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which fly casting technique must be built” - Peter Anderson





Spey, Shooting head, Skagit.

Picture-Taker-TEXBVt
Pat O'Toole, Myself, Gunther Feuerstein.




Forearm determines plane with both single and double handed rods.


Exercises for control




A fresh Spring Salmon, the ultimate prize for the fly angler. Fish like the one above are stunning to behold.



Picture-Taker-mxI7PN


Picture-Taker-D9ctIk












Welcome








You are welcome to my site,

I'm Robert Gillespie, I have fly fished for wild game fish since childhood having been taught by my late Father. I have been a professional Game Angling Ghillie, Guide and fly casting Instructor since 1985 working at two Game Fishing Lodges over that time.

I was formally and thoroughly trained in both single and double hand Fly Casting techniques to Instructor level by Peter Anderson in Scotland, a full 18 years before taking any other examinations. I am currently an
GAIA APGAI qualified Game Angling Instructor in both 'Trout and Sea Trout' and 'Salmon' disciplines. The qualifications covering advanced level single and double-handed fly rod use.

I was the first person ever to pass all three FFF examinations at the one testing event at Roscoe, New York State in November 2004, I became an examiner in the FFF. I passed three other (Apgai-Ireland) certifications at one event in Ireland becoming an examiner with them.

None of the qualifications really matter for teaching fly casting. What matters most is 35 years as a professional salmon angling guide on a large river using and teaching fly casting almost every day.



After being recruited and becoming fully qualified and indeed an examiner, I then personally experienced, (long after recruitment and after some members had taken unsuccessful examination attempts) that two organisations were in fact
harmful organisational hazards, unregulated and unfit for purpose. Bodies ignoring purported constitutions, rules and codes to practice, or to condone inequality. Bodies illegitimately enforcing a subjugation to known and demonstrable false examination pass claims.

Bodies practicing or catering to known false examination claims, with associated bullying, cyber bullying, inequality and exclusion from normal rights or treatment available to others. Bodies either introducing and enforcing, or accepting, unwanted and opposed falsehood use upon fully qualified and recruited members.

I consider them to be extremely disingenuous, unregulated, using unacceptable practices, ignoring duty of care responsibilities, and inappropriate for European society.


No recruited member of any recruiting organization anywhere should
ever be subjected to, nor ever expected to comply with, examination or any other falsehoods anywhere, at any time, as any introduced requirement of their membership.

No one has any business whatsoever to ever introduce, or to ever enforce known and demonstrable falsehoods as an official policy.

Naturally some people are entirely unable to comply with any introduced and illegitimate subjection to enforced falsehood, due to normal European cultural and lifestyle requirements.

Peter O'Reilly, and others, were unsuccessful in THCI and other FFF examinations, period. I was present personally at two testing events and actively witnessed some of the unsuccessful examinations as an official observer. As they all, and every committee knows, and all hold the factual record of. Their Emperor had no clothes and they all know it.


Long after my recruitment and full qualification under radically different purported conditions they together however - Created or expected an inappropriate, aberrant and culturally unacceptable subjection to known and demonstrable false examination claims.

Employed or fully condoned, prolonged and extreme bullying, cyber bullying and indefinite exclusion from normal membership rights available to others.

Conducted entirely illegitimate, sham, farcical, unprofessional, unaccountable, non transparent farces not using normal benchmark criteria in place of supposed grievance procedures. Farces ignoring previous correspondence, recruitment guarantees and the factual examination record.

Knowingly cultivated, conducted, or entertained, malicious and false complaint.

Failed throughout to produce the formally requested, required and extremely pertinent certification for their false position, (it does not and never did exist).

Employed total non transparency, and complete unaccountability in supposed grievance procedures. Some were actually conducted by those responsible for the false examination claims while they maintained them. Apgai-Ireland had at all times people heading or participating in committees supposedly investigating themselves.

Deliberately misled me as to the nature of, standards used, and criterion in an ethics investigation.

Were extremely, and deliberately negligent.



Extreme negligence, false claims use takes precedence.
Witch trial grievance procedures.

'Turd in the punchbowl' false examination claims

My recruitment and qualification with Apgai-Ireland only occurred due to their related supposed Professional and National Standards, Code of Conduct for members, their Stated Aims (purportedly) catering for and protecting all Irish persons North or South, in supposedly an all Ireland body. Later they adopted Constitutional clauses containing further guarantees.

However after FFF examination events involving several unsuccessful examinations, an aberrant insidiously introduced policy appeared. A policy involving known and demonstrable false claims use about their FFF examinations record imposed upon a member (myself) and others, combined with a deliberate, prolonged, and eventually official, indefinite personal exclusion for me from some normal membership rights available to all others. Something I had not signed up to.

I considered this aberration, an extremely inappropriate action for any supposed all Ireland or professional body, and also to be representing the most extreme negligence in duty of care possible. A complete breach of membership conditions, a betrayal of recruitment and qualification conditions.

It was eventually knowingly maintained officially by an supposed E.G.M. committee, after their purported grievance procedure that I had pursued to the full extent of due process, only to experience such standards as someone on a committee investigating themselves. Falsehood use and any type of inequality was clearly known to them at that stage to be an unacceptable extremely problematic issue for someone from my particular Irish society and background, also a known and deliberate, breaching of all stated aims and purpose, code of conduct and the constitutional clauses.

I personally had researched, worded and introduced the constitutional clauses on equality when a member. Those enforcing this aberrant policy did so in full knowledge of its known inevitable disenfranchisement of my membership, did so while holding their factual examination record. Some were also members of the FFF, as I then was.

I therefore made a formal complaint to the then FFF Chair and was then given a guarantee to halt its progress on their request, and they'd see if anything else occurred they would then correct matters. Unfortunately I took them at their word, however it was to be the first step in protecting those involved in this false claims use.

The FFF's / IFFF (now operating as FFI) supposed recruitment and qualification conditions related to me, included their purported International Standards, their Ethics Code and its Introductory Principles, Examination Protocol (purportedly) again to protect membership conditions and rights for all.

Facilitating false examination claims use in grievance procedure
Approximately one year after my prior notification to their Chair, the supposed Ethics code was employed for the official punishing of a member (myself). My required mentioning of examination protocol rules for FFF THCI examiners for my student for an impartial examination, (and absolutely nothing else whatsoever) was used now as a created offence by those maintaining the falsehood that I had not accepted from them and still in dispute with. Punishment was issued upon me for rejecting as would be THCI examiners under THCI examination protocol rules that I was formally trained me in and had the paperwork for, those still officially maintaining false claims use about FFF THCI and other examinations upon the student and mentor, and doing so deliberately to the point of known enforced disenfranchisement of membership for the mentor in their own organisation (Apgai-Ireland), after requests, notifications and complaint to desist.

Punishment issued for factual protocol compromise mention, as I was trained to make known. Issued by a nameless, faceless, totally unaccountable committee, of who knows who? or how many? Operating behind closed doors, in a completely non transparent fashion, after their (supposed) grievance procedure accepted the known and damaging weaponised false claims use as uncompromising or bona fide. Issued while holding their factual examination record, knowing their very own ethics code Introductory principles. While not contacting most, if not all, key witnesses provided including two B.O.G. witnesses to past FFF examination issues involving the same group. Without producing any of the (non existent) certification requested by me for their otherwise considered untenable position. In full knowledge of extensive verbal and written submissions they requested and I provided. Those extensive submissions including publicly printed material contrary to their own examination record, including some produced after notification and complaint. Including the previous complaint to the then FFF Chair by the member affected (myself). In full knowledge of prior guarantee then given by their then Chair to me approximately one year previously which they then had to breach. In absolute full knowledge of the extensive prolonged bullying involved by their members. Knowing the student also declined under protocol for three significant issues of his own and exactly what they were, one of which the self same reason as mine and citing their treatment of me his mentor.

Most importantly though in absolute total and full knowledge of the European cultural and lifestyle issue involved regarding any required subjection to false claims use.

