John Paul II Catholic School grounds, Ridgeland, South Carolina
The Sea Island Fly Fishers Casting Committee organized a day-long fly casting clinic for students of all skill levels. The program was led by Capt. Shannon O’Quinn — a Fly Fishers International (FFI) Certified Fly Casting Instructor. Shannon is a professional fly fishing guide in the Lowcountry and is an Orvis Endorsed guide at Bay Street Outfitters. He was assisted by Peter Lami — a FFI Master Certified Fly Casting Instructor.
Shannon fishes out of a 2019 Maverick HPX-S saltwater skiff and developed a special lesson plan to teach anglers how to cast in a boat on Saturday. The two most common issues that anglers struggle to deal with on a boat were 1.) Casting Into The Wind; and 2.) Casting Backwards. In other words, presenting the fly to a Redfish on your back cast.
Learning how to make a long, accurate cast, approximately 55 feet to 65 feet, without casting over the boat might seem like an impossible task. The solution couldn’t be simpler. Turn your back to the starboard side and cast backwards towards the engine, then drop your backcast to present the fly to a cruising Redfish. This is called a Barnegat Bay Cast and can be used in many other fishing situations. For example, when the wind is blowing into the casters side, just turn your back to the wind and present the fly on your back cast. You will never hook yourself by accident, or Shannon if you are on his Maverick, if you learn this trick — the Barnegat Bay Cast.
While Shannon was busy with teaching the Barnegat Bay Cast, Peter Lami spent time with students explaining fly casting mechanics. Take a few moments to read official FFI study materials provided by Peter. Click Here to see the PDF article — Fly Casting: Fundamentals of a Cast.
A special thanks to John Mathews, who provided an excellent meal for all the attendees, and to all those who made the day possible.