It takes a lot of something to dress up in a Superman costume,
but when I found one an sale after last Halloween I just could
not resist buying it. Last year I wore 'tails' for some casting
demonstrations I did and had fun doing so. The idea is to poke
a large amount of fun at some folks who get all stuffed-up with
themselves on how well they can fly cast. It seems to help relieve
some tension, when Good grief, it's just a stick, get over it.
I am a decent caster and do pretty well at helping others improve.
But, the rewards are always all mine. There is a wonderful feeling
of satisfaction when I can watch a person forge ahead to better
casting and line control. Most of anything I know has come from
many of those who have helped me over the years and all I do is
just try to pass things along.
In fact, one of the things I try to teach, is how to teach. Almost
everyone I work with knows something about casting already, just
want a little help or a tune-up. By giving them some tools for
actually teaching folks on their own, they can apply the same
tools to themselves.
It is an honor actually and I do take it seriously. My objective
is to as quickly as possible, identify anything that may be holding
the caster back. To allow them to continue practicing errors is
one of the things I guard against, or at least I try hard to. Do
I have a certain way I think we all should cast? Of course I do.
But, if I could wave a magic wand and you all cast like pro's I
would rob you of the years of satisfaction of learning. After
all, that is the secret of fly-fishing. The fun is in the learning;
it is that simple.
But, what is my way? The things that I feel are important? Most
are refinements of actions. Many are not needed at all, but only
to serve to make you a more efficient fly-rodder. Like that thing
I preach about with your reel, Making sure it rolls up to the
top when you make a back-cast. Does it matter all that much? Nope.
Will you cast a more energy efficient loop? Certainly. Can you
still cast just great and continue to swing your reel sideways
into the back-cast? Of course you can. But, why would you want
to? Maybe it's because you have always done it that way. Okay
by me. You're the one casting; go for it.
Learning the double-haul is another one. Most of us do not in any
way need it. Probably why many can't do it and will not try for
fear of finding out they are clods and can not figure it out.
Nothing ventured; nothing proven. Trust me, it is not hard to
learn or do. It is sometimes held in that light by those who
teach it. A little tug here and a little tug there; in each
direction. Try it, you'll see.
So, anyway, I had a grand time in Michigan at the 'Fish In,' met
some nice people and re-met some others. Was honored to have the
opportunity to help in some ways on their casting and some of
the other facets of our recreation. Thanks to all who worked
so hard at learning to cast better.
And oh, by the way...about that 'thing' in your back-cast...
~ James Castwell