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Kudos to Mike Oliver

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On 5/25/2023 at 9:43 AM, JRT said:

They sorted out that backcast of yours then? :wee:

Nice one Mike, well done.



It took a while John. The practical which is just casting should take three hours. I was kept on for another one hour and fifty minutes. I guess they were struggling to make their minds up. The test is good fun if serious. 

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On 5/24/2023 at 10:56 PM, TopStriperAngler said:

Great job and congratulations. Would be fun to read about the process and what it entailed for you. It sounds extremely strenuous. 

It was a long and accelerated process due to my age. Young guys can relax and work through the three levels over a number of years. Post 70 that’s not an option. First level is Professional which took me about a year of intense practice and around 1000 miles a month travel to get to my Teacher for a two hour lesson. I was very lucky we became close friends and often I would get an additional four hours for free as my teacher is always looking to improve his own cast and we would cast together. To replicate the test venue I used to travel some weeks 250 miles to cast on the R.Ribble where I could get either left bank or right bank. I would arrive at 10 am and leave when it got too dark to cast. I often did not get home until well past midnight thanks to our highways agency closing the M6 motorway for repair at night. Sending me off on long congested diversions. I cast spring summer, autumn and winter. I passed the Professional. Then it was rinse and repeat for the Advanced and I failed it first time around. Let’s just say it hurt and the disappointment was huge. But failure just produced more intense commitment and drive to succeed next time. But Aug last year I had my right hip replaced and was unable to re take the test in Oct last year as unable to practice and scramble about in rivers for over six months. Soon as doc gave the go ahead I was back on it.   The focus was very intense. Selfish is another word for focus and I basically stopped being a husband, father and grandad for way too long. I also put fishing to one side as I found there is not the time for both. So May 19 th I took the assessment and this time I passed. Anyone taking the assessment will have pretty much the same story to tell. Mine is not unique. It is what you need to do to get through. I will not mention how much it cost financially as my wife might find out if I put it in print. I doubt I have enough active years left in me to recover my costs through teaching and guiding. But it was never about earning money it was the challenge that was the driver, plus a certain gentleman on SOL from the past who would  lay down challenges as to my provenance when it came to casting fly rods. Sure put that one to bed. There are four other potential levels to work to. My next ambition is the Advanced Double Hander.  Then I am definitely going fishing. But before that I rather shamefacedly have two Two Hand Beach rods to finish building which I had planned to get shipped to the USA in February. Just no time to allocate to them before the test. The two guys have been really kind about it. So I owe them one.

Hope this fed your curiosity.




Edited by Mike Oliver
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Congratulation Sir!  (not as in Sir Mike...)  That sounds like a significant accomplishment and life goal.  Tip o' the cap!


Jeff B.

"The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits"
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