Fly Fishing Masters UK – Italian Casting Style

A full day pass was acquired and I set off on the two hour drive up the M74 to the Annan to meet my old fishing buddy Emanuele for some education around Italian casting techniques. The one thing I had to remember was to leave both car seats for my wife  so that it would be easier to transport the boys for a double whammy sleepover at her sisters. Around 40 mins up the motorway and past the point of no return I realised while checking my blind spot that they were still fastened securely in the car. Day passes are hard to get and may be even harder to get after this blunder I mused to myself as I sent the apologetic text.

The day was warm and hot as a thoroughly nice bunch of guys met to learn the finer points of Italian casting. Look, I am not going to kid on and tell you that by the end of the day I was casting like an Italian however what I can say is that by the end of the day I was convinced that I could be catching more trout by using these techniques. It is something that I have kind of shied away from in the past; I have been of the attitude that if you can get a fly near a trout and it takes then your casting is fine. However what I am now thinking about is that there are going to be more opportunities for catching trout in tricky places from varying casts. I know a lot of guys will be saying to themselves “duh! it has only taken him 20 years to realise this” however to get a trout in a tricky position I use a technique that is widely known as “fannying about” which can be a mixture of trial and error and on some occasions physically moving myself. Consequently the specific casts used by the Italians of ensuring the fly lands first with the tippet crumpled which ensures a longer drag free drift and casts that get your fly under bushes are good as it cuts out a lot of “fannying about”.

I met some thoroughly nice guys as well as some long time readers of this blog.

Mike Barrio

The fly line designer Mike Barrio was in attendance and after listening to him talk about his business was most refreshing. He quietly spoke about how it was humbling that he was able to not really advertise about his lines as word of mouth was sufficient for him to stay in business.

Later I got to fish for an hour or so..


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  1. Russell Iles · July 20, 2014

    Naughty boy for not leaving the child seats behind. No doubt all is forgiven.
    As for the trip itself, looks like it was a great trip and very interesting.
    If only we (us Aussies) had access to delightful FW fishing spots you blokes have.
    As for Mike Barrio, how fortunate that he is so pleased with sales and it is all word of mouth.
    He must being doing something right. Good luck to him.

  2. David Dalrymple · July 20, 2014

    Fished with Emanuel a number of times in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone Park. What a wonderful fly fisherman and gentleman. When I taught my son to cast I always referred him to old videos I had of Emanuel casting on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone. Smooth, artistic, and gifted…

  3. Alistair · July 20, 2014

    I need to phone him!