J. Castwell
January 25th, 1998

Left, Right, Left.

'You're never too old to learn.' 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks.' At this point I am not sure which one of those fits me right now. I started fly-casting in 1947 and have been trying to get it right ever since. During those years I have learned a bit of it by myself and from others. In the years I also learned some things on how to teach fly-casting. There were some university courses, on stream casting schools, and some schools at a local resort.

Several very good casters and instructors have given me much information on how they teach casting also. Many pages on teaching have passed before me during the evening hours too. So, when I decided to learn how to cast left handed it seemed like a rather simple thing. Remember, I have learned how to spot the little things wrong that allow me to help a new caster before he makes too many of them. I should be able to teach myself how to cast!

Now, I am one of these guys who can't do much with my left hand. Period. I am right handed. However, many years ago I did learn to cast short distances left-handed so I could help others learn if need be. I could do it, but not proficiently. I have decided that I should be able to do a better job of it. And I am learning a few things in the process. Don't get me wrong here. I am a fair caster, not one of the top guys, just fair. So this should not be too tough; it is, and it isn't. What it is, is fun.

This is for certain. My left arm is not as strong as my right. That is the biggest hold up at this time. I find that I cannot stop the rod as hard, do not have the wrist power, and do not have the sense of timing on where to stop in front and in back. It is getting better though. At this point I have been at it for about a week. Let me tell you, the double-haul is a bit tricky left-handed also.

Jack Ohman Cartoon

None of the nearly automatic movements are there yet as with my right hand. I will remember this when I try to help others. Sometimes I think I forget that all of those things need to become fixed and nearly second-nature. It is an exciting venture and comes rather as a surprise in these later years that I have the fun of learning how to cast all over again. My only regret is the instructor is such a cranky old coot. He has me working out with weights everyday and practicing casting too. One thing he want's me to do is be able to switch from right-handed to left-handed while doing the double-haul with about sixty feet of line in the air. Darn . . .~ JC

P.S. Can you figure this out? Casting left handed my fly consistantly lands two feet to the right of where I want it. Hmmmmm.

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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