Learn fly casting with Tony Hildesheim

Grumpy McMurdo General

To increase success rates, being able to consistently cast a short to medium-length line and have the ability to mend your fly line to create the longest possible drag-free drift of your nymphs, will increase catch rates and your enjoyment of this wonderful sport of flyfishing.

Learn to fly cast

Lessons are suitable for anglers of all levels, from beginners to the more advanced fly fishers.

  • Learn to shoot line
  • Learn to double haul
  • Learn to mend

Price fly casting lessons

  • First lesson: $90 for 2 hours
  • Follow-up lessons: $60 per 2-hour lesson
  • We recommend at least 2-3 lessons.

All necessary fly fishing equipment can be supplied. Practise between sessions is recommended

The basic cast

The first and most important, but often overlooked by many angles is your rod Grip. The best way by far is a thumb on top, line it up with the top side of your rod guides, when casting guide your thumb through the direction of the cast and at your target. You will get much more power to load the rod up with this grip compared to finger on top or another bad habit is dropping the thumb around the side of the grip.

The perfect cast, I find to achieve this you must be casting with the rod tip travelling in a horizontal plane as this allows you to lay the line out completely straight. Do not make an arc with your rod tip. Otherwise, there will be no line speed to make your fly line shoot out in front of you.


Watch your rod tip next time you’re out and see what’s going on, also watch your line, before casting, pick your line up off the water, then cast only when you see the end of the fly line move and send it back up into the sky behind you, keeping it moving in a straight line, speed up your rod tip then stop quickly, pause, then as your line unrolls behind you and before it has time to start dropping towards the ground start your forward cast.

Whatever direction your rod tip is moving before you stop suddenly is the direction the line will travel. Rod tip heading to the ground behind you, fly in the bushes, rod tip heading into the sky behind you, fly up in the air.


Note the casting action involves keeping your elbow fairly low and close in to your body, this will tighten your loops, the rod can be in a vertical to a 45-degree angle out on the side. The more line you have out during the cast the longer your casting stoke should be.

Learn fly casting with Tony Hildesheim

Good casting is something that needs to be learnt and refined. It takes practice. And it’s best to practice away from the river where the focus can be totally on what your fly rod tip and fly line are doing. A Lefty Kreh fly casting book or DVD would be a really good purchase.

In actual fact, once you are an accomplished fly caster and on the river fishing, the least amounts of casts you do the more fish you will catch. Only one to 3 odd casts should be all that is needed to get your flies into the strike zone or the area you want to prospect for Trout.

I think all keen fly fisherman owe it to themselves to be as good a caster as they can be and to master the basic art of casting.

Let us guide you on a trout fishing day trip or multi-day fly fishing backcountry adventure designed to suit your style, ability & time. Book or enquire about fly fishing for trout in Hawkes Bay with Tony Hildesheim today.