I was punished for citing protocol alone. For rejecting known falsehood use of others and those imposing it and other vile policy upon me, as bona fide and uncompromising for examination protocol. An entirely unaccountable committee operating behind closed doors with the printed evidence had decided, I consider operating completely outside of normal benchmark criteria in investigation, that there was no problem with imposed false examinations claims use for myself or others. International standards in duty of care? Normal grievance procedure?

My European culture and society that they had recruited from, views such matters very differently. That was simply of no consequence to them whatsoever, though they were made fully aware of that fact through the verbal and written submissions. They had another agenda. That is precisely why they are entirely unfit for purpose, or for any European peoples.

The student considered the would be examiner protocol compromised too, on no less than three issues himself including their treatment of other members. From my FFF official THCI examiner training and printed copy provided for it, or the ethics code introductory principles related, I understand that maintained false claims use about examination record upon others to damaging effect is not considered bona fide behaviour. However apparently it was to be allowable for some members.

I know to consider it a protocol compromising issue for an impartial exam, as well as a violation of the ethics code introductory principles for those affected. Especially when the would be examiner(s) are in unresolved dispute due to their very own home grown, nurtured, produced in print and forcibly maintained and imposed false examination claims, plus other serious matters the mentor and student were subjected to by them. However apparently allowable for some.

None of this extensive bullying activity apparently represented any violation of the ethics code introductory principles. Objection to it however by mention of examination protocol one was formally trained in, was a big issue that needs punished. The false claims allowed, endorsed and actively sanctioned / rubber stamped by a falsehood accepting supposed ethics committee.

Now one certainly does know that multiple examination attempts were not successful when one is present at the events where they occurred as I was, sometimes actually standing in the water as an official observer of those examinations. They all knew too at all times, every committee, those conducting their ludicrous enforced pretence otherwise, of a known 'turd in the punchbowl' spoiling capacity for another they recruited under false pretences and supposedly in their care. Knowing fully what the consequences at all times were for another person, (no participation with, or acceptance possible) while at all times in possession of their official or personal factual examination records.

The associated bullying and prolonged cyber bullying involved enhanced by mocking after the FFF Ethics Committee endorsement of their position and resulting punishment, though this level of 'professionalism' then expected at that stage.

Unwanted and enforced false examination claims and exclusion however was now in keeping with their supposed Professional, National or International standard for some grievance procedure committees. Now officially endorsed and sanctioned by an FFF committee with punishment issued over its questioning or rejection. Punishing a working professional Guide and Instructor (myself), while working at a fishing Lodge, and occasionally traveling to teach in Europe, while they were in full knowledge of no certification existing for their imposed position. Allowing for potential damage of my reputation. Also disenfranchisement of certification occurring by necessity.

They now hold the subsequent resignation letters and letters of complaint for their breaches of trust placed. I do trust that sometime that record will be useful for official purposes or regulation in Europe. It is in need of it. I must now protect my reputation as they didn't.


From my personal experiences of membership with Apgai-Ireland and the FFF, all supposed constitutional or membership rights were in actuality fiction, only window dressing to be circumvented at will. I had been duped into joining Apgai-Ireland. Any claimed membership conditions or rights were actually simply either a mob rule vote or two away from being ignored and discarded, or an unprofessional kangaroo court grievance procedure away from being overruled or ever so casually removed entirely. All without any accountability whatsoever, not even answering a single subsequent question. Not providing any certification requested or explanation. No minutes, nothing. Mob rule removal of the constitution for an individual.

The FFF no better, rights removed via procedures not using even basic, standard or normal benchmark criteria in investigation, issuing punishment while they hold their factual examination record. Accepting unprofessional, unwanted and opposed falsehood use upon individual members by some other members as uncompromising and bona fide. Mention of ethics code principles and examination protocol by a trained examiner affected actively punished via catering to malicious complaint.

Any recruiting body recruiting Europeans with grievance procedure standards accepting needless and culturally inappropriate false claims use maintained to known to damaging effect upon one of their members, is I consider unfit for purpose. No one would ever have agreed to subject themselves to the heads they win tails you lose, witch trial, kangaroo courts masquerading as supposed grievance procedure in both organisations with any prior knowledge.

Fly Casting Matters

The phrase 'fly casting matters' essentially has two meanings. Any specific aspect of fly casting technique or tackle, is an individual fly casting matter.

As an overall or an all encompassing phrase, good fly casting technique and ability really matters for fly fishing most effectively, and for the better enjoyment of fly fishing.


A fly rod and fly line are in effect a vehicle with which you will transport the fly to the fish, just as a car is a vehicle which will transport you somewhere provided you are able to control and drive it. If you can't drive at all, or are yet unable to drive properly, a vehicle is not as much use to you personally as it could be. Nor would you be able to discern properly the differences between a good vehicle, and a poorer vehicle. Personal control over driving ability is a necessary pre requisite for that discernment and to have the best use from a vehicle. So it is also with fly casting.

Fly casting is a very subtle and generally a counter intuitive skill. Its not easy to learn to do it right but it is easy when you can. I do not teach people anything I thought up myself. I personally traveled and was formally trained in various fly casting techniques from various World class fly casting mentors when I was younger.

Many of the formal training techniques and practices for effective fly casting and line control that I learned from others, and the logic behind their use are what I teach. For instance the incline exercise progression, or the half lift exercise.


Loop Morphology

There are many different things that matter in fly casting, and it is also always a combination of compound movements in applying and directing leverage, and the effect of those compound movements on the rod and line, therefore the properties of the rod and line must first be understood.

It all relates to directing the line through controlling
loop morphology - loop shape and loop formation. Most importantly to achieve control over this with efficiency, with economy of effort.

Economy of effort or efficiency only comes from correct technique like for instance through using the right type of leverage and a balancing of the stroke so that the main power application occurs in our comfort zone - bio mechanically speaking.
Instructor qualifications

It is very, very important to always note that any person may be completely unqualified by any certifying body, and be a truly world class fly caster and a world class fly casting Instructor.

Also I have seen that qualifications do not necessarily mean much, they absolutely do not signify that you are a better caster than someone without them, though that may or may not be the case. They just show that someone reached a certain standard - supposedly at least sometimes. That may depend on who conducted the examination and the circumstances involved. There are definitely some I know of where the standard absolutely was not reached despite certification given. Some D.H. certification would have been best awarded to the river current.

Q: Has the wool reached the target now? Assistant A: Well yes but it did not land there, it landed well short and the current took it to there as we are now casting downstream after the moving around the markers. Q: Is the wool at the target or not, yes or no? A: Well it is now yes. Q: Okay - tick - pass.




Personally I was practicing and teaching Scottish style fly casting techniques in single and double hand fly casting for 18 years before taking any examination certificate anywhere. I was however formally trained by Peter Anderson to Instructor level in his style at the time, I have changed technique since due to importing knowledge from others. I was exactly the same caster overall however before I obtained five casting certifications within one year as I was afterwards. Then again on obtaining four other certificates again shortly after having been disenfranchised out of the first five and a fly tying certificate too.

Naturally, I was specifically practiced for the various examination tasks on the syllabai. However I did not change anything whatsoever in technique, and did not have to. I did learn some different terminology to describe basically exactly the same things in a different way. A terminology used by the examining bodies.

I have changed some techniques since then due to influences from James Chalmers, Michael O'Kane, Gunther Feurstein and others.

Excluding E.F.F.A. examinations, most qualifications simply do not compare to the lifetime of experience I had working as a Ghillie and fly casting Instructor on a large river with both single and double handed rods. Nor also to the formal training in a casting style I received long ago from Scotland's Peter Anderson when he was in his prime, and from the long term practice of the exercises involved in that teaching. From importing knowledge since then from others too, from those that truly knew their subject intimately from long experience, and in more modern times from some competition casters.



What a few (in the Moy Valley) sometimes refer to as
Fifth level fly casting is usually what matters in terms of learning from someone. There's no certification available for that level, certification is then quite irrelevant, they may have no certification at all. Its the highest compliment some of us here use, use to explain the ability of another if it is exceptional, by referring to them when talking about them as a 'fifth level fly caster,' or something similar like 'they're at the fifth level'.

It is a statement based on the accepted four stages of competence recognised as Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Conscious Competence and then Unconscious Competence. There can be speculation and suggestion as to what a definition for a further fifth level of competence is, or would be, should a fifth competence definition be decided upon. A good exercise to muse upon among casting friends, is coming up with a fifth competence level definition wording.

