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Congratulations :
To Dana Sturn and Brian Niska Two Hand Cert.
Dana's was the first Canadian test and pass, and Brian's first Canadian master test and pass. Great work boy's
Rick
 

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just say no to bait
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Lets hear it for the Left coast!

After the Canucks fiasco this year I thought all was lost. At least we still have Dana and Brian.

Congratulations N I:)
 

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Good answer!!

What part of the "test," practical or oral did you find 'the most interesting?':devil:
 

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chrome-magnon man
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well...

...I guess it depends on your definition of "interesting." If you mean "challenging" I would say that both parts had their moments. My examiners held me to a very high standard and pressed me often during the orals. Sometimes I felt like I had unlimited answers but a few times I just ran out of responses and told them so. For example, one question had at least 6 possible answers, and Al and Denise pressed me for all of them. I dried up after 5.

The most difficult part of the orals is keeping it short. The tendency is to "show off" your knowledge, but the best strategy is to have a short, clear answer for a question, one that you would provide to a beginning caster, but also to be prepared for follow up questions. So, if someone asked me what I had to drink tonight I would say "a beer" rather than "well, I had a beer that is known as an "udder ale", and I'm not really sure why they would call it that except maybe as some rather strange inside joke, but anywyas it is a pale ale with a light amber hue, and I chose it over a Canadian because it was on sale and I'm rather cheap when it comes to beer..."--you get the picture.

I found the overhead casting section of the practical test the most challenging because I don't overhead cast much so I had to be thinking through the entire casting process, yet not make it look like I was thinking through the entire casting process. That section went very well for me but I was really stressing about it. So that was interesting.

The test is certainly challenging, and I know I wouldn't have passed if I hadn't prepared. It requires a master's level knowledge of two-handed casting, and if a candidate's skills are not first rate they can't expect to pass. For example, if I blew the smallest thing on a cast I was asked to do it again. So a slight tailing loop at the end of a cast was not acceptable. Even though at 100ft+ it might not be noticed by someone I'm teaching, my examiners picked it up and asked me to cast again. You need to be paying attention to what happens on every cast so that, if something goes wrong you can correct it on the next cast. If you can't do that, you won't pass the test. You don't get 1/2 dozen shots at it to get it right. Your examiner can allow (but they don't have to) up to 3 attempts to nail a task but if you need more than two consistently you likely won't make it. If you fail more than 6 tasks you can't pass (this means that in order to pass you need something like 88%).

Fred, I think your observations on the other thread were right on--this isn't an easy test, and even those considered experts can fail for any number of reasons: an off day, lack of preparation, fatigue, anxiety, a bad choice of tackle, bad weather conditions that make casting tough which leads to increased stress, and so on. The best advice I can give is to simply be prepared, and you can never be too prepared.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I have to chime in here to talk about something that Simon did that I found amazing, challenging and enlightening (one of many)...

As you know part of the test evaluates your analysis skills. Early in this part of the test, Simon would make a cast and ask me to analyze his technique. I detected several things he was doing and each would be systematically eliminated as I mentioned it leaving the rest intact (talk about control!) He would continue the analysis. As long as I did not get anything incorrect, he would say "that's not incorrect, what else?" and continue. Although not 'wrong' my analysis was not nearly as sharp as it could have been in this particular case for the following reason:

One of the faults was the most important fault, and the others were less serious. It's important to point out only "the one" and hold off on the incidental faults until later to keep the student moving ahead without being overloaded with too much to think about. Stand back, watch several casts, really get to the most important fault and save the rest for follow-up later. I didn't need to hit the buzzer first, this was not a game show. There were many answers, none wrong but one "most right".

Of course under the pressure of the cert. test and analyzing the Sultan of Spey I was jumping on anything my mind could detect. I certainly wasn't thinking as free and easy as I would in 'real life' but nonetheless, there was a major point taken. Surely when working with a student or when guiding a client I've had the need to find the most important fault of many, for my own sanity as well as the theirs. But during the test this is an important skill to convey to the tester. Needless to say I was not prone to jump after the first demo cast from that point on.

I felt like the young bull wanting to run down the hill to find a cow with Simon being the wise bull saying "no - walk down and find the best looking one". ;)
 

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Dana and Juro,

You both have made some very good points. This is a very comprehencive demanding test considering the oral aspect especially. I honestly think the 100 footers are the easiest part. To approach this as a very good caster and just try and wing it would likely be unsuccessful for even the most skilled instructor.
I really enjoyed the part of the test that you speak of Juro-fix up the examiner. It really is important to find the root fault. Often what one first sees is simply the symptom not the ultimate cause of three or four problems that are obvious. By addressing the root fault one often should be able to fix up the entire mess.
This test is a very good process and I know that I learned a lot by preparing for it. As well, in watching a very skilled, but unprepared, caster try unsuccessfully after me Dana's very important point about being prepared rang true. I strongly recommend this experience for anyone out there that does any two handed instruction.
Brian Niska
 
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