September 21st, 1998
Humility feels good; and I got a dose
of it in Salt Lake City, Utah last week at the
Fly Fishing Retail Show. Sometimes it's funny that when I
learn something new, I realize just how much I
don't know. Years ago I knew quite a bit. Over
time I have forgotten some and corrected a great
share of the remainder. Lots of it involved
fly-casting and teaching fly-casting. So,
naturally, when I met a fellow from the Bahamas
at the show who teaches bonefish guides how to
cast and guide, I perked up my ears.
Needless to say, he was drawing
not just a few spectators. He cast the new fly rod
as if he had owned it all his life. Then, with a
flick of his wrist and a stroke of the off-hand
(right, or left, I'm not sure which one he was
using on that cast) deposited the practice fly
ten feet beyond the end of the pond. He repeated
a variety of casts for about half an hour. Every
so often leaving ninety-feet of fly line and a great
length of backing dangling from the rod tip.
Was I impressed? Ya darn right.
I was impressed with his humility, gentleness, humor,
skill, and attitude. A fine gentleman and suburb caster.
And a new friend and newest member of the Gatti-Team-USA.
Simon Bain, (Bonefish Simon). You will hear more of him
in the future. Will I be able to cast like him if I try
real hard? Nope. ~ JC
Till next week, remember ...
Just returning to the Gatti booth,
I saw him chatting with one of the other members of
the Gatti Team - USA. He explained the concept of the
two year training program the guides association down
there has and was glad to find he was involved with it.
After a few minutes the idea to cast one of the Gatti
fly rods came up and we went up the isle to the huge
casting pond. I had selected a nine foot, six weight
rod which we strung up as we reached the casting platform.
Now, as he had the rod in his
left hand, I moved around behind him to his right
side, so as not to interfere with his casting. He
made a few short and medium distance casts and seemed
to be quite impressed with the fly rod. There were
a few other folks casting at the time and one fellow
to his left seemed to be attempting to reach the
opposite end of the pond. A mere one-hundred feet
My new acquaintance was getting
used to the flow of the rod and as some bonefishing
can require a longer cast, started to double-haul.
Up to this point I was very impressed with his smooth
and easy, style of casting. And, yes, he did have a
style. Not anything radical, it was just his. In two
quick pumps he had at least sixty-five feet of line
in his back-cast. Hauling with his right hand, casting
with his left. Then it happened. I was on the wrong
side of him!
He was casting right-handed. And
grinning at me with the widest, happiest smile I think
I have ever seen. I moved much farther to my right to
give him room. I watched in near amazement as he switched
back and forth from right to left and back again. Hey,
the double-haul is hard enough to get right with one hand.
And it can be done with the 'off' hand if you practice a
lot. But, he was excellent with either hand, and could
switch in mid-stroke.