December 8th, 2008

Ho Ho Ho, 'tis the Season
By James Castwell

That it is indeed. The holiday season is upon us all and with it comes the flood of fly fishing shows and get-together's scattered all over out country. With them come the 'teachers of terrific casting,' and the 'perfecters of presentation.' Bless them all. Well meaning and obviously qualified to present themselves as they do, but do not be intimidated by them. Do not be afraid. Do not think that if you don't do it just like they do, you are wrong.

You're not. You may not be as good at casting yet as you want to be or think you should be but it is your 'style,' such as it is, and it is yours to develop. Therein lies the key word here. For develop it you will.

There is no way you will remain just as you are in your fly casting. Every time you pick up a fly rod, whether for practice or actual fly fishing, you will gain yet some small bit of knowledge and experience. Sometimes these can be a startling revelation, most often they are so small as not to be even noticed. But, trust me, they are there and you are making progress.

You may see several styles or methods of casting this winter or may read about some different ways to get the job done. Keep your arm lower, raise your elbow just a bit on the back cast, punch the tip with your thumb, over the top-not the side, use a piston-like motion, don't use a piston-like motion, but use more wrist, don't use any wrist. I think you get the idea on this.

None of us are built exactly the same and there is no one way we should all perform fly casting. Sure, there a few laws of physics that need to be taken into consideration but the rest is up to us. I used to recommend that you turn the sound off when you watch casting videos and just pay close attention to what is going on, might be a good idea still, who knows. Try it both ways if you have the chance.

There must be something you can learn from watching these guys, either on the web or at a show. Not that you should even try to copy them, but look for the little things, the key points of how they develop the cast. Do they keep the reel on top on the back cast or do they swing it out to the side. Does their casting hand ever rise above the level of their ear? Do they turn and watch their back cast? Is it alright to do that? Do you know what yours looks like? Should you? Would you want me to see it? So much for that point.

If you think you might need some new gear, rod, reel, line, you're probably right. Fooled you didn't I. You probably thought I was going to say you didn't need anything new. Heck no. This might be the perfect time. You might have started with some low-end stuff and it just might be time to upgrade into things that might make casting a bit less effort and please your heart as well, be good to yourself. Get something nice. It will help. How much will be up to you. Can you get the extra out of a high end rod? Only you will know. Perhaps a mid-range rod will do all you are capable of these days. So be it.

But, 'tis the season. Be nice to yourself. Merry Christmas. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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