The Single Best Book on Fly Casting Ever Written

Sooner or later, someone had to do it, and Jason has done it. Fly Casting is the core element of fly fishing, and the more one understands about the nuances of this skill, the better. But Jason has taken a new twist—the modular approach. It shows one how to build skill upon skill allowing anyone to achieve, what many believe to be, fly casting levels available only to the most athletically gifted among us.

He demonstrated this when he devised the “Shadow Cast” for the movie, A River Runs Though It, directed by Academy-award-winning director, Robert Redford. The Shadow Cast was a linked set of individual skills (modules) that included an Upward Hook, a Positive Hook Curve, the Galway Cast, and a hidden Double Haul.

The overall idea is quite simple. Learn a skill, link it to another skill, or more than one skill—each a “module” in the overall end result. It’s a fabulous way to learn to cast without mind-numbingly complex explanations, and the prospect of thousands of hours of practice out in the back yard. Pieces of casting simple click together like Legos, yielding a host of possibilities that are readily executed.

Then add in over 400 highly explanatory line drawings, and you have a book that far exceeds anything anyone has ever done in the teaching fly casting. Wow, Jas, it’s extraordinary.

To order your signed, numbered copy, go to Jason’s site, here.

This is the way it all fits together. The Tuck/Pile cast is just a vertical, overpowered curve followed immediately by a lift of the rod so the curve has a chance to form. Look at the great artwork and read the great explanation. Note the modules.

 

NEW BOOK, NEW DVD, MUSIC CD

FOR CURRENT BLOG POSTS, SCROLL DOWN BELOW THESE ANNOUNCEMENTS

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After a few minor complications that have been fully cleared up, FLY GEAR is here.

This was an exciting book to write, with a deep look into the gear than makes fly fishing such an interesting sport. Until February 15th it is being offered at the Just-released price of $25.00, which includes shipping and handling. I will personalize the book to you, or to the person you designate when you order it. Please, if you are ordering it for someone else, don’t forget to tell me so, and give me that person’s name. Otherwise, I will sign it to the person who orders the book.

There’s a saying in fly fishing that equipment isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. And that’s certainly true. Especially when we understand that our equipment is the only thing between us and the fish. Fly Gear is a full 224 pages. And what a great 224 pages are they are, crammed with an abundance of detailed information on the gear that we love. The primary emphasis is on rods, reels, lines, and leaders. These tackle items are not just discussed from the current view-point, but from the whole of fly fishing, its evolution to modern tackle (which began around 1850), and on to today’s marvelous equipment. There are charts and diagrams that help the reader to clearly see the “why” as well as the “how.” There are page upon page of reasoned guidance in tackle selection, and a thorough look at Bill Hanneman’s CCS system for rod evaluation. Two full chapters are devoted to leader development, including a deep look at Gary’s much lauded Uni-Body leader system. There’s a full chapter on the most used knots, replete with very clear photos of their construction. Fly lines, our most unique piece of fly fishing equipment, receive four chapters, discussing them in great detail so that the reader is totally prepared to select that just right line for any circumstance. Likewise four chapters are devoted to details of modern fly rods. Knowing them in intimate detail, from bamboo to glass to graphite to boron, allows the angler to not only select the best rod for any situation, but also allows the fly fisher to discuss topics such as action, swing weight, prepreg, mandrels, and more with total authority and accurate knowledge. This is a book designed by a fly fisher for every serious fly fisher.

To order this new book, click here: ORDER FLY GEAR

 

 

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The Perfect Cast I discusses and demonstrates the three casting Methods: Wrist Casting, Forearm Casting, and Whole Arm Casting, noting their best uses, and clearly illustrating the “how-to” of each method. Gary discusses grip and stance, including detailed instructions for The Three Point Grip. There are clearly illustrated demonstrations of the Bow and Arrow Cast, the Elliptical Stroke, Across the Head Cast, Hook Curve, Reach Mend, Curve Mend, Puddle Mend, Roll Cast, Switch Cast or Forward Spey, Shooting Line, Long Distance Casting. Gary discusses and illustrates the details of the backcast with its lift and flip, the pause, the forward cast, A.L.E., Loop formation, tailing loops, pantomiming, false casting, casting in the wind, pickups, including the “C” Pickup, change of direction pickups, mending, and more. Unique shots from above dramatically illustrate Gary’s discussions of the casts and mends. All this in a 72 minute DVD for only $16.50 postage paid

