Thursday, February 11, 2016


Become A Master Casting Instructor (MCI)

Important Notice:  Starting March 1, 2016 examination fee will increase to $250 for the MCI test.  
Please note: You must be a Certified Casting Instructor (CCI) to be eligible for Master Certification.
The Master’s certification is a rigorous and demanding test. It is not the intention of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF to disappoint anyone who takes the exam; rather it is our simple intention to help people become better casters and better teachers of fly casting. Those who administer the Master’s level certification have a strict charge because Master Casters are in turn permitted to certify those at the first Instructor’s level.

Thus certification at the Master’s level requires more than just meeting a specified set of casting requirements. It also requires that the applicant have a broad range of experience in casting itself. Certification is the end of a process, not the beginning. The Master Caster must be the exceptional individual, able to teach others how to teach. These are rather demanding requirements, but they are the requirements that IFFF wishes to be assessed.

Even anglers who have excellent fly fishing skills may not necessarily be certified at the Master’s level - ability in angling is only part of the certification process. Equally important is a broad range of casting abilities (for instance being able to make curve casts by more than one method) and a great deal of comfort in demonstrating them.

In the teaching of casting, the applicant must be able to describe the skills in as many ways as possible because different people respond differently to verbal descriptions. The ability to see casting through the eyes of the untrained caster is essential, especially since the Master Casting Instructor will be teaching others how to teach. It is strongly recommended that those at the Master’s level have a solid grasp of the literature on casting and be able to discuss the different approaches to fly casting used by acknowledged current-day authorities on the subject. 


Be certified as an IFFF Fly Casting Instructor or inform FFF Headquarters that you wish to take advantage of the Certification Challenge Program (CCP).

The CCP is designed to allow Instructors from other organizations to “challenge” the Masters test without first having the FFF Certified Casting Instructor certification. Only certified instructors from other recognized instructor programs can apply.

To pass the Master's test, you must be able to do the following:

  • Pass a comprehensive performance test
  • Analyze casting faults (performed by testers)
  • Demonstrate teaching methodology
  • Pass an oral examination

Master Instructor Certification testing will be available at IFFF events and regional meetings where they can be arranged.
Master Instructor Casting certification tests will be conducted by 2 members of the Casting Certification Board of Governors or one CBOG and two Masters (MCCI).  
Fee for the test is $175.00, with an additional $50.00 fee if examination is passed. Annual renewal is $45.00. All fees are to be submitted to the IFFF International office. 
A Successful Candidate Will Receive
  • A certificate suitable for framing
  • A Master Certified Instructor card
  • A Newsletter for instructors (The Loop)
  • Recognition as a Master Certified Casting Instructor and listed as such by the IFFF International Office. The listing will be publicized on the FFF web page, and distributed to FFF clubs and regional councils.
Two Master Certified Instructors are authorized to conduct, teach and certify applicants for the Basic Certified Casting Instructor Program.
All Master Certified Casting Instructors will serve as advisors to the Certification Board of Governors, offering input on all levels of the certification program and how to upgrade it.
          Do I Need A Mentor to Pass the MCI Exam? (PDF)
          Master Casting Instructor Test Preparation Guide (PDF)
          Appendices A-F (PDF)
          Master Casting Performance Test (PDF)
          Master Study Guide Articles

          MCI Study Guide (Purchase Required)

Do I Need A Mentor to Pass the MCI Exam? 

Passing the MCI exam on the first attempt is a challenge. However, there are several opportunities available that can improve a candidate’s chances for a first-time pass.

The first opportunity is using a mentor: “I'd guess that maybe 10% pass without (a mentor); 50-60% pass on the first attempt with one.” This comment comes from an effective mentor. We followed up to see why the improvement wasn’t greater. He said: “I've had students fail and I think I'm pretty good at mentoring. But, they DID NOT follow my advice and I predicted they would fail. Those that I've felt comfortable would pass, did so.“            

The second opportunity is obvious: heed your mentor’s input. Good mentors tell their candidates when their skills and knowledge are at Master’s level.

Mock exams provide the third opportunity for candidates to improve their prospects for passing. The MCI exam format, a combined performance and comprehensive oral exam, is an extremely rigorous and often “discombobulating” experience in and of itself. A realistic mock exam offered by qualified MCIs provides an independent assessment of the candidate’s readiness, as well as an exam experience in a learning environment where the candidate can receive needed coaching. Passing a mock exam is an important late-stage stepping stone for candidates.

These are three of the suggestions made by an international group of 16 successful MCI mentors. To read more of their ideas for passing your MCI exam on the first attempt, Click Here (PDF).”           

Please direct your inquiries to the IFFF Casting Coordinator.


Telephone:  406-222-9369 


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