Normal service is resumed, I have just got back from a couple of day’s at the CLA Game Fair where I met a lot of the friends I have made through my involvement in fly casting. We talked casting bollocks, rod bollocks, line bollocks and other sorts of bollocks, just the sort of thing I needed to get back in the groove. The only person I missed talking bollocks with was Gilly, we somehow missed each other, damn.
I cast in the Trout Distance and made the final but did not get placed, nor deserved to, but it was nice to have the buzz of casting in front of big audience again.
I also cast in the Salt Water comp. This comp is such a disappointment. It has to rate as the premier event of it’s type in the country, or at least it should, but once again it was ruined by the stupid placement of a rail seven or eight feet behind the caster. Apparently it is for health and safety!!. Let me set the picture. We stand as close to the edge of the pontoon as possible, one slip from a dunking in some murky old water. I saw no lifebuoys to use in such an (quite possible) eventuality but we do have a hand rail all along the back of the pontoon who’s only function is to ricochet backcasts from and hang advertising from. Nearly every caster has to modify their style to make sure the line doesn’t keep smacking the rail on the forward stroke. This is not distance casting, it’s more like a devilish element in a Danish casting comp. This becomes even more exacerbated in the Salt Water comp where heavier lines are used and, depending on the line and/or the casting style you use, the line can, sometime, come through at knee height. Imagine the frustration of hearing that smack on your delivery stroke and then watching the line crumple and land in a heap. To make it even worse they used rope this year, the leader often bit into it and killed the cast stone dead. Someone did make the effort the cut the rope Friday night but the silly bugger only cut it once instead of into several pieces so the organisers only had to knot it back together.
The real shame is that there is no-one to complain to, the poor volunteers who run the event can’t make the decision to remove the rail but they have to stand and listen to a group of pretty disgruntled casters for two days.
I just wish someone would listen, we have moaned about this for three years now. An event like this is rare in the UK. It could be so much better.