Looking at Practice
By Captain Paul Darby (QRRFISH1), Shalimar, FL
Practice, Practice, Practice, now that should
be good advise, must be good, everyone seems
to think it is, so it must be true.
But then again everybody thought casting a fly
rod was a good idea too. You see I sort of take
the same approach to practicing as other parts
of the learning curve of the fly rod. If you're
doing the wrong thing with the wrong idea is it
really helping? If you're just reinforcing wrong
ideas all your going to do, is get a lot better
at doing it wrong.
The best way to stop doing it wrong is awareness
of what is right and what makes it right.
The fly rod is a lever and levers multiply effort,
not exactly a news flash I'll admit. However if
it's so obvious, why isn't it better understood?
For you fellas' back there in the cheap seats, put
your hands down that was a rhetorical question.
Practice, if you're going to practice, practice
with a purpose in mind, improve something about
what you're doing now.
Do not confuse practicing on grass with doing it
on water. They're not the same. Line on grass,
line on water and line in the air are all very
different situations. Each one has it own little
speed bumps that remind us of this fact. I'm going
to take them in order and point out some of the
sign posts, so you can be aware of what you need
to be aware of.
Line on grass doesn't have the friction factor
that you will have on the water. Therefore you
will not have to work as hard to aerialize the
line and that factor will give you a false sense
of how much power it will take to put the line
in the air. The line slides easier across the
grass than it does across the water, but you
still need to use the same moves as if you were
on the water.
This is to say you will still want to draw the
line with the off hand to simulate the moves of
being on the water. Movements that become a
learned part of your opening routine, free up
awareness for the more complex judgements to
come later in the presentation of the fly.
Will somebody poke Skeeter in the ribs and wake
him up; I ain't talking over the top of his snoring.
Now why do I want to draw the line with the
line hand while lifting the rod? It goes to
action and reaction. The last thing you did
is likely the next thing you're going to do.
If you used too much power to get the line
off the water, the next thing your likely to
do is overpower going forward. Over powering
will put you out of balance and control will
suffer as you struggle to regain control and
get back in balance. Learn to avoid the
situation altogether, draw the line with the
line hand, while lifting the rod. This has
multiple advantages; first it makes it easier
to aerialize the line, by causing the line to
plain up on the surface film and reduces the
friction between line and water surface. It
also helps to remove slack in the line and
shortens the amount of line in contact with
the water. Frankly if you can hear the line
being lifted off the water your over working
yourself. It takes energy to create sound and
that sound should be a warning bell that your
setting yourself up for further complications.
~ Capt. Paul
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