Fly Casting the Art and Science: Challenging The Fly Casting Loop Concept with Michael Rebholz | Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Michael Rebholz, a forestry scientist and fly fishing enthusiast, appeared on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast hosted by Christian Bacasa. Rebholz, originally from the black forest of Germany and now residing in Ireland, offers a unique blend of scientific analysis and a deep passion for fly fishing and fly casting. This article delves into Michael's journey, his innovative approaches to fly fishing, and his insights into the activity’s techniques and philosophies. 

Part 1: Michael Rebholz's Unique Approach to Fly Casting

Michael's foray into fly fishing began after a trip to Canada, where he was introduced to the bubble and fly method. His scientific background as a forestry scientist lends a distinctive analytical approach to the activity. For Michael, casting is not merely a means to an end but a form of art that transcends the act of catching fish. He describes casting as a meditative process, comparing it to the precision of shooting a rifle or a bow.

Part 2: The Critical Role of Skillful Fly Casting

Emphasizing the importance of skillful casting, Michael advocates for practicing casting errors and their corrections. This approach allows anglers to make quick adjustments on the water, enhancing their fly fishing experience. Michael challenges anglers to practice in varying weather conditions to prepare for real-world fly casting situations.

Part 3: Challenging Conventional Fly Casting Concepts

In the podcast, Michael questions the traditional concept of "The Loop" in fly casting. He argues that the term may not fully encapsulate the dynamics of fly casting and suggests that it's more about the vibration and wave patterns created during the cast. He introduces the “Bonkers Spey” method, a spatial style of casting that deviates from traditional techniques.

Part 4: The Need for Refinement in Fly Casting Methodologies

Rebholz discusses the need to challenge the traditionally accepted casting methodologies. He pays homage to Alexander Grant, a fly casting legend, and his unique vibrational approach to the activity. Michael stresses the importance of diversifying learning sources and methods to develop a casting style that resonates with the individual angler.


Part 5: Bonkers Spey Casting and the Art of Mindfulness

Michael explains the Bonkers Spey casting technique, which positions the line between the rod tip and the angler for better control. He introduces the concept of ‘line fullness,’ akin to mindfulness in casting. This technique emphasizes slower movements and minimal effort, aligning with the natural flow of movements.

Part 6: Emphasizing Self-Analysis and Diverse Learning in Casting

Michael believes self-analysis is crucial in mastering fly casting. He suggests filming casting sessions for self-review and encourages learning from various instructors. Michael also emphasizes the importance of attentiveness and the consciousness of the act of casting.

Part 7: The Bonkers Spay Technique – A Corrected Approach

Rebholz’s “Bonkers Spay” technique is an evolution in casting, focusing on optimizing energy and minimizing effort. He highlights the significance of practicing in darkness and slowing down movements to understand the casting process better.

Part 8: The Quest for Mastery in Fly Fishing

The podcast session with Michael showcases his passion for fly fishing and his commitment to sharing knowledge. His insights emphasize continuous learning, self-analysis, and an open-minded approach to mastering fly casting. Michael extends an invitation to fellow anglers to explore the myriad of methods and techniques in their journey of fly fishing.


Michael Rebholz’s appearance on the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast offers a refreshing perspective on fly fishing. His blend of scientific understanding and passion for the activity sheds new light on traditional casting techniques and concepts. His approach encourages anglers to explore the activity more mindfully and analytically, elevating their experience and understanding of fly fishing. Michael’s story is an inspiring example of how one can blend science and art to deepen one’s connection with nature through fly fishing.

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By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast
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