Fly fishing is a true art form

Fly fishing is about a lot more than just catching fish. Some would call it an art form.

It’s about how you fish and how well you do it.

A retired medical salesman, Keith Richard, MCI, has made mastery of the art both a passionate hobby and a second career. The MCI after his name stands for “master casting instructor,” a coveted title bestowed by the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF).

According to Richard, the group was organized 46 years ago and dedicated to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing through conservation, restoration and education. One of IFFF’s contributions has been to create a standard for fly fishing education.

The Montana-based IFFF has over 2,000 certified casting instructors (CCIs) and approximately 200 MCIs in 30 countries worldwide. Louisiana has five CCIs and five MCIs.

Richard describes CCIs as the “worker bees” of casting instruction; they can teach people fly fishing, but they can’t certify them as fellow instructors. Only an MCI can test people and do that.

Richard operates the Camp Fly Fishing School (337-344-0908) out of Breaux Bridge. He gives private lessons for individuals and groups, and also has class session in April, May and June of each year. The April class is introductory; the May and June sessions are advanced classes.

“Becoming proficient with a fly rod makes the whole fishing experience so much more enjoyable,” he explained. “The art of fly casting doesn’t have to be complicated. The skills are easily acquired with minimum practice.

“But the more practice you put into it, the more beautiful the art form becomes.”

About Jerald Horst 959 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.