Oni School 2018 - 1st Session
You pretty much explained what happened in the first session of this years Oni School as well. This was my second Oni School and I learned even more, just like you.
Beside all that you stated, I learned how essential it is to learn and perfect the very "basic" cast. Learning to get the timing and accuracy correct will advance your fishing skills. If you don't, you will still catch fish, but not as many!
The downstream cast was something new to me also, but it proved very effective and I caught ALL of my fish on a downstream cast and a little pulsing at the end and varying the depth by raising or lowering the rod. I lost a few fish when they broke off straight downstream and I couldn't get the fish to move left or right. The best thing about the School is the help you get. Rob Worthing was nearby and I asked him what to do in that case. He said "PRAY"!
Oni gives so many great tips and examples it can be, at times, overwhelming. However, I followed some of his tips and was surprised when he came up after me and cast and drifted the fly in the exact same place I had been casting - neither one of us caught a fish, however. Watch, listen, try and learn, that's Oni's way.
Watching Oni cast that 8 meter, #4 line in wind with pinpoint accuracy was amazing and we found later, it's not that hard to cast that same line! Go to the School and learn for yourself, it's worth every penny and you will meet new friends that you may fish with often in the future.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662
As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma