Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

E=MC2, Discuss

Whisper it, but I do occasionally use forums other than Sexyloops and I find there is quite a transition required. ‘Loops is stuffed full of casting geeks who will question something you have written, especially if you have made the mistake of being a bit lazy by not going into the details you have assumed everyone will take as read. Often they will just plain disagree, and say why. This, I believe is why Sexyloops is probably the premier fly casting site in the world. If someone offers a different opinion you listen, and hopefully learn.

 On other forums, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, this just isn’t the case. If someone asks a casting question the answers vary enormously, some good and some not so good. The problem lies in the fact that the person who asked the question may or may not be an experienced caster and may or may not be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. They may take the short and sweet (and often wrong) reply and just end up more frustrated.

 Writing about specific aspects of casting is difficult at the best of times and doubly so when you don’t know how good or bad the caster is you are answering. (Try it, tell me how to cast into the wind. I want stance, grip, casting plane, casting angle, power application, hauling, leader length, loop shape, linespeed and anything else you can think of. Keep it concise).

 I usually try and be reasonably brief, this often leads to more questions so I elaborate, only to be then told by some numpty that I have over complicated it and there is no need for all this jibber jabber.

 I will tell you what the problem is; casting is like the laws of physics, ‘every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ and I like to point out just what these reactions might be and how they can be countered or even used to advantage but using the written word is not the best way to do it. Something I could show and explain in less than thirty seconds takes a hundred time longer to write, and probably twice as long to write it in such a way that there is no ambiguity and no room for misunderstanding. That’s not taking into account I might be wrong in the first place.

 Please be aware that if I answer any question it is will be correct to the best of my knowledge, has been sweated over and revised several times and I have not assumed you know one end of a rod from the other (unless I know you do).

November 27, 2009 Posted by | fly casting, forum debates | 1 Comment

And Now For Something Completely Different

I tie flies. Not particularly well I admit, but well enough to catch fish nevertheless.

 I have tied pretty well from when I started fly-fishing. I think I thought it was going to save me money! That’s a laugh. I probably have enough hooks and materials to last me a several lifetimes the only problem is they are never the right hooks or materials I need for a particular fly. I have just put in an order for another hundred quids worth because I want to tie up some flies for next years adventure into the world of salt and, of course, most of the stuff I already have just doesn’t fit the bill.

 I have tied for the annual Sexyloops fly swap every year since it started and this years swap was the best yet. I send forty scruffy looking things and get forty fabulous looking flies back. Result. My only problem, no, one of the problems, is that I can’t bring myself to actually fish with them. For some reason I treasure the damn things and hoard them away somewhere safe just to bring them out occasionally and drool over them. The other problem is guilt. Guilt that I have sent some pretty mediocre flies in and received works of art back. It doesn’t seem to worry Paul Arden though, he just tag’s the word ‘variant’ onto whatever he ties and no-one can say if it is supposed to be what he say’s it is or not. Pretty damn clever if you ask me. I have just started tying for next years swap, and I’m feeling a tinge of guilt already.

 About four years ago I entered the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine annual tying competition for the first time. What an eye opener that was. Part of the requirement is that you send in three identical flies. I have a problem tying one identical fly let alone three. You end up tying about twenty flies (not including the trial ones) and then sorting through them to find some that look pretty similar, then you photograph them and get them up on the computer and then compare them again…and again… and again. Make your choice, pack them carefully, post them off. Three sets in three months. Magnus Angus put’s a jaundiced eye over them and declare’s you equal 110th. I have the certificate to prove it.

 I did improve after that though, one year I headed the leader board, then fell away dramatically after I mistook size 10 as 1/0, Magnus certainly didn’t need a magnifying lens for that one!

 I would tie a lot more than I normally do but during the summer the little corner I tie in becomes so cluttered with rods and reels that it’s just too much effort to clear it every time I feel the need to tie but come the first gale I set too and tidy all the clutter away and I have my nice little tying area back again.

The first couple are my tying bench and the start of this years ‘loops swap and the others are just a small selection fron this years swap.

November 16, 2009 Posted by | Fly tying | 4 Comments