“Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up!” – Lefty Kreh
“Prior to getting lessons from Al and Jim, I would characterize myself as a novice fly fisherman i.e. never took any real lessons and didn’t have a basic foundation for casting a fly rod. My motivation to learning how to cast is that I make an annual business trip to South America and always take a few days to fish for either trout (Argentina or Chile) or Golden Dorado (Argentina). This year we were going back to Argentina to fish for Golden Dorado and I had made up my mind that I was going to fully commit to only fly fish on this trip.
I was introduced to Jim and Al several months before my trip and took my first lesson. From the very beginning I was impressed with how they both were able to breakdown the casting motion in easily understandable parts. They have developed specific drills to concepts that helped me understand about casting basics and how to mentally correct myself when I would struggle. Shortly after my first lesson, I received an e-mail with specific things for me to work on until we met again. I have kept this listing of “things to do and things to not do” and have referenced it often.
Prior to my trip, I was able to schedule another lesson and this time we met up at the Pasadena Fly Casting Club in order to cast in a pond. This time, both Al and Jim reviewed everything we had worked on before and then introduced some additional techniques. At first, I really struggled with the double haul, but I felt I at least had the concept and I could hopefully work on it prior to my trip.
For the fishing trip, I spent 3 days on a delta system in northern Argentina. Our guide was a very experienced fly fisherman and also worked with me throughout the trip. In the end, I accomplished my goal of only fly fishing for the trip and I managed to land several trophy fish all on the fly. However, I think the most rewarding part of the whole trip was when the guide told how much my casting had improved over the 3 days. I feel I was able to do this because of the drills and concepts imparted on my by Al and Jim and then having the guide reinforce them during actual fishing.
I have fished for a very long time and I can say that adding fly fishing has given me a renewed interest and challenge in the sport.”
“Here ya go Al & Jim…you asked for my first fish to have the fly pose…thanks guys”
“Al and Jim are superb teachers. As a beginner, I really appreciated their patience, enthusiasm, and creativity. We did our first few lessons on a soccer field, and then hit the water a few months later, and it was well worth it. Al and Jim are excellent at tailoring their lessons to your skill level, budget, and what you want to learn – whether surf casting locally, or going for trout in the Sierras, or more exotic adventures. I highly recommend them.”
Thanks again for the casting tips and casting with you and Jim! We had a great trip to Andros with two guys I met for the first time. I was complimented by my guides and Wade on shots with my 12wt on tarpon and my 9wt on permit …too bad they didn’t take the fly. Placed the shots right on them with two false casts. Tarpon 40 to 100 and permit 15 to 25 lbs. Wade also told me to work on the hard stop on the forward cast. More practice!!
Thanks for your help in all the things you are so great at!
Denny Kaneoka (Okuma Pro Staff) has been an established saltwater fisherman most of his life and has a new passion for chasing big bonefish on the flats of Hawaii with a fly rod. “There is nothing like the rush of a monster size bonefish taking you into your backing.”
He has been routinely working on his casting with Jim and Al over the last few years and is really turning it on. “Time on the water and paying his dues with the fly rod has paid off with nine monster Hawaiian bonefish over ten pounds. A true testimony to Denny’s commitment, perseverance and angling skill. Denny is our hero!” –Al Q
“My ability to cast and make good presentations has immensely improved after a few lessons from Jim Solomon and Al Quattrocchi, with their The Fly Zone program.
The essence of fly fishing is the ability to cast and make good presentations. This is what makes fly fishing enjoyable and why we fly fish even though other methods are often more productive. Since my lessons, I am catching more fish in both salt and fresh water.
Nevertheless, the real enjoyment for me is the cast and presentation. I can now cast further with more accuracy with less effort, plus I have really improved my ability to finesse a fly. This is the real fun of fly fishing.
I am not stopping here, as I am taking more lessons from Al and Jim. There is so much more to learn from them. This will make my fly fishing all the more enjoyable and rewarding.” – Warren
“I really enjoyed fly fishing in the salt on my first trip to Mexico to go bone fishing, and by the end of the week, I was actually seeing most of the fish the guide told me to cast too. I want to thank Al Q and Jim Solomon for helping me to prepare for this trip. They have a business called “The Fly Zone” where they help guys like me (and likely almost all of you) tune up for a big fishing trip. Jim is a Master Certified Casting Instructor, and Al is a very talented saltwater fisherman and tier and they both have decades of experience. Between improving my casting, teaching strategy and suggesting flies (yes, Al, ‘The Squimp’ took more fish than any other fly, including the one in the picture) I feel as if they helped take weeks off of my learning curve. I can not recommend them highly enough! I wish I had known of them when I went to Chile in 2011!” – Bill O’Kelly
“Larry Acord doesn’t need a testimonial (the pics are worth a million words), Larry has been an all-star student of the Fly Zone and in the last few years he has caught some impressive species. He has learned to make the casts count and how to land fish efficiently. He practices his casting every week and continues to master the long rod, if you asked him how’s his casting is coming along, he would say he has a long way to go, I disagree, but that is the attitude it takes to be a great angler. There’s no stopping this guy, fly fishing has become a lot of fun!” –Al Q
“After 60 years of fly fishing; you would think I had our sport figured out. Not by a long shot! The Fly Zone Team of Al and Jim gave me the knowledge to get my first corbina, to tune up my casting after being humbled on a tarpon outing, to get my gear in order for a rainbow bucket list trip to Argentina. You can always learn, but it takes great teachers to produce real results in a short amount of time. The Fly Zone has been a smart use of my time and money. If only I had been able to receive their counsel over the years, I might not have the mismatched rods, reels, lines, flies, gathering cobwebs in my garage.” – Don
“I was curious for a very long time on learning how to fly-fish. I knew where to start, I asked for help from my dear friend Al Q, who introduced me to Jim Solomon. I started learning with the Fly Zone program. Man I am telling you, I didn’t know how much fun I was about to have. I wasn’t even casting in the water and the lessons were fun. Last week, Al and John Whitaker invited me to go fishing with them. It was my first graduated lesson in saltwater flyfishing. What a great time catching fish on flies. I still have a long way to go, but I am sure I know with practice and these guys guidance I will get there fast and I will have a great time doing it, thank you Al and Jim. “ – Titano
“I sat for a year with a fly rod and reel, not really knowing how to use them. I was smart enough to know I needed some pointers, and fortunate enough to meet Al Q at a casting seminar. The Fly Zone provides the experience and knowledge of Jim Solomon and Al Q, two innovative and fun fly fishing experts, to anyone interested in learning, refining, or focusing their fly fishing experience.” – Charles