Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

A Bit Of A Pile Up

Home early, too much snow. We got to the job, the materials didn’t make it though. One pissed off customer.

 There seems to be a lot of redefining going around. Not just the nitty-gritty actions and reactions that make up a fly cast. Anyone who has tried to write anything to do with fly casting knows just how difficult it can be to describe the simplest thing so that everyone understands what you are talking about, so a comprehensive and comprehensible set of definitions would be a big plus for that particular circumstance.  But, now it appears the cast’s themselves are being renamed. Take the pile cast, for instance. Apparently it’s now called a parachute cast. My parachute cast isn’t a pile cast. My parachute cast is one where the line and leader straighten slightly above the water and fall to land together. Overpower it slightly and you have a tuck cast, which is where the fly kicks over vertically and lands before the fly line. I bet my tuck cast is someone elses something else. Another cast that has been redefined is the curve cast. My curve cast used to be one that as the line straightens you describe a big high to low C, to the right or left, with the rod tip. This gives a continuous curve from the fly to the rod tip. The more astute among you will realise that because casts and mends are now defined by pre and post loop formation my old curve cast is actually a curve mend. If I want to make a curve cast the movement that creates the curve has to be made during the stroke. So, you would think that to create a curve cast all you have to do is cast a horizontal loop to the left or right of the rod tip by tracking the rod in a slightly curved path during the delivery stroke. Overpower it and the fly should (theoretically) kick round to the left or right depending on which side of the rod you threw the loop. Simples. A nice curve in the line, job done. Hang on though, they now seem to have redefined a curve and made it a hook. They want to see just the end of the fly line and leader hooked round  ninety degrees and the line from the hook to the rod tip, straight. Hang on a cotton pickin’ minute, didn’t we used to do that with an overpowered side cast with a bit of pullback to kick the fly round. Yes you did, but you can’t any more. I asked you to make an overpowered curve cast but you did some pullback after loop formation so now it becomes a mend, you naughty boy. 

 There used to be a set of curve casts that were defined as positive and negative. I used to assume positive were overpowered and negative was underpowered but I read some conflicting definitions where positive and negative related to left or right side curves. Thank goodness we seem to have settled on overpowered and underpowered.

 This is the crux of the matter. It really doesn’t matter what we call the casts as long as we all call them the same thing. It doesn’t help when an internationally well-known caster brings out a DVD showing some casts that already have well established names but insists on renaming them and then calling them ‘trick’ casts as if they didn’t have any application in fishing situations. So you guy’s that fanny about with snake roll’s, circle C’s, snap T’s single and double spey’s and snap casts are just showing off.

 Perhaps it already exists but I think it’s about time some well-known and respected fly-fisher filmed a series of casts, put them up somewhere, opened a debate on the name and we arrived at a consensus on that casts name and we stuck to it………….forever.


December 1, 2010 - Posted by | fly casting, forum debates, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. hey Mike !
    where did you get the “Pile cast has become Parachute cast'” thing from. it’s obviously wrong…

    Comment by marc fauvet | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. Now that last bit sounds way to much like common sense for our fraternity

    Comment by Tony | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. Two different sources so far Marc. See, even THINKING the name has changed adds to the confusion. How you liking Sweden? We got snow as well, lots of it.


    Comment by Mike Heritage | December 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. well, a pile cast makes a pile with a lot of concentrated slack and a parachute just drops slowly with a bit of slack. quite a difference… some of these people just need to be hit on the head a few times. hard. 😉
    i don’t agree with the FFF’s pile cast as required for the CCI exam. there is no pile, just squiggles.
    Sweden’s great. -20°c and snow and ice all over. loving’ it !

    Comment by marc fauvet | December 1, 2010 | Reply

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