Gary’s clear and easy to follow teaching style was developed in over 40 years of teaching internationally on all aspects of fly casting and fly fishing at the professional level. He produced the first-ever instructional video on fly fishing (Nymphing, 1982), was the Midwest Director of the Fenwick Fly Fishing Schools, and a founding Board Member of the FFF Casting Certification Program. He writes and lectures internationally on all aspects of fly fishing. Music on this DVD from the CD, “My Madison,” by Gary Borger and John Beth. To order the CD or see other ongoing information, visit GaryBorger.com

To order this great new DVD click here: ORDER THE PERFECT CAST I DVD

 

 

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In this unique collaborative work, Gary and John have joined the best of their writing and musical composition and performance skills to celebrate their joy in this magnificent fishery. They envision the river’s seven segments in prose and music: the headwaters of the Gibbon River and the Firehole, the Upper Madison that feeds Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake with the lost campers under its huge slide, the 55 mile riffle down to Ennis Lake, and the Lower Madison through the Beartrap Canyon and on to the formation of the Missouri at Three Forks. John’s delightful music gives song to the grand sweep of the whole river, and Gary’s poetry in prose paints a unique picture of this unique river. “MY Madison” was awarded First Place in the 1994 Broadcast Division by the American Association of Outdoor Writers. This prestigious award is celebrated in this 20th Anniversary Release. This 14 track CD is priced at only $11.50 postage paid. For ongoing information visit GaryBorger.com. Copyright 2015, All Rights Reserved

To order this great music CD click here: ORDER MY MADISON MUSIC CD

Lancaster Fly Fishing Show 2018

Everywhere I go they point; Lancaster is no different. They are such good audiences, and we have great fun learning to cast, mend, and handle the line. It’s truly amazing how much one can learn, and how quickly, when using the pantomime method. The problem with learning to cast is that the rod must be moved rather swiftly in order to cast the line, and until the correct arm and hand movements are developed, moving it quickly in the right pathway is virtually impossible. So, learning in steps via the pantomime method is a really effective way to develop the right motor pathways. Working on developing the correct movement without the rod allows one to go slowly at first and gradually build to the needed speed without confusion. And understanding casting from its basic intent—vectoring energy along a straight line to create the necessary momentum to shoot extra line—also helps the caster to understand why precise and accurate arm and hand movements are necessary. Those in Lancaster jumped right in and started the learning curve at the right end. Good work, y’all.

 

With the Three Point Grip, the index finger, and not the thumb, points the rod.

 

The Three Point Grip uses the natural configuration of the hand to align the rod at the proper angle to the bones of the forearm, making casting much easier.

 

Using the Three Point Grip to demonstrate sidearm casting and the Elliptical Stroke.

 

 

Pleasanton Pointers 2018

Just to prove that those in Seattle aren’t the only ones that can point with their index fingers, the people at the Pleasanton Show got out their “six shooters” and pointed—even though mommy told them not to point. Pointing is great, especially when it comes to the gripping the rod. From there they learned to raise the rod up as high as the side of the face, but “outside” the shoulder (a right hand caster brings the rod up to the right of the shoulder). The anatomy of the shoulder joint and elbow joint conspire to stop the rearward movement of the arm and hand very abruptly such that the rod point exactly 30 degrees behind the vertical—right where it’s supposed to stop—when one is using the Three Point Grip. What a revelation, and what a great way to make a perfect backcast without even having to think.

The crowd was heavy every day, and the roar of it made hearing hard, even when standing close. It was obvious that enthusiasm was afoot, and everyone was having a great time. Vendors went home hoarse from all the talking, but with smiles on their faces from all the attention they received from the heavy crowd. See y’all next year.

And they all pointed with their index fingers. Not single thumb pointer in the crowd.

 

Always laughing and so willingly cooperating, the crowds at Pleasanton enjoyed pointing and all the other pantomime moves we made as we jointly explored the ease of fly casting.

 

Lynwood Pointers 2018

The Lynwood Show (Seattle) is a very personable show—everyone is excited to be there and truly enjoying everything that the show brings. And so, it is not at all uncommon for them to line the casting pond several deep during the casting demos. And they are eager to participate in the pantomime casting drills that I ask them to do. Pantomiming is truly the best way to learn new things in casting. And the first thing I have them do is point. It’s to demonstrate that the pointer finger is the index finger and not the thumb. So when I show them the Three Point Grip and the tremendous advantage it give the fly fisher, they are all more than willing to point and get their photos up on the blog.

And, of course, they love to come to the various Power Point presentations and tying demos, too. Vendors are constantly talking and showing products and a huge variety of angling venues. It’s just a great and fun show, all around.

Ya gotta love these pointers. They were very cooperative and learned a great deal about the ease of casting.

 

An excited crown having a great time learning to pantomime the casting stroke.

Atlanta Fly Fishing Show 2018

This, the second annual Fly Fishing Show in Atlanta, was a great time. It was not just southern hospitality that kept the crowds coming in all day, and flocking to the talks and demonstrations. Everyone was enthusiastic about what they saw at the show—both in the vendor booths, and in the talks and demonstrations. The crowds at my casting demonstrations were most cooperative in participating in all the pointing, and other pantomime movements that I asked them to do, delighting in not only what they were learning, but in the fun we all had building casting, mending, and line handling skills. Those in the power point presentations stayed the course even when I extended the talks an extra 10 minutes, and when the computer crashed. Book and DVD signing went on at all times, not just at my appointed Author’s Booth time, and my tying demonstrations on Down and Dirt Flies and Unusual Dry Fly Tactics both had large and enthusiastic audiences.

The next Fly Fishing Show will be in two weeks at Lynwood, Washington (on the north edge of Seattle)– http://flyfishingshow.com/lynnwood-wa/ See you there!

 

The “Atlanta Pointers” performed with great enthusiasm each day.

 

Pointing is a function off the index finger, not the thumb.

 

Notice the “6-shooter” pointers in  old west style

 

Look at all those smiles. Fun was had by all.

 

I know mommy said not to point, but these casters have just learned the secret and necessity of pointing.

 

With the three point grip, where the index finger points, the rod points, great for learning pantomime casting.

 

With the three point grip, pointing becomes an integral part of casting.

 

Using the index finger to correctly orient the fly rod in the hand allows the caster to bend the wrist fully on the backstroke, and the rod stops automatically at 30 degrees behind the vertical–just where it should stop.

 

Watching the tying of down and dirty flies with enthusiasm.

 

Marlboro Fly Fishing Show 2018

Marlboro is a delightful show that always has enthusiastic attendees. This year’s crowd was no different. The seminars were well attended and the casting demos were packed. It’s always a joy to speak to a crowd that is not only enthusiastic, but willing to go along with all the arm movements and other antics that I egg them into doing. Not so they’ll look funny, but so that they truly will learn some new things about fly casting, and so, become more skilled in the pursuit of this matchless sport. One of the things that I ask them to do is to point at me—which they do almost too eagerly. It’s the way I use to introduce them to the benefits of the Three Point Grip—and in the subsequent description, they readily understand its very obvious benefits.

Next weekend, it’s off to the Show in Edison—a new location for this year—only a few miles away from the Somerset venue. Edison has more space for venders, casting, classes, and seminars. If you’re out and about, drop by and say “Hi.”

The MA Pointers, getting ready to learn about the 3-point Grip.

 

More of the MA Pointers working on the intro to the 3-Point Grip.

 

More MA Pointers proving that the index finger is the pointer finger. The  thumb is not.

 

The 6-pointer hand shape from which we build the 3 Point grip.

 

The rod extends across the palm from the base of the heel of the hand to the tip of the index finger.

 

The 3 Point Grip has the tip of the index finger and the tip of the thumb on the top of the rod handle.

Denver Fly Fishing Show 2018

The Denver Show is the second largest of the Fly Fishing Shows, and this year it grew yet again. Friday saw the crowd wall-to wall, as did Saturday and Sunday. The seminars were all well attended as were the casting demonstrations and the fly tying seminars. The number of show booths was expanded, and there were rods, waders, vests, hats, flies, lines, all sorts of gear. The fly tying cadre demonstrated their skill every day of the show. There was much to learn and many to learn from. 2019 Promises to be even better. Plan on it.

The show opened with bang–a really long line.

 

The daily crowd was truly a thick one.

