Howie Dodson was recommended to me by an angling guide and friend. I’ve been fly fishing a few years now but had never had any casting tuition. A corporate day and 20 minutes group instruction along with a lifetime of coarse fishing had armed me with the ability to just about put a fly on the water and for a while that had been enough. Of recent though I’d been getting more and more frustrated at my inability to present a fly well at range or come to that present one badly at range. Of course the harder I tried the worse it was.
Enter Howie. We met at Shoreham and after introductions i was asked to warm up by making some casts …. across the grass of a park next to the river. After a few minutes Howie came over and basically told me I was trying to aerialise too much line rather than shoot the line, he demonstrated and then it was my turn….revelation number one, i was immediately casting further with less effort. We then worked on rod position and trajectory to tighten the loops…more distance and more control. Next it was body position, my instruction on day one of picking up a fly rod had me standing square on and casting directly overhead, nothing had moved on from there. Howie now had me stood at more of an angle and doing so opened up my stance, my body movement and crucially the ability to watch the back cast and that was a huge revelation, a real ‘Hallelujah’ moment, throw in some line hauling and all of a sudden I’m casting a full fly line bar a couple of meters.
Howie achieved all of this along with some tweaking in an hour, he asked me if I was happy to finish at this point or would I like to do some more work on the water, now I’d never managed a roll cast and opted to have some more practice and tuition. Needless to say it wasnt long before I was roll casting and then roll casting into a full cast and achieving good long casts again.
I’m still not the worlds greatest fly caster but I am considerably better than I was before tuition and I’m now armed with the tools and knowledge to move on, practice and improve further. Howie was a great teacher who swiftly identified my issues, broke down my cast and rebuilt it, but showing me what I was doing wrong and what i needed to do to correct it, while keeping things light hearted and logical. I’m completely happy that it was money well spent, i will thoroughly recommend Howie to anyone I can and wont hesitate to use him again should the need arise.
Many thanks Howie.