Fly fishing in the West is hard to beat, thanks to the abundance of so-called Blue Ribbon streams loaded with Trout, Salmon, and other species. The technique is more nuanced than set-it-and-forget-it bait casting with bobbers, but much like driving stick, shooting film, or listening to vinyl is appreciated for the connection it gives you to the craft.

Not only that, but to be successful you must build a deep knowledge of environmental conditions—from the run-off of the surrounding mountains to the daily and hourly habits of the trout themselves to the tiny grubs, nymphs and “hoppers” on which they feed. Or, you know, fish with a guide.

We asked Madi King, a master naturalist and guide with The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana, to walk us through the basics of casting, along with a few drills you can practice right in your own backyard.