Most participants at the Orvis Michigan Fly Fishing School arrive as novices. As such, we start their fly-casting instruction by asking them to pick up the fly line from the ground and deliver it back to the ground. Amazingly, this is all that fly-casting really is: a pick-up and a delivery. Everything else that we do in between these two actions is secondary to getting the line up off of the water and then putting it back down. Accordingly, we spend some time making sure that students learn the correct way to pick the line from the water. We begin on the ground because it requires less energy and offers fewer distractions than the river does.