Our use of the term is a recognising that there is indeed that marked difference to be considered between someone with an unconscious competence achieved, and someone who is beyond that again from either occasionally an exceptional natural ability, or more usually very long experience, or perhaps a combination of both. Those that are then operating on another level again. What twenty or thirty years of experience and casting almost every day of the season brings, or else a natural born ability. A full time Ghillie on a larger river may achieve such ability if they are into casting for its own sake too.

Of course you do need to really understand just what you are looking at to make that call properly, you need to be looking with the
'seeing eye' as explained in Chinese Philosophy, in order to discern properly. Like when you're both looking and actually also really seeing and discerning things and fine aspects of what is happening from true understanding and knowledge of the subject, not just looking on.

You can of course only see what you know about and are able to discern from personal knowledge and understanding, otherwise you may just be looking. A meaningful opinion usually also only stems from long exposure to a subject, long personal experience combined with knowledge obtained and imported from others with long experience. The seeing eye, or any fifth level ability in using a rod applies only to a very few, usually they will have 'lived it' at one stage reaching an apotheosis in technique themselves.

One can't beat experience, you can circumvent it a little and shorten the learning curve by learning from those who do have the long experience. They won't be telling you for instance that they don't cast off their left side with left hand up in double handed casting if they are right handed naturally. As Brian Jacks the British Judoka always said to his students, if you don't use your left side then you only know half of Judo.


The Casting often is the Fishing

For me,
as fly casting is the practical means through which we present the fly or flies, and a fly rod and line are the tools and in effect the vehicle used to deliver the fly, then it really is absolutely of the most significant importance in Game Angling and fly fishing to be able to use the rod and line effectively and efficiently, and to be able to fly cast well.

Apart from the necessity and the practical fishing benefits, there's also really a great deal of satisfaction to be had from achieving fine tuned control of fly casting.

I have often said to people very seriously that in fact ...
"the casting is the fishing."... Having Ghillied part or full time for thirty years I have a fairly qualified opinion on that statement. I'm unconcerned too with what some others say about casting ability not being important for fishing. Long practical experience has made it very, very clear to me just how important it is.

I've seen casting ability, or indeed a lack of it, make all the difference many, many times. Its an indisputable asset to be able to cast well in wild fish Game angling. I've often witnessed good, and indeed on occasion truly great, wild fishing opportunities occurring due to natural events and conditions combining to produce very special circumstances, circumstances then quite unable to be capitalised upon properly by some due to poor casting ability, and due to the serious problems it created for achieving an effective presentation. At such times also I've seen a few people really able to shine and enjoy the full benefit of the opportunity offered by nature due to their fine tuned casting skills.


In the beginning its most important to be able to function with a fly rod on the river, Lough / Loch, lake, pond, estuary or sea no matter the bank we are on, the wind direction or strength, the current, or if wading deep, from a boat, single or double-handed rod, whatever. We must first learn how to function consistently and effectively for practical fishing purposes. Its a process, once one gets started correctly with a proper basic technique, through practice and experience skill will develop.





Exercise Repetition, a Philosophy and Methodology of teaching fly casting.

Exercise repetition

One of the real benefits of using a practical repedative exercise system is that there is less time until the technique has to be used again than on real casts, therefore re practice of the technique and any adjustment for correction is very immediate as multiple uses of a technique are made in a shorter time. Therefore for a given practice period more repetitions of the particular element focussed upon by the exercise occur.

The style of casting I learned at various courses is mainly taught through an exercise system. It is also an old school, long term learning, system, no quick fix outside of exercise repetition over time was on offer, or indeed expected.

The only and best short cut is practice of the exercises, and of course learning them and the casting from someone who already knows them, and this style well. The
targeted exercises are repeated until perfection of form and fluency with them refines the basic foundational techniques.

For Instance once a technically correct D loop forming move is learned, it is a common element on the set up phase of all Spey casts.
The improvement from correctly using micro wrist in the tip casting exercise for single handed overhead casting is invaluable and will be carried over to and incorporated into all your overhead casting afterwards.

Even when experienced, the exercises are still often practiced to maintain absolute fluency with the foundations, upon which the rest of fly casting technique is built.

The discipline required in performing the counter intuitive exercises ultimately creates personal control of ones compound movements in applying leverage and stroke, and importantly the freedom in choice in determining ones compound movements to maintain control over things like making and directing a smooth acceleration. They ensure one is no longer a slave to any motor function or a habit, both of which are changed. They help create the ability to execute important counter intuitive actions.

As Aristotle once correctly stated,
"through discipline comes freedom."

The formal training methodology might sound a bit harsh, but in fact it is interesting and very rewarding. Interesting because one discovers the fundamental principles of how a fly rod works and correctly using it's inherent properties. Rewarding because it is a revelation how beneficial it is to apply those techniques and the properties of the rod in practical fishing casting for economy of effort.

Even some of the exercises are such a joy to master themselves and to practice, particularly the incline exercise progression for Spey casting techniques, and also tip casting with a single hand rod. They are addictive exercises to practice once a feel for them is gained. Theres such a buzz and an invaluable improvement from practicing and mastering exercises for their own sake too.

The incline exercises really ensure the ability of the person to become bottom hand dominant in double handed rod power application, and also to attain mastery of off side casting (rather than reverse or 'cack handed' casting).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqrxVCStyIM



One often does hear the really very mistaken generalisation made by some Scandinavian style casters who perhaps don't also long line Spey cast, that traditional Scottish Spey casting is a top hand dominant technique. It gets a bit tiresome hearing that unqualified generalisation repeated. It is not so with most competent Spey casters I have met. I learned from more than one notable in Scotland, none of them were top hand dominant in power application when they used a long stroke. One can easily combine a long stroke with bottom hand dominant power application, due to applying first class leverage. That is exactly what I was taught there from the beginning.

Exercises are not casts, but when the fluency of technique attained form them is incorporated into casting technique later they make a profound difference.

Learning this way focuses not only on being able to function well in real world practical fly casting situations, which is of course of primary importance, (thus line height management behind is always an issue), but also on continuing to develop further on a solid foundation built in correct technique. The foundation is placed in order to function first, but with the ultimate aim of achieving the efficiency, economy of effort and understanding that enables advanced fly casting.

After first learning how to function with a degree of consistency, there may then also appear onto some another step to be taken. One entailing gaining fine control over loop shape and loop morphology.
Truly efficient fly casting technique may indeed become a most graceful art form, just as Norman Maclean's Father noted and understood. A step further again than functional fly casting may be taken, a step further from a deeper understanding through experience and practice, primarily from realising how not to interfere with the excellence of the rod. How to allow the rod and line to release their own inherent properties and attributes for you.

When the clear, simplicity and logic of precise technique and its benefits really becomes perceived, appreciated and used it is a most beautiful thing indeed, both to see and to practice. Most especially how relaxed precision in applying and carefully directing, smooth compound movements for leverage, the effects of doing that and just how interconnected and interdependent everything is really perceived, felt and understood. How one thing leads on to another and compliments another.

Ultimately it is not just about getting a line out but actually just exactly how you do that in utilising the properties of the rod efficiently, ergonomically, and in regard to loop morphology (loop formation and shape). All these aspects becoming supremely important and controlled from experience and understanding.

 photo DHPic2Ukraine_zps0b14fadb.jpg
Long stroke Fulcrum style final delivery in a casting Competition, Ukraine. Combined left and right Single Spey casts, 45 degree angle change.
......."The progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which all fly casting technique must be built."....... Peter Anderson.
......."Lead before speed"....... Peter Anderson.


In terms of control I consider Goran Andersson's
original Underhand casting style an absolute art form as he practiced it, and something well worth learning, and learning well.

Long stroke Spey casting with long belly lines is of course a different discipline and for me the highest and most demanding skill of all, most especially if done with the bottom hand and body dominant in power application. It is also the most rewarding.

