May 18th, 1998
The Buddy System
Each spring many of us want to 'mess-around' with
our fly fishing stuff; fly boxes, nets, zingers, just stuff. It may not
always be possible to go fishing, but we want to do something. You may
be able to have some fun with your fly rod too.
One of the best ways to improve (after you have
read all of my columns, of course) is to find a friend and a place
to cast. It does not matter what you need to work on, why not all of it?
You can set up a small target and try for accuracy, or back off farther
and make it a bit harder, or work on presentation, or go for long distance.
You can each cast together for some warm up, but when it gets serious one
should watch the other cast. Look for little things they may not be doing
quite right; it could help both of you.
Stand at the side and look at the front and back
loops. Watch for the shape of them and if they are too big or too tight
and closing up and tailing. Try standing out in front of the caster and
watch the shape of the loops, look for big wasted line motion; keep the
loops in a straight line. You can't get better at any of it without practicing
so why not make it fun. You may feel a bit stupid casting in the street
in front of your house, but if that is the only place you have, go for
My wife and I have had many fine evening hours just
leisurely practicing that way. Sometimes we find a park and make an afternoon
of practice and a picnic lunch. If some kids come along, be nice and let
them watch the casting. Never know, you may make a convert from worms.
Perhaps you have a youngster to bring up in fly fishing, a spouse, a buddy,
or a neighbor. Any excuse is fine, just so long as you get some
A possible bonus could be the excuse to buy a new
fly line. After all, casting in the street or park will wreck a fly line
for fishing. For sure you will need a new line to fish with. ~ JC