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Introduction to Elliptical Casting

Tuesday, 19 May 2015  |  Simon

Fly fishing rods (top of the range or budget ones) are great: so long as you know how to handle them properly. To that end, we’re giving you a series of primers, initially on different types of casting. Let’s begin with an introduction to elliptical casting.

Elliptical casting was created and spread through Europe by the Austrian, Hans Gebetsroither. Gebetsroither developed this style in the 1930s when he was a warden and guide on the famous Gmundner Traun (River Traun below Traun Lake in Upper Austria). Since he nightly had to dry and grease his clients’ silk lines, he found the job was easier and faster if he cast the lines in an oval.

After the second World War a famous Irish doctor named Briscoe, asked Gebetsroither to teach him this new style. Gebetsroither was a shoemaker, as well as a river warden an guide, and was more used to serving the rich and famous than teaching them anything. But he took up the offer and soon became well known throughout Europe for his fly casting style. Right up until his death 1986 thousands of people from all over the world learned from him, including very famous fly fishers like Charles Ritz.

Next time we’ll move on to more details on using your fly fishing rods with elliptical casting.

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