Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

I’m talking to the hand, it just ain’t listening

I suppose I always knew it was happening but I have discovered my left hand doesn’t know what my right hand is doing, in fact my left hand has a mind of it’s own. It completely ignores the instructions my brain are giving it. My forward loops are quite nice but my backcast loops are rubbish, I swap to the right hand to show the left what to do, ‘look, see how easy it is?’, put the rod in my left hand and it’s as if it isn’t listening, it carries on doing the same thing.

 Actually it’s not the hand, that only holds the rod, it’s the wrist that is the problem, it feels weak, which it’s not, it’s just uneducated. Tracking is a nightmare, I even have a problem doing simple pick up and laydowns against a straight line and until I get it right, or at least consistent I won’t get those nice dynamic loops I need to make the haul work.

 I will have to take my own advice and just concentrate on basic technique before I attempt any serious distance stuff. I might even upline by one weight until I can consistantly falsecast 50′ in line.

 Anyway, this is just confirming my suspicion than that the backcast is key to flycasting. My advantage is that I know this, most beginners just don’t appreciate it. They just concentrate on what happens in front of them and are oblivious, or just don’t care, about what happens behind them.

 Best today of 78′, I’m going backwards (again)


June 28, 2009 Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

More Cack Handidness

I think I am going to enjoy learning to cast left handed. You have to switch off automatic pilot and re engage the brain. It also makes you realise that things are not quite as straight forward as you thought they were. For instance, I can cast nice loops when I don’t haul, I can feel the rod load, I can adjust casting arc and power application but the moment I try and add a double haul it all goes out the window. All feeling, especially on the forward cast, just disappears. I know the reason. It’s because my backcast just isn’t very good. I have the classic beginners problem, whoofy loops. Now, a woofy loop is one that displays several faults, it’s too open, it is not dynamic enough to straighten and the line appears to want to travel is several directions at the same time, ie, crap tracking coupled with a bad stop and rubbish power application. When I switch the rod to my right hand to see what I am doing wrong it is very apparent that I use only half the amount of effort, switch back to left and back off the power and try and relax the arm, ahh, much better. I have discovered a couple of other problems. I don’t drop the rod tip with the line so when I pick up it’s with a load of slack and I have chronic creep. I am beginning to think one reason why people creep is because their backcast is poor and they just start the stroke too early to try and catch it before it hits the ground.

 I started the session at about 60′ but I now have a measured cast as a benchmark, 83′. I have been here before, several years ago, but this time I hope it won’t take me a year to add ten feet, like it did the first time round. With a bit of luck I may hit the ton by the end of the year.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction | Leave a comment

Cack Handed

I need a challenge to get myself interested in casting practice again. I have just been out for my first serious practice for ages, probably since my trip to Scotland and if it hadn’t have been so funny it would have been tragic, I was crap with a capital K. I eventually threw a couple of near 120’s with the help of a following wind but I was struggling to get a decent backcast in, the line is knackered and the handle of my 2TE is so pitted and split I was being distracted by it. Anyway I had soon had enough so I decided to cast left handed (I’m right handed) and things got interesting. I am quite competent with my left hand provided I don’t try and double haul. I can single haul the backcast but I don’t get any feeling in the forward haul. I can’t find the timing, or the feel. I have decided that I am going to teach myself to cast left handed properly. My target is 100ft, which to be honest may be a tad optimistic because my best, at the moment, is around 55ft, although I haven’t put a tape out yet so I may be in for a surprise and find I am at 60ft.

 I would like to just cast with my left hand but I have some competitions coming up and I don’t want to look totally useless, however, these will be out of the way by the end of July and then I will cast left hand only.

 The interesting part is that I can see all the faults I see in other beginners, too much wrist in the wrong place, backcast not dynamic and aimed at the ground etc etc.

 Perhaps I will film my progress and we can have a laugh together, God knows I need one right now after a disastrous couple of weeks with my boiler and car.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blue Tuesday

Ah well, if I can’t teach go fishing instead. I was supposed to fish in Hampshire but I seem doomed never to get there, five or six times this year trips have had to be cancelled or postponed. As I had booked the day off anyway I decided to try somewhere new to me. So off I trotted to Powder Mill in Sussex. I don’t know why I have never been before, it’s only forty minutes from home and some of the scenery on the way there is quite spectacular. Powder Mill is a 55 acre reservoir that supplies Hastings, it is set in a pretty wooded valley and feels very secluded. 55 Acres is not as intimidating as some of the huge reservoirs are, I found it very easy to row around and investigate all the interesting areas, although it turns out I needn’t have bothered because most of the fish were concentrated at the dam end, very close to the boat jetty. My only gripe was that, as a day ticket angler, I was not allowed to catch and release. Members are allowed to but not paying guests, shame. Powder Mill has a Mayfly hatch but I only saw a few because their season is nearly over, the bailiff assures me that when they are on the trout will take Mayfly dries so I will make a note to fish there during Mayfly time next year.

 I was told a Gold Ribbed Hares Ear was the fly to try first so I put two on and was into a fish almost immediately only for it to come off near the net, that happened again before I finally managed to land one. It turned out to be one of the new Blue Trout and first impressions are that they are quite aggressive, a thumping take and a lot of deep boring and head shaking but no long runs, although one or two did do some aerial gymnastics. The couple of rainbows I hooked did seem more inclined to run.

 All in all, a very enjoyable day, four fish taken, a few more came off during the fight, one suicidal juvenile brownie (returned) and a couple of decent perch, all caught in lovely surroundings. I will be back. Who knows I might even apply for membership so that I can C&R.

 Note, I must tie some durable GRHE’s, mine were shredded after only a couple of fish and I was really having to search through my fly box’s to keep replacing them.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Fly tying, Uncategorized | Leave a comment