June 11th, 2007

Casting Instructions
By James Castwell

I just tried to read some. The operative word here is 'tried.' Really, I failed to get through them. You would think that I would be willing to read anything written on how to cast but no, I could not do it. There is nothing I can think of that makes for more boring and missunderstandable writing than casting instructions.

And here I am, writing about them all the time. Okay, sometimes I try to hide them in an adventure or such, but, mostly that is what I write about. Maybe not so much how to do it, but a lot of how to teach it, or at least be an asset rather than a liability to those you may be with.

It was a good book, the one I was reading, kind of a narrative but, when I got to the exact casting instructions, I lost it. No, it was not the writers fault, it is the subject. I started four times to make myself read every sentence. It would not work. I'm sure they were perfect. Well written as possible. I think the guy can probably cast very, very well. And he is a fine writer.

Look, we all can cast, some of us better than others. All of us cast almost well enough to fish where we fish. We get the job done, maybe not perfectly, but almost. And everyone of us, all of us, could use some improvement in our casting, but, most of us would like to get that done by ourselves; thank you very much.

I remember a feeling of embarrassment a few times due to my poor casting and it is not a nice feeling. This stuff is supposed to be fun, not humiliating. So, my hat's off to those of you who want to get better and are willing to go out and ask for it. But, trying to read about it is all but impossible. Pictures can be a big help, but even then it's tough.

I mentioned years back that if there were a line of fellows casting and you were one of them and doing rather poorly, do not worry, no one will be watching you. They will be watching the best guys, as there is little they can learn from you. Smile. It's the truth. And for proof of that, just who would you be watching while you were out there?

So how does one get instruction, improvement, advancement all without feeling like a moron? There may be several ways, or there may be none. I am not a great caster, never was, never will be. I am still embarrassed to perform in front of those who have mastered the skill. It seems all to be a matter of degrees. We are each a bit better and a bit worse than someone else. And it keeps shifting, we all keep changing. And that's the way it should be. It is a learning process for each of us. We learn as we need to for specific occasions and we learn for our own self image and worth. It's all part of the wonderful world of fly fishing. And if you haven't read the shortest casting lesson ever written yet, here it is. "Stop your rod."

For advanced casting instructions, "Stop your rod and stop your rod." ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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