Ok, so the title is a bit misleading, but I wanted
you to read this. The idea came to me at the 'Fish-in'
in PA this spring. The local TU group held a meeting
at stream-side with a fellow who gave some casting
instruction for the group. Great setting, by the way,
at Fisherman's Paradise on Spring Creek. When he was
through, he asked for any questions. There were a few,
one in particular. "Is it important how you get your
line off the water after you have made a cast?"
We all know it is, and he agreed and showed how to do
it. "Just get the line moving and it will come right
up without making any disturbance." A short demonstration
as he was talking proved well his point. The questioner
then asked if he could demonstrate another method, and
taking over the rod, went on to show us.
The 'Shake-pickup,' I call it, it's the one I have
used for years. Simple thing to do, you just wiggle
the rod tip a bit just as you start to lift the fly
line from the water. Up it pops and no mess.
There is of course the aerial roll-cast pickup we all
use with dry flies. This is a half roll-cast that lifts the
fly off the water like it jumped up on its own.
Some background is needed here. Years ago I knew a guy
named Joe Brooks, not well, but I met him and had dinner
with him. Great fly fisherman and gentleman. Reading
one of his books a few years back I came across a pickup
he called a 'horizontal' pickup. Partly because I knew
him and partly as I am always curious, I tried it. I
do think it does lift the line the cleanest, but since
the others work so well it is not really necessary for
that. Here is why I like it.
It looks classy! Want to impress the heck out of your
buddies? Learn this one. Makes you look a lot better
than you might really be. A very simple little circle
made with your rod tip will do it. Just before you lift
the line from the water, give a (I use a counter-clock
wise) circle with your wrist, causing the rod tip to
make a little circle of line which runs down to the
fly. As it gets there, pull. That's all there is to it.
I am sure it goes by many names and Joe may not have
been the one to invent it. Not the point.
I like it and use it. It comes up cleanly and works for me.
So now you have four ways to pick up your lines. Slide
it, shake it, roll-cast it or horizontal. These are
tools we all need and use. Keep practicing. ~ JC