I have been working some this summer to
be able to cast left-handed. There
are times, even in the canoe, where being
able to cast with either hand would be a
great advantage. Included would be some
of those times when I get to be on a mountain
I headed out to the lake over my lunch hour
in early December. The wind was blowing about
10 mph and the sun was shining. The temperature
was about 48 degrees. It was a nice day to be
out. Much better than sitting in the office.
I decided that it would be a great day to
practice casting left-handed as I did not
really think that there would be any fish
around the jetty. It had been colder for
the previous week and the little settling
pond was scummed over with ice. That is why
I was on the main jetty.
I had decided to take just one rod with me.
I did not think that any other crazy folks
would be out. I picked the rod that had the
Gilly fly (see Ricks favorite panfish flies)
on it. This fly has five different colors
on it and that seems to help at times.
I went to the end of the jetty and cast out
to the northwest. Left-handed I can get about
30 feet now with a slight hint of control.
That means the fly lands in front of me instead
of behind me. I let the fly drop and then
started to retrieve it. It was at this point
that I realized that a fish had taken it and
I had missed it. I brought the fly back in
and tried again.
On the next cast I was ready and when I felt
the weight I set the hook. I had a nice 8-inch
crappie on the line. I had just brought the
fish out of the water when I heard a car horn
honking. It was one of the "old geezers" that
I have given fish to before. He had a bet with
his wife as to my insanity, for fishing, bringing
me out to the lake that day. He won. He asked me
to save the fish and he would be back in a few
minutes with a bucket.
I thought this fish was a fluke, but I saved it
for him. I cast out in the same area and let the
fly drop. As I started to retrieve the line I again
felt weight and had another crappie on the line.
The next cast was about five feet shorter than
the previous one and no fish seemed to be in
I was tempted to change to my right hand to
cast, but stayed with the left hand. I concentrated
a little more and got the next cast out to the
previous point. Another crappie took the fly as
it dropped just under the surface. I thought
that I might be onto something. The fish decided
not to help me on this. I caught nothing on the next
several casts. I tried to each side of where I had
caught the fish. I tried letting the fly drop
deeper, but nothing worked.
I decided to cast back to the same spot and
see what might happen. This time I saw the
flash of the fish as the crappie took the fly.
As I was getting this fish out of the water,
the "old geezer" came back with a bucket.
We put the fish in the bucket with some water.
He told me that I needed to catch a few more
and I told him to show me how. We really do
have a good relationship.
I would get another fish on about every fourth
cast from the point on. I ended up with 13 crappie,
2 bluegills and 1 small bass for the time at the
lake. The geezer was happy as he could have fish
I talked to another fisherman about what happened
and he decided to take his boat out to the lake.
With his fish finder he said there was a big
school of fish swimming around in that area.
They shifted in and out some and I must
have been hitting the edge of the school.
I am not sure why the fish were that high in
the water column, but it was fun to catch them.
Hope you can get out on the water. ~ Rick