 

Walking through the aisles could be a bit difficult at times.

 

Booths were filled with interested show attendees

 

Dave Blackburn (far right) operates Kootenai Angler in Montana and also plays a very fine banjo. He and friends gave a great performance on Friday, and Dave soloed both Saturday and Sunday.

Big Browns are in but Cold Weather Coming, Fall 2017

Having lived for over 40 years in Wisconsin, I am still interested in its fish and my long time fly fishing companions, even though Nancy and I now live in Vancouver, WA. My faithful friend, John Beth, keeps me apprised of goings-on in the Badger State fishery. His latest report is both good and bad. Good because the really big browns are ascending the tributaries and taking flies very well. Bad because the weather, which has been unseasonably warm, is going to turn to its usual late fall nasty. As in freezing temps and then some. So, the rivers are going to ice, and that of course means no fishing. So, go, go, go. Get ‘em while they’re hot, because it is not going to be hot for long.

Our friend, Dan, “Doc” Zavadsky, with a 33 inch brown from a Lake Michigan tributary in Wisconsin. Better hurry, these big boys will soon be under the ice.

Big Stripers are Back in NJ, Fall 2017

Fall is always a question mark for the big stripers. Some years early, some late. Water temperature is the key. It has to be cool enough the get the fish inshore. This year, the late, warm fall kept them north and out deep. But now they’re back with a vengeance. My friend, Chuck Furimsky, founder of The Fly Fishing Show, and his son, Ben, current president and director of the company, found the big fish last week. Let’s hope it stays just warm enough and calm enough so the anglers can get out chasing these beauties. They took the fish on large—as in 10 inch long—bunker flies. Ya need at least a 10-weight to toss ‘em and to handle the big boys they take.

One striper like this can make a day.

 

And another to make everyone’s day!

 

The big stripers are eating bunker–sizable bait fish that run iin the 10 inch and up size.

Fall Stripers, 2017

Stripers are always a bit of a question mark off the coast on New Jersey in the later fall. If the water stays a bit on the warm side, then the fish stay north. Of course if the weather is a bit on the foul side, then going out on the open ocean is precarious—even foolish. As an aside, I’ve fished the rough water—seasick as all get out—and caught some nice fish, but that was with only 6-foot seas. When the big stuff comes in, it’s just too rough to get over the bar, let alone enjoy the casting and fish fighting.

So, when Theo Bakelaar came over for the International Fly Tying Symposium last weekend, he and Chuck Furimsky wanted to catch some stripers. Too rough out on the big water, so they fished the calmer waters of the bay and caught fish. Chuck managed one nice one, but most of the fish were great 7-weight material. Plenty of fun in waters that allowed easy casting, and the excitement of a good solid fight.

Stripers, like this one that Theo is holding, are great on a 7-weight.

Fall Salmon Fall Off—2017

Salmon are a great fall fish in the Lake States, and they provide many hours of sport fishing for those fortunate enough to be within a day’s drive of the tributaries of the five lakes. But, the time has come, the walrus said, to speak of many things, why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings—and, oh yes, the end of the fall salmon season in the Lake States. It’s here, and the hangers-on–both fly fisher and fish—are seeing the rapid winding down of the fishing. Lately, it’s been the few remaining Cohos that are providing the action. As a quick aside, Cohos were the first exotic salmon stocked in the Great Lakes. Michigan stocked them first, in April of 1966, in the Platte River. From there it has exploded, and the fishery is certainly world-class.

My long-time fishing companion, John Beth, managed to get to the rivers on the west side of Lake Michigan, and found a couple of late Coho females. They were nasty dark color, but they fought with the energy of fresh ones. Cohos also take the fly with true zeal—that’s one of the things I love about them, whether fishing the Lake States, here in the Pacific Northwest, or Alaska.

Meanwhile, friend and bluesman, Keith Scott, was sampling the late Cohos on Michigan’s Platte River, and nailed a very nice older female.

Way to go guys—great way to close out the fall 2017 salmon season.

It’s not unusual for Cohos to get dark and nasty looking, but as you can see, this female has not even spawned yet. They are decidedly great fighters, too, and take the fly with true zeal.

 

Keith Scott, and another great, late season Coho female from Michigan’s Platte River (site of first Coho stocking in 1966); not the unspanned condition of this fish, too.