I find the bell curve analogy a good test or measure of control. Can one go from one extreme to the other? Can one cast say a double-handed rod and medium to long belly Spey line well with, as far as possible, a top hand dominated power application during the stroke? then also cast the same outfit with as far as possible a bottom hand dominated power application during the stroke? Only then you will be able to have a qualified opinion about the differences, but really only then.

Sometimes I have said to people to cast in such and such a way and they have not been able to do it, yet they were expressing an opinion about what they in fact could not actually physically do themselves just beforehand. Such is life. In Karate an obvious belt designated your real level of ability, yellow belts didn't tell brown or black belts with stripes on them what they considered about the finer points of some advanced technique. They kept quiet until and unless they were able to do it well themselves. Can one isolate and separate things in the one arm? like separating making an acceleration from excessive power application? Maintain a fast, true acceleration but remove most of the power, or any sudden jar or thump?

A fly rod is so easy to mis use.







Owing to circumstances beyond my control, it became necessary for me to resign as a fully qualified member from two certifying organisations due to their, in my experience, disenfranchising modi operandi. The Apgai-Ireland organisation and the FFF / IFFF.

I understand what does not constitute proper or acceptable standards of stewardship for either myself or my students.

I have very strongly held views on the standards of how all others should, and indeed must, be treated. Most especially I believe these standards should be maintained by any group, body or organisation taking upon themselves any mantle of responsibility whatsoever concerning the stewardship and well-being of others.






Counter Intuitive
To cast well or efficiently with a fly rod is generally counter intuitive as John Maclean well noted. It is very much an acquired skill. Its one that I consider needs to be built upon correct foundations.

Although we start to fly cast simply to fish, we may also find that to cast well, or to improve our casting ability, becomes somewhat of an interest in itself. We may find that achieving greater control, through better understanding of technique from experience, is a very rewarding and satisfying development. It also greatly enhances our fly fishing capability and the enjoyment of fly fishing. In fact the art of fly casting while fishing, or indeed for its own sake without fishing, becomes extremely enjoyable.

Gaining more control over fly casting technique is a little like building a jigsaw puzzle. Once some basic parts are in place and are fine tuned to the point that they do not have to be thought about any more, so we can concentrate on getting another aspect correct. It then is eventually fully controlled, then another aspect is concentrated upon, and so on. We find that with focused changes, things may become much better or more efficient for us. Greater and more relaxed control is acquired.

Sometimes new techniques or variations on the theme are tried and either incorporated or rejected depending on the outcome. A learning curve is followed, an interesting and rewarding learning curve which may often involve importing tips and information from others, or sharing tips and information with others.

Personally although I had fly cast from eight years old in Ireland, I travelled to become formally trained in fly casting at various courses in Scotland and England and to import knowledge from those that had recognised ability.
To the uninitiated fly casting looks easy, its only when a person picks up a fly rod, either a single or double handed rod and tries to use one that they will realise how counter intuitive it actually is. It is an acquired skill, just like Guinness is an acquired taste. Now I don't like Guinness personally but I do love fly casting.

Most people have seen the film “A River Runs Through It.” In the book by Norman Maclean, the Maclean boys' father, (John Norman Maclean), believed that anybody who did not know how to fish (fly cast), should not be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching it.

He also considered that someone picking up a fly rod who never used one before proved factually and theologically that man by nature was a damned mess, that he had fallen from a state of grace, and only by picking up God's rhythms were we able to regain power and beauty. That all good things come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy.

Now personally I do admire that 'old school' thinking and approach to things. Game fishing for wild brown trout and Atlantic salmon with a fly rod practically demands this type of respect most of the time. That is in fact the attraction with Game fishing and fly casting. If it was easy it would lose a considerable part of its appeal. In fly casting especially for me there is the necessary requirement of self discipline for gaining control.

Fly Casting Elements

Though I had fly cast from a very early age, owning a single hand fly rod at 8 and a double handed rod at 16, and had had some lessons, I was retaught in an uncompromising fashion (thankfully), by Peter Anderson when about 25 years old. Prior to that I was doing the Hugh Falkus figure of eight type Spey cast and somewhat inefficient single hand casting.

Some essential elements were prioritised as foundational, and exercises for fine tuning them was taught and repeatedly practiced. It was ensured that they were correctly practiced (correct form not sacrificed) to the point of becoming automatic, and are then carried through all of technique. It was a complete and very logical system of fly casting based on the rod's inherent properties and nature, plus simple, logical physics allowing for biomechanical efficiency for both single and double handed rods. The rods will share the same inherent properties.

We had our own local terminology for those elements. A terminology I used for very many years before encountering any American terminology saying the same sort of thing in a different way.

We used terms such as
'The progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which fly casting technique must be built.'

In overhead casting,
'use a straight line incline, (back cast)' or 'Channel all the energy and line momentum as much as possible in the one overall direction'.

'Move the line directly away and directly towards the target during the main power application phases.' (allowing for the correct trajectory on longer forward casts of course)

'start with a mainly position change merging into a mainly angle change to the stop.'

A basic overhead casting stroke using a mainly position change merging into a mainly angle change to a stop, made along a straight line incline on the back cast.' (its a backwards and upwards back cast).

'Don't allow the rod tip to drop behind during the power phase of the back cast.' (okay on the drift)

'Lead before speed.'

'Make an acceleration,' or 'make a smooth acceleration' simply essential for good technique and one of the hardest things to do consistently at the start, the top leg of your loop explains all.

'The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.'

'Line height management behind through continuous motion'

'An incline is not an arch, an arch is your arch enemy.'

Keep in plane, don't cut in in front or behind.

'Use continuous motion casting. Lift and drift up slightly during the pause time,' (back cast pause).

On a Spey cast back cast - When the rod tip passes your position it must be rising either on a straight line incline or a climbing curve.

Apply opposing leverage to form the D loop.

Become bottom hand dominant in power application on the forward cast with a D.H. rod. Top hand is for stroke length.

Use upper body rotation, not just realignment when Spey casting.

Know the difference between upper body rotation and realignment.


Keeping with the ideal then it was important that the acceleration at the end of an overhead casting stroke by the rod tip speed using either a single or a double handed rod, still kept the line moving in that same overall direction, and very specifically did not drop the rod tip down behind during the power application phase of the back cast or pull the loop down. This was maintained due to incline use of the hand or hands as leverage is applied. On a double hand overhead back cast there will be a small lift up as the main angle change takes place.

Practice of the
half lift exercise made this line directing on the back cast an automatic procedure in single hand casting and was similarly useful for double hand technique.

The essential element for instance of always making a true acceleration on the forward cast, being one of the most important techniques to master. Anyone casting into a strong wind will soon realise the importance of this technique and any shortcomings in the practice of it. Evident sometimes too when people attempt a double hand or switch rod roll cast's or snap C's forward cast on a narrow river tight to the riverbank, unless there is a progressive build up the line skips out of the water backwards on them, usually into scrub on the bank or the forward cast hopelessly fails and collapses. Time and time again they will snatch the rod with the same failed result as they simply can't do anything different, its amazing to watch how helpless they are to make a change to something different, and it shows clearly proper casting technique is both an acquired and counter intuitive skill, one not arrived at casually.

Keeping in plane throughout the casting stroke was essential. Meticulously adhered to and important on all rods but harder on the forward cast of a D.H. rod. Harder than most people realise. People have a silly habit of pulling the rod tip to the left (right handed casters) on the forward cast or just after.

Not letting the rod tip drop on Spey cast D loop forming moves power application (while applying the
opposing leverage), after it passes your position, was another essential.

Opposing leverage, easy to say but not to do consistently in a curve, yet it is the all important Spey casting D loop forming technique. A most beautiful technique, no snatching or tugging. Smooth controlled leverage at the right tempo, a beautiful thing and a most beautiful feeling. One easily messed up though and one eventually incorporated with upper body rotation.


A mainly position change initial movement into a mainly angle change movement to a stop on the back or forward overhead casting stroke as a foundational stroke is important. Simple to say, all these things are simple to say, its doing them technically correctly that is the issue. Having enough control over you body to do that every time in sequence with no premature hit. For instance keeping the very controlled small wrist movement angle change to the end with a single hand rod seems to defeat a lot of people. Moving the single hand rod with a maintained locked arm wrist angle at the start seems to be so very troublesome for some initially. Often they look at themselves and then laugh in exasperation, asking why won't my body do what I want to to do? Why can't I do this? Eventually of course the control comes.

