Posted by: AAPGAI | March 1, 2016

The need for good instructors.

W05_2188An article by Glyn Freeman



The need for good game angling instructors is many faceted as there is for any other profession. Some of the attributes needed to be able to function effectively are often overlooked in many cases by many instructors and guides, for instance; does the instructor inspire, communicate well, enthuse and empathise with their pupils or students? If it is not fun and interesting there will be very little learning achieved.

How does the instructor present him/herself? First impressions are always important and usually set the tone for the rest of the session. Is the instructor confident without seemingly arrogant, there is a fine line there. People under tutelage need to feel safe and in good hands but not intimidated or humiliated, nobody likes a show off.

Keeping things simple yet effective is another attribute, over complicating simple task will soon lose an audience very quickly. The use of jargon and technical terms can be a big turn off to any novice or relative beginner.

Being calm and well mannered even when there is much frustration evident is difficult; but coming from a different angle often works and trying to associate everyday things that people are familiar with to get the point across. Knowing when to have a break, change or get away from a subject to return to it later with a fresh mind is a good skill for an instructor to possess.

To promote and educate people about what we do, who we are and why we do it. The more people know about how the rivers, lakes and other waterways work and how important they are for many other things beside for our own enjoyment as anglers the less anti they tend to be.

How much experience does the instructor have? I have seen many “good fly casters” that have learnt to cast very quickly and set themselves up as instructors and guides with no foundations of the sport at all. Good quality instruction is not cheap, if someone comes with a particular casting problem they would like it sorted in short order if they are paying by the hour. Does the instructor have a good understanding of how it all works, have good diagnostics and can they spot the problem early?

There is no short cut for experience; how can you advise, teach or relate to a subject that you have had little or no experience of? Can the instructor or guide keep people safe in or on water, have they done first aid, have they the experience of that water, do they know the clients state and do they posses the right equipment and skills to minimise risk and overt a potential disaster?

In a world where people’s spare time is increasingly limited, where children need to be lured away from the internet and computer games and where tackle manufacturers produce a baffling array of products, it is vital that we have good instructors who have excellent technical knowledge but can also communicate and teach effectively so that our wonderful sport continues to thrive.

It is well qualified, experienced instructors who push our sport forward, increasing our knowledge base and keeping it alive and fresh by testing and questioning established thinking.

AAPGAI qualifications are challenging but they are the surest guarantee of excellence in fly fishing tuition. Our members are passionate about their sport and abilities and for many their AAPGAI qualification is the greatest achievement of their lives.