Going to casting school

If you’re into fly fishing and still think a “snake roll” is a type of sushi, or a “snap T” is a kung fu move, maybe it’s time to get along for a day’s fly casting tuition and learn a few new tricks.

Top fly fishing instructor and fishing media personality Peter Morse and Sydney-based fishing guide, Justin Duggan, have teamed up to host a series of fly casting days in Sydney this winter. Both Morse and Duggan are certified FFF instructors and have many years of casting instruction and fishing experience up their collective sleeves.

I attended last Sunday’s “intermediate” casting day with the aim of honing some existing (or lack of) casting skills. And importantly, I hoped to break a few bad habits developed over many frustrating days on the water.

There’s still a stigma attached to casting lessons. Many flyfishers learnt fly casting from Lefty Kreh or Mel Krieger videos, picked up enough pointers to catch a few fish, and left it there.
But as Justin says, “even Tiger Woods has a swing coach”. It makes a lot of sense.
When you calculate how much cash you might spend on tackle, boats, petrol, or fishing trips away, the small cost involved in a casting lesson is a valuable investment that will ultimately result in more fish and enjoyment of fly fishing.

The lesson took up a full day with a good part of the morning spent getting back to basics, with our class (of around 10) starting with sharpening loop control. The skill of creating a tight loop, or even a wide loop when necessary, is fundamental before moving on to the trickier casts. Equally important is the ability to self diagnose casting problems. Students watched and learned from the instruction of others before receiving one-on-one tuition from an instructor.

For me, learning to achieve distance, casting in the wind, and roll casting, were invaluable skills, which I can now build on in my own time. Slightly trickier casts were also covered on the day, such as the “snake roll” for changing casting direction, and the “Belgian cast” for frustrating side winds. Neither of these are difficult and have practical applications in ordinary fishing scenarios.

Unfortunately the beginners and intermediate days have passed, but if you consider yourself a more “advanced” caster and would like to learn more, get along to one of the remaining days on August 2 and 16. The venue is the Olympic Regatta Centre near Penrith, about an hour from Sydney’s CBD. The price is $150, which is seriously good value for a full day lesson.

For more information visit or contact Peter Morse at



What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.