September 22nd, 2008

Another Casting Column
By James Castwell

Why is it that I can't find anything written on casting that hits me like, "Boy oh boy, that's about as good as it gets?" Whenever I read something it is either too long, too much like an engineering text, treats me like I'm a moron, too boring or most often, just plain wrong? There must be hundred of books and articles on just casting. Maybe even thousands.

Now, I don't want to come off as I know it all, I don't. But, I know what appeals to me. I have my likes and dislikes. We all do. So, if you had to recommend just one something on casting, what would it be? That's what I mean. It's about like why isn't there one best, accepted, standard, works every time, the only way to do it, method of boiling an egg! I don't know.

Most stuff is about ninety-eight percent right and two percent bull-pucky. And I will ask this too. If these guys are so great at writing about how to cast and teaching casting, why can't anyone do it just like they do? I don't have that answer either. This I do know. I have enjoyed teaching, or really helping folks bring out the 'hidden fly caster' in them for some time now and it still gives me a kick to see it come together. When the line forms that first tight loop, when the tug of a load is transferred down the shaft of the rod, as the loop opens up and rolls out and drops with control, those are the things that make me happy.

Selfish I guess, helping others to get more out of a cast with less effort and getting a bigger payback then they do when it happens. Actually, I often thank them for working so hard at learning, that it made my job go a lot faster and easier. You might remember that the next time you are trying to improve your casting. The harder you work at actually trying to learn the more respect it shows to the guy trying to help you.

How's this for a situation. You hire a guide and are going to float a stretch of river. You figure he'll show you what flies to use, where to cast, and probably help you with your casting if it's not quite up to scratch. Shortly after starting the trip you realize your casting needs help, so does he. You ask for some guidance. He says, "Cast like this!" You can't. He thinks you're a dork. You get ticked off, quit fishing and just enjoy the scenery the rest of the trip. All because the guide can't teach you how to cast better. Could happen? Did happen. I know the guy.

Just so this is not a complete waste of your time I will throw this in. When you are practicing your casting, not fishing; someplace else, practicing. Try to work on keeping the fly line flowing smoothly, straight, in-a-line, no wiggles, no uppy-downy's, no big waves or wobbles. Do I make myself clear? Nice and smooth will have less air resistance, go farther with less effort, give you more control of the cast, make your presentations more consistent and a few dozen other equally unimportant little things.

Sometimes I get off a cast that 'really works.' Maybe you have had that happen too, I hope so. That is a perfect (well, really good) mix of power and smoothness. Try to repeat them when you get a chance. Or if they haven't happened yet, try for them; they will. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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