30 Minute Lessons
By Captain Paul Darby, Shalimar, FL

Why did I write this and bring it forth here? Perhaps it is to prove a point, perhaps the need to tell the story, but on a deeper level I suspect the drive came from a simple thought "Knowledge shared, is knowledge multiplied," and if given wings it will return to me, more mature and much improved. It is likely you will find as you read this the use of short phrases and single thoughts. Those are the tools used to bring insight, key points to provoke your own understandings. Sometimes the biggest concepts hide behind the smallest words. So too, can the greatest roots of confusion be spread thru the common acceptance of terms often used, but seldom scrutinized.

In the world of fly fishing the word 'casting' has shown itself to be one of the most important examples of the "why" folks just don't grasp the simple principals to operating the fly rod. Now before you start dipping your torches in flammable liquid and massing at my door step, to burn the hieratic of casting instruction. I warn you here and now, my wife has the phone number to the nearest donut shop on speed dial and I have the utmost confidence in her to summon the local constabulary to my assistance.

Now why would a great strapping guy like me want to pick on something as little as a word. Of all the four letter words in our language in need of a public relations make over, why the word Cast? I learned a long time ago that if you will stop trying to "cast" a fly rod your personal potential to understand incredible.

For years I tried to teach folks what Casting Instructors to this day are still trying to teach, with what seem to be pretty much the same results. It was taking much too long for the concepts to become usable. The information was all there, but the message was getting lost somewhere in the translation. Some were between teacher and student knowledge was not being articulated and understood on the same level. A disconnect was accruing, and my frustration is what lead me to search for the key to unlocking a students potential to understand and apply the information. As with so many things the answer is language. No matter how good the message, regardless how receptive the student, if the words held different meaning for student from teacher, the message is not understood.

About twelve years ago I set a goal, thirty minutes to understanding. It was and still is my contention that most students can gain a clear understanding of the fundamentals that they will need to see themselves, becoming comfortable with a fly rod in thirty minutes. Even without a mentor people can and do connect the dots, if provided clear and usable information. I have found that its not a matter of can they learn, but rather will they understand enough to become inspired and motivated before shear frustration snuffs the flame of interest.

In the columns to follow I intend to discuss such words as, casting, control, power, and balance. I intend to try and explain why they work for or against your understanding. Stay tuned! ~ Capt. Paul

Have a question? Email me! captpaul462@aol.com

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