Other aspects I have appreciated more over time and with experience like the type of leverage applied where and when, like his statement that "the progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which all fly casting technique must be built." His phrase "Lead before speed" is about ensuring an acceleration on the forward casting stroke and pre load of the rod from the main position change of the rod before the main controlled angle change of the rod to a stop.

This formal training via exercises like 'the half lift' that I received directly from Peter Anderson, on the Spey and in Ireland, is the basis of what I now teach others. Also incorporating over the years valuable techniques that I learned from others. The most crucial exercise for Spey casting that I teach with either single or double handed rods is what I learned from James Chalmers. The incline exercise progression.


In recent times I have learned a lot about double handed casting technique from someone who was one of my students in the past, Michael O'Kane. He took things to an extremely high level in his practical fishing casting and in his successful D.H. competition casting. He has improved my D.H. technique and understanding.

My single hand casting was taken to a higher level of understanding recently by Gunther Feurstein of Switzerland.
Personally I believe in giving myself the very best chance in the generally uncompromising sport of game angling through letting the fish see the fly with the right presentation first time. This means gaining full control over what happens with the rod and line, including fly turnover. I don't want an Atlantic salmon for instance to see my fly at all unless its seeing it with the right presentation the first time it sees it, (depth, fly water speed, and angle of presentation for the water speed). I don't want the initial novelty factor of the appearance and presence of the fly wasted through an incorrect presentation from a poorly made cast, or from any lack of line control. I don't want to alert any trout or salmon that there's obviously a fly line crashing around before they notice the fly.







Winds

Adverse winds are really the great test of whether a person truly has control over their fly casting technique for fishing purposes or not. In the West of Ireland the mountains often channel the winds coming in from the Atlantic. So many times I witness people unable to deal with wind on the river through poor fly casting technique, particularly with their forward cast. Some salmon anglers are unable to change uppermost hand on a double handed rod to cast on their off side when wind suits that requirement. Or with a single handed rod, to then use the other hand on the rod to cast, or use the high back hand power hauling technique with their normal rod hand on their off side (a most useful single hand cast for that circumstance).


That is in fact the deeper attraction of fly fishing for some, the real challenge it presents even to get a fly out there consistently in the first place and the line management control afterwards to fish the fly or retrieve the line, the long term learning involved. If it was too easy, then it would not have the same appeal. Good fly casting is a very subtle art form indeed.
The first deviation from the norm appearing in print from Apgai-Ireland with introduced printed false claims use about their FFF examination record, and other associated unconstitutional aberrations in policy that manifested themselves, it was truly what is referred to as a 'turd in the punchbowl' on very many levels. Eventually required compliance from me with the maintained false claims unaltered and the other aberrant associated policy including my personal exclusion from rights available to others was required and insisted upon despite my notifications, requests and complaint to the full extent of due process. Imposed with the full knowledge that it was an unconstitutional demand for anyone, and created an impossible situation for someone from my background. Rather than resolve the problem by returning membership conditions back to those in keeping with the constitution and stated aims related for recruitment, they knowingly refused to provide those conditions thus enforcing disenfranchising my membership rights and certification with them. They carry the full resignation and complaint correspondence involved. I ensured a written record of correspondence.

Those responsible were also members of the FFF, and the FFF were then informed via complaint from me. I was given a guarantee from the then Chair of the FFF.

Later when a student of mine was prepared for his FFF THCI examination with myself as his mentor, After I had been formally trained in THCI protocol by the FFF as an examiner. The main person responsible for the aberrant policy in Apgai-Ireland was refused as a co examiner when he extremely disingenuously stepped forward in some pretence or attempt to be so. Refused due to the unresolved dispute over the enforced policy affecting others he was presiding over, the unresolved actions against the mentor, another quite similar matters against the student also making him considered not an impartial broker under protocol requirements, and yet another matter again. One of the grounds for objection witnessed by two B.O.G.'s and occurring previously during the students Master examination. All properly cited by the student as compromising THCI examination protocol requirements for a position as a co examiner. Also adding that he surely must be aware of his unsuitability on protocol requirements.

While actually still officially imposing the falsehood unaltered about FFF THCI and other examinations they, (Apgai-Ireland), then made a complaint against the mentor (myself) to the FFF over this examination protocol issue cited. Doing so although they had already knowingly caused the personal loss of my certification because I would not be coerced into accepting their aberrant policy involving false claims about examination record.

An entirely malicious complaint in my opinion. There may not be any other ethics investigation or committee in the world that would uphold a right for some to impose unwanted false claims about examinations upon other members to damaging malign effect as a legitimate practice. The FFF however is one exception. Notwithstanding their supposed ethics code and its supposed very introductory principles, supposed examination protocol requirements, or any duty of care responsibilities, they will not only entertain such a complaint in full knowledge of the facts of imposed falsehood, they decided that the qualified THCI examiner trained by them citing factual protocol issues to his student will be considered as a punishable offence. A fabricated offence for supposedly 'speaking' about others whom imposed examination falsehood upon him. They also knew how and why the student refused the person on three counts of his own, and they knew what those counts were. I also had informed them personally of that via verbal submission to the investigation, including the B.O.G. witnesses to it and to other examination issue the B.O.G's discovered themselves.

They still issued punishment for citing protocol while fully informed of all the evidence and facts through extensive verbal and written submissions. While holding complaint correspondence, while holding their factual examination records and all the printed material and brochure to the contrary, prior notification and complaint from me to their Chair approx one year previously, a known guarantee then given from their Chair to me at the time, the known loss of other certification due to their actions.

A nameless, faceless, and unaccountable to anyone supposed ethics committee, operating behind closed doors in a non transparent fashion, not using normal benchmark criteria over falsehood use, conducting an investigation not contacting most if not all key witnesses, accepting and indeed officially condoning imposed falsehood use for others they should be protecting, ignoring the extensive bullying and cyber bullying involved. Issuing punishment against all of the evidence requested and provided for nothing whatsoever outside of their own protocol requirements. I consider it utterly shameful. All subsequent questions unanswered, total unaccountability other than they don't care if you resign.

This occurred deliberately and knowingly, in absolute full knowledge of all the issues and malign consequences involved, despite requests notifications and complaint to the full extent of due process They always gave themselves permission. The aberrant practices permitted, or even endorsed by others and taking precedence over every supposed duty of care responsibility. This would occur in the most perfidious way, via supposed grievance procedures. Those not using normal benchmark criteria in investigation, not even contacting key witnesses. Sometimes a committee contained a person investigating themselves. Some entirely unaccountable and refusing to answer normal queries on their position.
Unprotected membership rights. False examination Claims.
As a fully qualified and examining member of Apgai-Ireland and the FFF / IFFF now FFI, my membership was disenfranchised via the known enablement of false examination claims use and other illegitimate policy involving inequality, or endorsement of it. I naturally would not be conformed or made subject to this extraordinarily inappropriate, unconstitutional, unethical and bogus development. This is a known requirement in my particular Irish / European culture and society, a fact they were all fully aware of, and whom they claimed to cater for.

My supposed claimed membership rights were in fact completely unprotected in both bodies. The known and demonstrable false examination claims use and exclusion was either permanently imposed, or fully endorsed through their entirely redundant and worthless (supposed) grievance procedures. An illegitimate and arrogated right for some to use and maintain false examinations claims after their unsuccessful FFF examinations, along with personal exclusion upon another member (myself) against express wishes and complaint, was either fully facilitated and officially permitted, or knowingly endorsed as bona fide, uncompromising practice.

An expected personal compliance with this depraved, intolerable yet imposed policy, then took pre-eminence and precedence over all else, over all claimed membership conditions and inherent duty of care responsibilities in both bodies. The known inevitable cultural failure to comply with this illegitimate, deviant policy, was officially overruled, or indeed even actively punished by an supposed FFF 'ethics committee.' A resulting weaponised and targeted practice of official false claims legitimisation and acceptance used.

