Watchin' For You!

J. Castwell
September 21st, 1998

Gatti Team-USA

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.

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 distant.

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.

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 ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

Archive of Castwell Articles

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice