Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Game Fair

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.


July 27, 2009 - Posted by | Distance casting | , , ,


  1. It’s great that you have the time to put up a blog so soon, you must be knackered.

    When I watched the saltwater casting comp on television last year I was a little confused.

    Everyone had to have baskets/line trays or something to hold up the line off “the water”, as “that is how it is done in the real fishing scenario “, so we were told.

    That is not the case, I have fished in the tropical salt many times and most of it was wading, yet we never had a line tray , so I fail to see how this rule for the comp emulates the real thing.

    It could be that the person that now oversees it has come into tropical salt water fishing rather late in his life, and lacks the real experience and historical facts, I am relating this to the 2008 game fair of course.

    Some of the guys I have fished with has been doing it for the last 40 years or more indeed they were amonst the first in Andros etc.. and they all think it is farcical.

    What a great pity that all these “obstacles” aren’t removed so the public can really see what distances some great casters are capable of achieving.

    Comment by Roger | July 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Mike

    I’m so sory to hear that they still have that ridiculus rail behind the casters! Is it still only for the qualifying rounds or was it there for the finals as well?

    As for the saltwater, heck I use a basket for alot of my cold saltwater fishing, but it doesn’t make any sense in the competition. If you are required to use one, the competitiors should also be standing hip deep in the water to make it more realistic (even though the tackle allowances make it ridiculus again ;-))

    I hope I can get there next year, if for nothing else than having a laugh with you in the competitions 🙂


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | August 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi Lasse,

    I missed not seeing you and Sil there this year. It was the same as previous years, the rail was only there for the qualifying round. The organises must have got to hear about the moans and groans the poor volunteers had to put up with because I did hear one of them say that something would be done about it for next year. I don’t think the organisers have quite gotten round to the idea that it is supposed to be a spectical for the spectators as well as a competition, or perhaps they think watching someone spend half the time laying line in a basket is spectacular, not boring.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | August 2, 2009 | Reply

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