I found In my utterly appalling experience of the extensive, prolonged, bullying and cyber bullying involved, that there was no Professional, no National, nor any International standard used in those wholly unaccountable dictatorial bodies. Only the deliberate overruling of legitimate objections to the point of causing known disenfranchisement. A very deliberate, willful action, and one at extreme variance with any normal or reasonable duty of care. A standard I consider unfit for purpose, and absolutely outside of the normal values in European cultures and society, or in civilised society anywhere.

It is difficult to find words to describe those knowingly imposing unwanted false claims upon another they recruited, and in their supposed care, to known disenfranchisement. Or for an supposed 'ethics committee' issuing punishment upon a member for rejecting imposed false examination claims use and personal exclusion as somehow legitimate practice upon those affected regarding examination protocol. Doing so while actually holding their factual examination records, in full knowledge of the culturally inappropriate and official use of the false examination claims use upon another member to cause enforced disenfranchisement, and their own supposed code's very introductory principles for members. Their actions however do speak volumes for them, and speak much louder than words can.

See
'Extreme negligence, false claims take precedence,' below.
Subsequent to my recruitment and qualification under other claimed conditions, Apgai-Ireland as an organisation, via some of their FFF members, forcibly imposed an entirely unconstitutional and unethical use of known and demonstrable false claims about that organisation's FFF examination record, combined with other very serious matters such as my personal exclusion from membership rights available to all others. Extreme bullying and cyber bullying activity was employed to maintain their introduced and aberrant policies. Their policies subsequently officially endorsed by an supposed FFF (now FFI) ethics committee investigation charade. The intolerable and aberrant conditions arising contrary to any acceptable, normal or ethical standard, including those supposed consition related upon recruitment, meant I could no longer be a member of either of those two thoroughly corrupt recruiting organisations.

My membership rights were totally, knowingly ignored and disenfranchised after recruitment, qualification and examiner training by both organisations. Disenfranchised due to their extremely inappropriate, irresponsible, illegitimate and unacceptable failings. I found from my personal experience of membership that they were not using 'Professional' or 'International' standards in practice. The known and demonstrable introduction of false claims use, bullying, cyber bullying, personal exclusion and any known official continuation or endorsement of it upon another person or member I consider to automatically and entirely negate any such claim or titles. Don't be fooled by their titles or the utterly worthless constitutional or membership claims, they are entirely unregulated outside of themselves and in my personal experience as a fully qualified member and examiner in both, entirely unfit to be recruiting anyone from European society. Even basic rights are simply not protected in any way. Supposed conditions are worthless, irrelevant, always a mob rule vote or corrupted decision away from being removed entirely. Apgai-Ireland do not and cannot cater to me as an Irish person, their official, unconstitutional and mob rule enforced policy prevented it.




Punishing for his not accepting those still disingenuously imposing them upon other members and in unresolved dispute over it, as somehow uncompromised, impartial and acceptable examiners for those they have adversely affected is entirely abnormal. A punishment issued for not compromising on their particular European culture's known lifestyle requirements, or on the supposed examination protocol rules they were formally trained in.

Issuing that punishment not only while actually knowing the serious cultural issues involved, but while holding their factual examination record, and holding record of a prolonged bullying and cyber bullying campaign by some of their members to enforce otherwise to the factual record, including the twice printed material involved. Doing so also against their own supposed ethics code introductory principles for members, and supposed THCI examination protocol rules.

Doing so after supposedly investigating the matter via not using normal benchmark criteria, not contacting all key witnesses, operating behind closed doors in a non transparent manner, anonymously, entirely unaccountably and contrary to a previous guarantee on this very issue from their then Chair.

Imagine how low a group of so called "Professional" Irish and FFF Instructors has to go to knowingly, officially and forcibly impose known and demonstrable false claims upon others about the factual examination record. Then complain when those adversely affected by those sickening actions correctly cite factual protocol compromise for an impartial THCI examination for them. One certainly can do so without worry in the FFF (now operating as FFI) where normal procedures or processes simply do not apply.

As it is my own personal reputation as a lifelong Game Angling Guide and Fly Casting Instructor that they decided to attempt to tarnish with their utterly despicable kangaroo court circus and farce, their non transparent, unaccountable, unanswerable, witch trial, and stitch up grievance procedures, that's why this is here.

They don't have, and never did have the certification claimed, period. I was there.

Fly Fishing and Fly Casting

There is something very special indeed about fly fishing. Often its because of the visual nature of the sometimes anticipated takes. However also because using a single, or a double handed fly rod introduces us to the art of fly casting. Fly casting itself an almost endless pursuit and a very subtle, counter intuitive, and yet rewarding skill. Game angling with a fly rod is a sport offering long term, indeed life long learning, and varied avenues of experience. There is also a much more direct contact and feel to the fish and all that is happening, more participation by the angler.

Atlantic salmon fly fishing and its associated casting techniques in particular may become an all consuming passion. For some, while other branches of fly fishing have their own unique and pleasant aspects, little compares to the hooking and playing of the Atlantic Salmon, or indeed the look of a fresh specimen of that noble species. The perfect fish for many, how fortunate that such a large fish frequents our rivers from early season, and at times will take small or large flies close to the surface.

This site is mainly about the subtle art of fly casting. There are of course various styles of fly casting. The best systems will use the inherent properties of the rod effectively, and will be very efficient at directing the fly line. I was taught a complete system through comprehensive formal training many years ago in Scotland and in Ireland to become an instructor in that style. I teach mainly what I was taught then via a focused exercise system. A style of fly casting all about efficiently and precisely directing the fly line. One allowing fine tuned control of loop morphology (loop formation and loop shape). A style also incorporating over the years what some others I met later shared with me, and one developed as tackle, lines and modern techniques evolved.

I've met a lot of people that believe they can cast efficiently, that is until they can't. Until on the Delphi system n Spring time and the wind is blowing in upriver from the Atlantic and channelled by the mountains in the Bundorragha valley and you need to cast off the off shoulder with either single or double hand rod. Until they have to strip a 7 or 9 cm Brooks' sunray shadow back over a certain lie from a downstream position with a single hand rod, meaning they have to hit the ground running, as soon as the fly lands stripping line and raising the rod tip simultaneously to ensure they furrow the fly, while kneeling to avoid being seen and while casting over your left shoulder to avoid telegraph pole behind. Aerialising and shooting line each false cast to get it out the distance again before another fishing of the fly. Or when a strong upstream or downstream wind hits the Ridge pool e.t.c. e.t.c. I've seen it cause capitulation hundreds, indeed thousands of times.

However covering all of that efficiently due to good technique is just the basis. I later in life, and with great difficulty due to long ingrained muscle memory, changed my double handed Spey casting style from what I had learned initially after a student of mine, a fellow Instructor, Ghillie and Guide Michael O'Kane, showed me an even better way.


Fly casting involves the very controlled and directed, unrolling and projecting of flexible fly lines. The fly line is effectively a long and flexible tapered weight, it will tow along an attached piece of normal line called a leader, and a fly (or several flies) for you as it unrolls. If the line rolls out, the leader straightens and a fly lands furthest away that is called fly turnover. The line should not collide with itself, or the end collapse on top of itself in squiggles, it should not kick back, or be blown back in the wind either. The plane used to cast into a strong upstream wind and across a river should see an appropriate glancing angle used.

Any controlled cast will be achieved through carefully applying very precise and directed leverage to a single or double handed fly rod during the casting strokes. The aim being to use the inherent properties of the rod, and especially the fast straightening of the tapered fly rod to accelerate a fly line in the desired plane and trajectory. A line that will already have been started moving in that plane and trajectory prior to its final acceleration by the rod tip's straightening towards counter flex.

We will apply specific leverage with our hands, arms and body in a bio mechanically efficient way to generate the desired line momentum. Sometimes when single hand casting we will also be pulling on the fly line with one hand, as well as correctly manipulating the rod with the other hand.

If you are not fully exploiting the rods inherent properties as the very foundation and basis of your fly casting technique, as a great many won't be doing without training, then you're going to be missing out on efficient technique and control. I never used a rod correctly myself until formal training in how to do so when I was about 24 though I had fly fished since eight years old and even had lessons perviously. However those lessons were not in the system I now use. It matters really a great deal just how the rod is manipulated and directed, how leverage is applied. It is also very important to still be able to fish effectively in various real life circumstances such as adverse winds, or limited back space, or perhaps which side of a river you find yourself on. You should not be limited.

