This last week I posted on the BB about a statement
I sometimes make about how a person casts. The comment
is connected to times when I might be helping someone
with his fly-casting. I have no idea why it is so often
right. I will say in effect, "Is there any chance you
learned to cast on a Fenwick?" Almost always I am right.
Please do not think I am trying to take any credit for
anything wonderful here. I am not. But, what the heck
do I see in the casting that makes me think they learned
Could it all just be racked up to luck? Suppose it
could be, but I have been doing it for several years
and truthfully, I cannot remember a time when I have
been wrong. Spooky stuff. And I am not saying I could
ever make the right call again. But there have been
witnesses to some of them. And then there are the guys
themselves who have said yes, they did.
Often these fellows have been casting for many years.
They are at some function and they ask if I can help
them a little. For the most part the loops are rather
wide and there is not a whole lot of 'stopping'
going on. The stroke is that of using a moderately
slow rod. Perhaps they just never bought any rod that
did not cast any differently.
Now, I remember when those rods came out and what a
hit they were. But the industry moved on and new
tapers and materials came to market. New companies
popped up and competition grew rapidly. The trend
was to faster and faster rods, other than cane of
course. Anyway, they come to me with a slow style
and an open loop. Maybe it's just that anyone from
the era back then had to learn on a Fenwick, that's
about all there was, at least in those kind of rods
and price range.
My style has changed a lot. But, that has been on
purpose and I have made a career of learning as many
as I could and trying to teach when I had a chance.
In fact, I don't think I have any particular style
to my casting at all. I just do whatever is needed
to get the fly out where I want it to go.
It may be that many have concentrated on the fly
fishing and not much on the fly-casting part and
so are great fishermen, but have not developed a
lot of casting abilities. For me, there is not
much to equal a perfectly presented fly; a very,
very rewarding experience. It is more of an
intellectual experience than an athletic exercise
My first fly rods were cheap cane and collapsible
tubular steel. Not in the same rod, two cane and
two steel ones. Slow would not be a descriptive
word. Dead perhaps. Heavy would be another good one.
But, who knew? Certainly not me. I was thrilled with
them and proud too. After all they were fly rods and
I was a fly-fisher. Perhaps why I still like a cane
rod and even a smooth glass one.
How I ever developed an affection for the fast ones,
who knows. But, I did and for some things, the faster
the better. Nice crisp tip action. Just flick the wrist
and the rod shoots the line out like a snakes tongue.
So, does all this mean that it does not matter what we
learned on? I guess it might. If it makes you think a
bit on where you came from and how you got to where you
are now, that might be a good thing too. I hope so.
Sometimes just being aware of things can help. ~ James Castwell