Guided Fly Fishing — Casting Lessons With John Juracek

At Blue Ribbon Flies, we pride ourselves on helping everyone to have the best fishing experience they can while visiting Yellowstone. Consequently, we spend lots of time assisting anglers with all aspects of trip preparation. This includes discussing seasonal opportunities, arranging for guides, making suggestions about rivers to fish, helping decide the best times to be on those rivers, explaining the hatches, selecting the necessary flies, and passing on numerous other tips that we think will help you catch fish. In short, we do everything we can except the most important thing: casting your fly. When you’re on the water, that’s strictly up to you.

If you ask any fishing guide, anywhere in the world, to name the fishing skill they’d most like their clients to possess, the universal answer will be this: solid casting ability. Nothing else is even remotely as important.

Few anglers realize this, but inadequate casting ability hurts in two ways on a guide trip (as well as while fishing on your own). First, it limits the guide’s options on where they can take you; some waters simply require a minimum level of casting proficiency to ensure a chance of success. Second, regardless of which water you do fish, the inability to deliver a fly competently limits the techniques which you can use.

As an example, a guide might be forced to have clients blind-nymph fish a stretch of river even as fish are rising avidly elsewhere, if his clients can’t summon adequate casting accuracy and delicacy. (I’m not suggesting that one method is better or more preferred than another, only that lack of casting skill is limiting. And fishing is always better when you’re not limited to certain places or techniques.)

Though our guides are all outstanding teachers, I think they’ll concur that the place to learn casting skills is on the practice field, where fishing itself cannot get in the way. And to really learn to cast, proper instruction is as essential as adequate practice time. (Fly fishing is an interesting sport in that it is generally treated differently than, say, golf or tennis, where lessons are commonly sought by most participants in order to increase their enjoyment of the game. Yet fishing isn’t any different; the better you are, the more fun it becomes.)

Unlike golf or tennis—both difficult sports—the fly casting stroke is quite simple in nature and far easier to learn. Nonetheless, it still has to be learned. I have yet to see a fisherman whose casting stroke could not be touched up by careful, knowledgeable, independent analysis. I think it’s common to develop little quirks and flaws in our casting strokes when we’re out fishing. Left unchecked, little flaws lead to bigger problems. A few short practice sessions can work wonders though, and I know I always fish better and more confidently after having worked my problems down to a minimum.

I’d like to encourage everyone to take a fly casting lesson now and then, if only to ensure that you’re doing everything right. But I think we can all become better fishermen—and therefore catch more and bigger trout (of course!)—by receiving some casting instruction.

Blue Ribbon Flies offers casting instruction for $50.00/hour. This is strictly one-on-one instruction, in one hour sessions, so the instructor’s attention is always focused on you. Importantly, we try to schedule lessons early in the day to avoid taking time away from your fishing (but of course will work around your schedule). So if you’re really interested in improving your fishing, consider improving your casting. We’re happy to help, and we think your future fishing experiences will be all the more rewarding for it.

Deposit and Cancellation Info

Deposits of 50% per guide, per day are required for all trips at the time of booking, and are fully refundable up to thirty 30 days prior to your scheduled trip. Deposits will be forfeited with cancellation after that time. Cancellations made less than (7) seven days prior to your trip will require full payment. No refunds on late arrivals or early departures. For destination trips such as Saltwater trips, Horse Trip and Spring Road Trips Payments are nonrefundable unless the trip can be rebooked and there will be no refunds for late arrivals or early departures. For information on trip insurance please contact us.

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