To become proficient and prepared for the variable real world circumstances you may face while pursuing your quarry is the objective of time spent learning efficient and practical fly casting techniques. It will be time well spent, however it is important that it should not be time spent reinforcing bad habits. Whether its Atlantic Salmon, or perhaps brown trout, sea or rainbow trout, on rivers, loughs, lakes or tidal waters, maybe pursuing saltwater fish, fly casting technique is the means by which you will deliver the fly, its really beneficial to get it properly under control.

The often pushed, top hand pushing Myth.
Don't ever be taken in by the myth pushed by Classic Underhand style casters that Scottish Spey casting today or in recent times is top hand pushing. True in the past and certainly in Victorian times. Certainly still with some English Spey casters I have encountered.

No Scottish Spey caster I personally ever learned from, and there were a few, was a top hand dominant caster for main power application on the forward cast. The top hand may be extended for stroke length, however the bottom hand takes care of the main power application. I like Spey casting using shooting heads, classic Underhand casting is not the only bottom hand dominated technique, far from it. To push that myth as if it sometimes applied today to all of Spey casting with long head lines, is to fail to acknowledge the reality.

Fly Casting is Counter Intuitive
Using a fly rod well or correctly is generally a very counter intuitive task, amazingly so. Achieving greater control through better technique and understanding is a very rewarding and indeed satisfying experience, one that will also greatly enhance fly fishing capability and our overall enjoyment of fly fishing. Gaining more control over technique does not happen by accident.

I consider from my own personal experiences that the best way is to regularly practice technique or exercises for technique using a focused, logical approach. An approach based on the properties of the rod, and on precise control of your body. Controlling and directing the power phase of the cast and understanding the logic involved in doing that correctly, and the purpose of each component part. Things like for instance being able to distinctly define when and how much wrist movement is used on a basic single hand casting stroke. How the wrist is introduced and combined with the already occurring arm movement. Understanding the moving of the line directly away and directly towards the target (allowing for trajectory) during the main power application phase of a cast. The role of the arms, wrists and body. Using compound, directed movements. Total directional and trajectory control.

I consider having a solid foundation in basic technique from a system first is necessary, then extra levels of technique may be introduced and built upon the essential foundational technique already in place. The basic foundations in technique, practiced through repetition, will correct and replace any incorrect muscle memory or habit which will automatically be carried to detriment otherwise. You cannot cast well with ingrained or involuntary muscle memory faults or habits as they become a limiting factor to efficiency, progress and potential. You must first be able to free yourself from unhelpful muscle memory. Freedom means you are not a slave to involuntary movements or habits.
Through discipline comes freedom, as my German Karate teacher used to correctly state. This idea of adapting to the style of the unexperienced novice caster just does not wash for me. When I went to Karate class I learned Shotokan Karate techniques from the teacher, then later Kyokushin Karate style. I could choose to fight whatever way I wished after training, but certainly not before. No one walks into a Dojo and says to the Sensei, look I'll just fight the way I would normally and you can then tell me which bits are okay and then work with them. That would be an utterly preposterous scenario and one missing the point entirely. Likewise I teach the fundamentals in a style of fly casting, the one I was taught. I'm going to teach its fundamentals starting off as the foundation or basis of things just as they were taught to me to gain control of my body and break involuntary habits, and was taught them the old school way. It served me and others very well as a grounding as it teaches necessary control over your body, it gives you eventually the full volition and choice over what you are doing. That is something very valuable.
One of the sayings used was along the lines of,
'a fly rod won't be changing its inherent properties to suit you, so you have to ensure that what you are doing is in keeping with the properties of a fly rod.' Or in other words, the progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which fly casting technique must be built. That is good advice.

Once some basic techniques are in place and fine tuned to the point that it is automatic and they do not have to be thought about any more, so one can concentrate on another additional refinement or fine tuning of technique, then another refinement is concentrated upon, and so on. Its what is referred to as links and progressions in sports training. You cannot and will not do well what you are not yet ready for. You may see this with beginners naturally when they concentrate on a new thing too soon, then the other things then go to pot as they are not yet consolidated. Further progress is built on solid foundations. Its a step by step thing over time, a type of apprenticeship, its not instant. Eventually you may make, or see fine tuned casting that does not shock or force the rod, that is something to experience, but it won't happen overnight.

A learning curve is followed, it is an interesting and rewarding learning curve. Sometimes also new techniques or variations on the theme are tried and incorporated, perhaps imported from the shared experience and knowledge of others. At the beginning however it is my belief that one must have the basics of an efficient system to follow. Afterwards have an open mind. Afterwards you can do what you want.
Those whom maliciously, purposely claimed and maintained otherwise, including twice in print. Their thoroughly corrupted, unaccountable and pretence committees with a cover up agenda, all fully aware at all times. All holding the evidence and knowing the factual examination records and as they either declared otherwise, or in full knowledge enacted the most utterly despicable, corrupt and contemptible decisions and policy adversely affecting another innocent person. All complicit in the deceit, the prolonged bullying and cyber bullying daily harassment, in the enforcement of a disenfranchising lie or its accompanying bile, and the deliberate and malicious negating of all supposed membership conditions and rules upon a fully qualified member.

All illegitimately demanding a known impossible compliance with this introduced aberration and its grotesque associated policies, or with those illegitimately peddling them
while exhaustively and formally made to be absolutely fully aware, that their corrupted, contemptible, aberrant policy and actions are not only an abnormal and unethical breach of membership conditions, but disenfranchising.

Arrogating for themselves regardless, or licensing others, in absolute full knowledge, entirely unaccountably, non transparently, behind closed doors, some entirely anonymously, either what level of unwanted falsehood and exclusion they would continue to dispense and allocate upon another member indefinitely, or that he will be required to be subservient to and comply with as a bona fide practice by some of their members for him. Doing so long after recruitment and full qualification achieved under supposedly radically different terms.

The non existent (formally requested) certification, the inconsistency of imposed false examination claims use with all supposed membership conditions, codes, rules and with any normal duty of care, or indeed with any standard whatsoever anywhere, all the formal complaints made, the known cultural implications, all prior guarantees would not be allowed to stop their perversity and disenfranchising policies. Nor would it halt the extensive and prolonged associated bullying and cyber bullying campaign of their damaging cover up charade, one with its subsequent perverse, corrupted and non transparent grievance procedure nonentity, circuses, farce, negligence, hypocrisy, dereliction of duty, bad faith and total unaccountability. A falsehood endorsing (so called) 'ethics committee', really does speak for itself. As also do those on a committee 'investigating' themselves.

The fact that they illegitimately continued to implement and maintain their disenfranchising practices after formal notifications and complaints, or to actively permit and endorse such actions and indeed compound them, highlights their real nature, the real standards used and their real values. The appalling levels of unprofessionalism and corruption, the actual lack of any proper grievance procedures, a total lack of protection. The dignity of forced falsehood? A duty of care? Equality? Respect? Any Professional or International standard? No, absolutely not.
Two unsuccessful T.H.C.I examinations were taken by Peter O'Reilly at Roscoe on the Beaverkill river in New York State, and some THCI examinations by other members in Navan in Ireland, period. I was there at both events, I witnessed some of the examinations as an official observer.

A body or person officially imposing and maintaining unwanted, known and demonstrable THCI falsehood upon the student, the mentor and others, and in protracted dispute over it, is compromised as an THCI or other examiner for them, period.

After public, unconstitutional, false examination claims were made in print, Peter O'Reilly and others then targeted with impunity, anyone who wouldn't accept these known and demonstrable false claims as legitimate, claims which were maintained and repeated in print after notification and complaint. He was very greatly aided in this depravity by an FFF ethics committee - so called. Together they knowingly and illegitimately ignored or broke every supposed rule, code, constitutional clause, normal principle, practice or benchmark criterion to cover up his and others examination failures and the false examination claims. Everyone knew the claims were false,
including those responsible making them in print and the so called 'ethics committee.' They were all also made fully aware of the cultural and religious lifestyle requirements also, including in writing. They were fully aware at all times of the damage caused upon another, and effects of their unconstitutional, unethical and illegitimate actions.

