Copyright © 2005 by Bert Darrow

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed to The Lyons Press, Attn: Rights and Permissions Department, P.O. Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437.
  1. Why I Fly Fish
  2. Choosing a Rod that Works for You
  3. Rod Assembly and Transporting It Safely
  4. Holding the Cork Grip
  5. Casting: Preparing the Student
  6. Force Used to Make the Cast Work
  7. Creating the Loop
  8. Initial Casts and Accuracy
  9. The Tennis Exercise
  10. Roll Casting
  11. The Single Haul
  12. The Double Haul
  13. Shooting Line
  14. Exercise Can Be Fun
  15. Practice to Music
  16. How to Put Slack in the Line While Casting
  17. Mending Fly Line on the Water
  18. Arrival at the Water
  19. Aquatic Insects and Artificial Flies
  20. The Dry Fly
  21. Fishing with Nymphs
  22. Fishing the Streamer
  23. Fishing with Wet Flies
  24. Playing and Landing Fish
  25. Tough Trout
  26. Getting Started with Useful Equipment
  27. Fly Lines
  28. Finding New Places to Fish
  29. Our Fly-Fishing Expectations

From the Foreword, by Bob Jacklin:

I first met Bert more than twenty-five years ago at a Theodore Gordon Annual Day event in New York State. Although impressive for the time, it was a small fly-fishing show compared to today's extravagant affairs. Bert recounted to me some of his fishing exploits in upstate New York and how he enjoyed his home waters. He did most of his fly fishing in the Catskill rivers, especially the Esopus, Beaverkill, and Willowemoc, which I too had frequented and learned a great deal from. In my earlier years, I traveled often to the fabled Catskill streams from my home state of New Jersey. After I moved to Montana, I suggested that Bert visit me there to experience the beautiful western countryside and fish the challenging rivers that run through it.

The following year Bert and I met again at my fly shop in West Yellowstone, Montana. He was anxious to try out his fly-fishing skills on our big western rivers. Over the years since that first trip, I have been able to observe firsthand Bert's excellent fly angling skills during fishing trips that we have taken together as friends. We have been able to fish over many types of moving water while both floating and wading, and we have managed to do a little pond fishing as well.

Whatever challenge is provided by the water and environment around us, Bert always positions himself in the best place to approach his quarry, make whatever casts are needed, nd choose both the right equipment and the correct flies to catch the fish he's after. Bert's fishing instincts are what set him apart from most anglers. These instincts are there because of the tremendous amount of time he has spent both on and off the water perfecting his skills.

Bert and I have stayed in touch with each other over the years since that first meeting in New York. We get together in the off-season at different fly-fishing and fly-tying shows where we are able to discuss a host of different topics covering teaching, new equipment on the market, and conservation issues.

Every year I hold fly-casting clinics that are free to the public in West Yellowstone throughout the fishing season. The people that go to these clinics vary greatly in their casting abilities, ranging from beginner to expert. Sometime the number of people present can be quite large and requires our instructors to quickly and efficiently analyze what is needed to help each caster. If Bert is out West during this time, I ask him to help me teach, He is very knowledgeable about casting and can answer any question. He is very patient with everyone and also has the ability to observe and quickly assess an individual's strengths and weaknesses. He gives tips and encouragement to anglers as he moves from one caster to the next. Bert also has a great capacity for using analogies that are essential to all aspects of fly fishing. One specific analogy that I found very interesting in Bert's book relates to the problems that depth perception can cause for all anglers and how to overcome that problem.

In 1979, Bert began his career as a fly-fishing instructor and has done it ever since. It was not a source of revenue for him then as it is now, but it was initially done to benefit a national conservation organization which has a local chapter in his hometown. He has been involved with that organization ever since. He now has his own school and guide servide and work with small groups as well as large corporate organizations. Instructing others how to fly fish has taken him all over the country.

Bert is very familiar with most of the new equipment making it into the stores and catalogs these days. Because of his lengthy involvement in the sport, he is able to give very sound advice on what updates in equipment are good or even excellent as well as what purchases are not needed, thereby saving the angler some money. His ideas of practical equipment purchases are sound and help simplify what we use.

As time has passed since we first met, Bert and I have followed similar paths. We have both guided anglers on our home waters. We have both taught people about the beauty and skills of the sport. And we have both worked hard to improve the environment that every angler cherishes. Through two conservation organizations, Trout Unlimited and the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Bert has taken a very active role for more than twenty-five years protecting the trout's environment. He has received a number of conservation awards. Most recently in 2003, the New York State Council Individual Conservation Award recognized his service for educating, training, and leadership dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of our coldwater resources. Bert is also a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, another conservation organization that is dedicated to keeping our waters safe and clean as well as teaching people to fly fish.

I have taught fly fishing and fly casting for over thirty-five years. During this time I have had the great privilege to have have worked with people like Lee and Joan Wulff, Lefty Kreh, Jim Green, Mel Krieger, and Frank and Gladys Gray, who were the two principal instructors for all of the Fenwick Fly Schools. There is one thing that all of the great instructors have had in common over the ages: the passion for teaching others how to fly fish and fly cast while simultaneously nurturing their students' own enthusiasm for the sport. Bert Darrow has this enthusiasm as well as an easygoing personality, which puts even the most nervous students at ease, thus allowing them to enjoy themselves, have fun, and learn as well. The best way to learn anything is to teach it. Bert has spent a lifetime perfecting his fly-casting and fly-fishing skillls as well as teaching and sharing his skills with other. Bert is an accomplished instructor who is also a certified fly-casting instructor with the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Bert has finally recorded his techniques in writing, an act that serves all students of fly fishing. The fact that his lessons are practical and easy-to-understand means that this book will help elevate the skill levels of many a fly fisher. Read this book, practice what Bert Darrow teaches, and enjoy the beauty of the sport and its surroundings.

- Bob Jacklin

Bob Jacklin has been a fly-fishing guide and outfitter in the Yellowstone region for over thirty-five years. He is a world-class fly fisherman, fly tier, and fly-casting instructor. Bob holds a masters certification as a fly-casting instructor, and sits on the Federation of Fly Fishers Board of Governors for fly-casting instructors. He has been tying flies commercially since 1963 and is a recipient of the FFF's prestigious Buz Buszek Award for his contributions to the art of fly tying. There are few people in the country with as much in-depth knowledge of fly fishing, fly casting, fly tying as Bob Jacklin. He is a charter member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, and a member of the Theodore Gordon Fly Fishers, Inc., Trout Unlimited, and the Anglers Club of New York. In 2004, Mr. Jacklin received the FFF's Man-of-the-Year Award and was inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame.

Bert's book is available from the publisher, The Lyons Press, from and Barnes & Noble, or from your local bookstore. Order your copy today!

Copyright © 2005 Fly Fishing With Bert Darrow