Saturday, April 2

today was a nice day

I had the opportunity to help a fellow fly fisher who was insanely struggling with the's blowing good 14-17 mph right in da face. I went out to specifically practice my casting as has been my habit for a goodly number of, I'm standing about 40 feet from this guy, and he's breaking his arm trying to get any line out in front on him, poor thing, it was just crumbling within six feet, no loop, no shoot, no stopping the rod either on the back or forward cast, huge casting arc. I imagine he's thinking that the more brute force he applies to the rod, the better the results.

I go into my practice, nice and easy high back and low forward cast, first twenty feet then thirty then forty feet.
I do that for about six minutes just to get the line straightened out, tiny bit of spool memory. I got the guys attention, he's watching now. And I continue getting line out there, he can see I am practicing and not fishing.
Then I start with the 'fancy' stuff, doing different pickups and shooting casts. He's starting to inch his way over now.
Finally, he comes up and wants to know what kind of line it is, the rod weight etc. I tell him the particulars and he says, 'I gotta get me one of those so I can cast in the wind.' I figure, well, I could just let him believe that will make a difference in his casting and make some retailer happy, but there's enough bs hype out there already and in my opinion, it's really hurting the sport when it comes to the noobs and many others that are struggling with their cast. I ask him if I could try his rod, he says, "sure, but it won't cast in this wind." I inspect his leader to fly line and he's got like a 12 foot
furled leader with another maybe six feet of really small tippet and one of those invisible flies, like an 18 or 20.
So, i talked to him for a bit about how the fly line has to turn over like 18 feet of leader in this wind, it's not going to happen.(On a calmer day, this shouldn't be an issue.) So, i take off his leader and put on a six footer tapered nylon and a little nymph maybe a size 12. Strip out some line, waggle his stick around to see what it feels like and then begin casting. The rod was a medium action, more on the slow side, but I was still able to get thirty-five to forty feet out in front without any effort...I complimented him on his rod and then asked if he was interested in learning the mechanics of casting. He was, so we spent two hours together.
The gent wasn't an expert afterwards, but at least he now understood the elements of a cast and some terms,
and was able to get more line out in front of him. He saw the counter-intuitiveness about slowing down on parts of the cast depending on where the wind is coming from, and allowing his line to straighten out on the back cast and the importance of stopping the rod. i suggested that he turn his head a bit and watch the back cast and feel it as well when the line is straightened out. Showed him what his casting stroke and casting arc looked like and the effect on loop formation and the inability of the line to slice through the wind because of that huge mass of line he was flopping in front of him. I really harped about the tip of the rod adhering to a straight line path, and quick breaking the wrist on the back stroke, because all it's doing is throwing the line
into the ground, though today the wind was taking it back...
He was a happy camper afterwards. I told him that when ever he sees me at this lake and he wants to practice or show me how well he's doing, just come on over. I really emphasized that he should practice as much as time permits. At a minimum, I think he feels more confident about coming out on a windy day, and today was a steady good wind. And he knows now that it wasn't the rod that wasn't performing well, he just wasn't making the rod perform as well as it could.
So all in all, it was a nice day. I know in a couple of weeks the weather's gonna be nice, and the fish will be jumping out of the water ... In the meantime, take time for your art and practice. Push the envelope. Learn new things, and when possible, share it with others, because at least for me, when I explain to others and help others, I too am learning a lot, because no two casters are alike...
Thanks for reading my ramblings...

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