When I was asked to write about my casting demos and talks at shows and fairs etc – I do an awful lot of these through the year, I wasn’t really sure what to say or where even to start!
So here goes…
I first stepped onto a demo platform at the tender age of three, yup, you read correctly, I was only three!
Young Hywel was to be the volunteer who would step up to help the late and great Lionel Sweet a British Casting Champion. He would always asked for a beginner to come up in order for him to show how easy it was to cast with a fly rod!
I started early!
Since the age of 14 though I have been demonstrating by myself.
At first it was under the commentary of my Dad, but as radio mics become available, I soon took over the commentary side of things as well, a one man band if you like!
I have to say that at first this was a little daunting, however like with many things we do in life, the more that we do it the better it gets, and I soon found my feet and began to relish each event.
Well, that was decades ago and since those halcyon days, fishing shows were impressive and abundant, I have been fortunate enough to be asked to give casting demonstrations all over Europe and occasionaly beyond. This is all very welcome indeed, I sometimes even get to sneak some fishing in, that’s an added bonus!
Sitting here writing this, I look back and can say that in all honesty, I have loved each and every event which I have done, don’t get me wrong there’s been hiccups along the way but the demos themselves have been great.
For me, the feeling of doing something that you love and passing on your knowledge to a wider audience gives me the most satisfaction.
Getting It Right
But it isn’t easy, take my word for it! The thing with these events is that they’re all very different, despite the often-similar demographic.
Each demo must be pitched at the right level and specific to the crowd.
I demonstrate in Agricultural, Country, Out of Town and Fishing Shows, and the varying audiences often respond to a certain ‘style’ of demo, what works for one will not necessarily work for another.
What I do though, is that I make sure that the show is entertaining, watching anyone cast a fly is hardly gripping, so I need to bring other elements in. I always have it in my mind to try and inspire people, for them to have a dabble in the sport of fly fishing! If the demo looks fun, and I try to make sure it does, who knows, they may want to take up fly fishing themselves.
Performing in front of so many people is terrifying, before each show I get nerves, it’s natural, but I also get a big rush of adrenalin? No matter the feelings though,I wouldn’t have it any other way, every show is just so rewarding!
If I ever lose that feeling, that buzz that I get when , then I will know it’s time for me to stop, but so far, so good!
If you want to find out more about Hywel, his shows or indeed have a guided day out with him, we can vouch for him, he’s a great angler as well as caster, get him here: www.hywelmorgan.co.uk