Stop It, I Like It
Not for the first time, I think I am missing something. I started a debate on Sexyloops http://www.sexyloops.co.uk/theboard/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=526 about the stop not being mentioned in the Five Essentials, or, for that matter being one of the Essentials. The stop is mentioned once in the explanation of the fifth Essential which, to my mind, is a bit late to discover that that is the reason you can’t get the others to work.
If you follow the thread you will notice that several eminent instructors say that they don’t teach the stop which left me a bit goggle eyed because I emphatically do. For me the essence of a fly cast is creating the loop and beginners, at least, don’t create loops because they don’t stop. I have improved many casters casting simply by improving their stop or more importantly emphasising loop creation which I think are hand in hand. The only concession I have with the non stop brigade is that I don’t get my clients to ‘stop the rod’, I found that concept confused some of them so I now concentrate on stopping the hand which I find more successful. However, when you read between the lines of the non stoppers replies you realise that they do in fact teach the stop in one form or another, they just use other methods to induce it which takes me back to my original question as to why it is only mentioned as an aside in Bill and Jays booklet written for the FFF in the late eighties or early nineties ‘ The Essentials Of Fly Casting’ which is part of the pack you receive from the FFF when you decide to try to become an instructor. I then assumed it was written with potential instructors in mind so they did have some casting ability and the stop was already ingrained into their technique and the Essentials were there to show them the elements of a fly cast that are necessary to perform a good overhead cast. Wrong again! Bill replied that this was a ‘how to fly cast’ booklet aimed at people wanting to learn how to cast. So, once more I was (am) perplexed as to how anyone reading the Essentials as their learning aid would work out that to get most of them to work there should be a crisp stop at the end of each stroke, especially if, like most blokes, you don’t read the small print. Bill did write that him and his Father did talk about it for quite a while and decided the stop wasn’t essential, but, and this is the reason I write this, I still don’t understand how describing power application, variable casting arc and straight-line tip path lets anyone understand that to get them to work, or make sense you need to stop your hand at the end of each stroke. Until you get the Fifth, read the small print and, ping!, a crisp stop. Bugger, why wasn’t I told about that before.