This situation and the fraudulent claims were not acceptable nor accepted despite the pressure applied precisely due to their fraudulent nature, and they formed only a part of an aberrant and unacceptable introduced policy that constituted an appalling breach of all constitutional clauses, codes, duty of care norms and most critically represented the use of inequality not acceptable in particular cultures of some recruited persons including my own. All were fully informed and aware of this.

They ignored every supposed membership rule and code, including the supposed introductory principles to the ethics code, the examination record, every piece of evidence submitted including the twice printed false material, a previous guarantee given to me on my prior notification, every request to produce the non existent certification, failed to contact key witnesses e.t.c, e.t.c.. All to cater to this
turd in the punchbowl and to cater to and compound adult bullying and cyber bullying. Illegitimately damaging reputation of a professional Instructor and Guide rather than adhering to or applying the supposed rules and codes, the constitutional clauses,addressing the false claims, the bullying and the cultural issues they were absolutely fully aware of. So in their failure inducing a shocking deluge of persistent mocking from those tyrants.

You did not and do not ever have permission, ethically or morally.

The malice and gross hypocrisy involved in making a complaint over normal protocol citing, while still
officially indefinitely imposing and maintaining unwanted and damaging examinations falsehoods upon another, long after notification and complaint. A particularly evil action, a real depth of depravity is required for that one. Also the level of corruption involved in catering to it all while fully aware of and while knowing and holding the factual examination record. I don't have to imagine any of it, I personally experienced it in the FFF and Apgai-Ireland. The most extreme adult bullying and mocking possible with the practice of inequality in Apgai-Ireland.

The combined and enforced deviant policies in violating all inherent duty of care obligations, supposed membership conditions, constitutions and codes of conduct, in facilitating false examination claims extreme bullying, cyber bullying and other abuse, actively and knowingly disenfranchised my membership of them both. Disenfranchisment by them occurring long after recruitment and full qualification to examiner level, trained in examination protocol, under purported and supposed radically different conditions of membership.

The entire supposed grievance procedure was followed by me in both organisations to no avail.

The truth however remains unaltered and I will expose it and them wherever and whenever possible. I repeat, two unsuccessful T.H.C.I examinations were taken by Peter O'Reilly at Roscoe on the Beaverkill river in New York State, and some THCI examinations by other members in Navan in Ireland, period. I was there at both events, I witnessed some of the examinations as an official observer.

From my personal experience I consider both to be improper bodies entirely unfit for purpose, undemocratic, unaccountable, thoroughly corrupted and debased. They should have no place whatsoever in Europe or European society ever, being entirely unsuited to it. They should have no responsibility for the welfare of anyone as they are absolutely incapable of protecting it.

No legitimate investigation or grievance procedure using standard benchmark criteria in investigation would ever accept any use of enforced false claims contrary to his cultural and religious requirements upon any member as a legitimate or bona fide practice, period.

No legitimate grievance procedure has people on a committee or conducting proceedings supposedly investigating themselves.

I consider both bodies, from my personal experiences of them as a fully qualified member and working professional, to be
extremely harmful organisational hazards that are entirely unregulated, unfit for purpose, or to be recruiting anyone in Europe. They should have no place whatsoever in Irish, European or any civilised society due to their appalling modi operandi and failings. Their lack of respect for basic norms in duty of care, and in regard to European cultural norms is ugly, utterly appalling and inexcusable.

To knowingly punish anyone for their culturally required rejection of this falsehood, as is also required by their very own examination protocol, is an illegitimate and reputation damaging action upon an individual, myself. That's why this is here. I cannot write this unless 1. It is true, and 2. I have the written record from attempted grievance procedures and meetings.

The necessary and requested certification for their official position never produced as it does not and never did exist. The Emperor has no clothes.





Harmful Organizational Hazards. Unfit for purpose. Unfit for Irish or European society.

Imposed false claims use, prolonged adult bullying and cyber bullying.

Enforced falsehood use and equality are mutually exclusive. Enforced falsehood use and professionalism or any reasonable or responsible standard in duty of care, are mutually exclusive.

Prolonged bullying, cyber bullying and harassment upon any member, or any acceptance of it by any recruiting organisation, group or committee, such as that practiced by Apgai-Ireland and the FFF now renamed FFI, negates any legitimacy whatsoever, as well as all claimed, supposed membership conditions, codes or rules.


No one of course can ever legitimately decide what level of falsehood or exclusion they will allocate for, or upon, anyone recruited and in their care. Nor what amount of it any person will be expected to be subservient to from them as an introduced condition for continued membership after recruitment and qualification under different terms. No one but the most disingenuous would ever consider that acceptable.

One does know that multiple examination attempts were not successful when one is present, as I was, at two different events where they occurred. Sometimes indeed present as an official examination observer. The most important thing about that fact however, is that they all know too, each and every one of them, and they hold the official records.


International or Professional in name only, not in standards of practice.
There is of course no recruiting body actually using professional or all Ireland standards that would ever introduce known and demonstrable, entirely inappropriate, unwanted, unconstitutional, unethical, and extremely problematic false claims use and exclusion upon a fully qualified member and fellow Irish citizen. Nor officially indefinitely maintain such an utterly vile disenfranchising, discriminatory policy after notification and formal complaint. Doing so long after recruitment and qualification by them under supposedly much different conditions.

The so called
"Apgai-Ireland" organisation is however does use impose false claims and imposed them upon members indefinitely and officially. I'm Irish, and was a fully qualified member. They absolutely do not, indeed they cannot, cater for me, nor any like me. Their unprofessional, entirely unconstitutional, reprehensible dictates, bullying and cyber bullying prevents that.

There is naturally no recruiting body actually using International standards, that would ever with full knowledge and holding factual examination record, facilitate malicious complaint and issue a punishment upon a member for their culturally required rejection of known imposed examination falsehood and the associated prolonged bullying and cyber bulling by some of its members. No International standard, or duty of care practice, would consider such as legitimate or bona fide. Punishing a normal and
required rejection of the use of false examination claims, the known and demonstrable, unwanted, culturally inappropriate, deliberately and repeatedly forcibly imposed despite notification and complaint, unacceptable, unethical, and incredibly damaging false claims use by some of their members speaks volumes about their real standards and practice. The FFF now operating as the so called 'FFI', did do so in full knowledge, and entirely unaccountably.

From my absolutely horrendous personal experiences of it all, I consider both bodies to be harmful organisational hazards.

Accepting disenfranchising falsehood use,
not contacting key witnesses, ignoring membership rules, their own examination records, extensive printed evidence, extensive verbal submissions, prior formal complaints and prior guarantees given, does not any investigation make. Nor indeed does anyone on a committee investigating themselves.

I consider any recruiting body, or any committee, so utterly debased, immoral or dysfunctional as to either allow, or endorse, the use of false claims and exclusion upon an individual member they recruited from a European society, doing so while made fully aware of the lifestyle and cultural issues involved, knowing their damaging effect, while holding their factual examination record and their own supposed constitutional, ethical, code of conduct or examination protocol rules, is absolutely unfit for purpose.

From my experiences I consider it all not just an abnormal situation, but a decidedly ugly one. One representing the most despicable, irresponsible breaches of trust placed and a gross neglect of inherent responsibilities. Their actions I also consider to represent an affront to equality, to common decency, to all purported recruitment guarantees, codes of conduct, grievance procedure norms, and utterly devoid of any professionalism, or of any semblance of fitness whatsoever to be recruiting anyone in Europe.

My membership rights were absolutely not protected in any way whatsoever, but were repeatedly and knowingly abused wholesale by them for a known malicious fiction. Apgai-Ireland absolutely do not, and indeed cannot, cater for me as an Irish citizen. Any claims they may make to do so are as accurate as their examination pass record claims. The FFF / FFI absolutely do not, and indeed cannot, cater for me as a European citizen. From my personal experiences of membership I consider them an entirely corrupted, unfit and unsuited body for any European society.
[Sleeker_special_clear]