Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

It’s On The Tip Of My Tongue

Not having a good memory has its upsides and downsides. For instance, life is full of surprises like when you re-remember something you had forgotten. If I was in any way methodical I would have written up all my old distance practice sessions, and any other session for that matter, and then I wouldn’t have to go through the process of having to re-learn some of the little wrinkles I had discovered. Spring is the worst time for this because I might not have done any distance work for months and I am constantly having to re discover those little tweaks I had learned the year before. Sometimes this is an actual benefit as some of those little tweaks weren’t really worth knowing in the first place. I do know the basics though, and that’s always a good place to start.

So, you can now imagine the problem I face now that I have to fill my head with all sorts of things I didn’t actually know in the first place and then have to remember them long enough to be of use. I had the same problem with the CCI when I had to remember the X system and the three time rule and the rule of whatever. I don’t know about you but I have never bothered with any of that stuff for fishing or casting, I have always used breaking strain and common sence when it came to tippets or leaders. Knots are another thing I don’t know much about. I was never a boy scout. Once I discovered the Grinner Knot I found I didn’t need any other. I use it for everything from attaching the leader to the fly line to tying on the hook. I trust it completely.

Of course there is also the problem of not knowing exactly what I should be trying to remember, but that’s another story.

I suspect one of the things I will need to know something about is fly lines. I know bugger all about fly lines. I may know more than I think I do but I am not nerdy about lines. I don’t know, or care to know, how long the belly of such and such a line is. I hate short belly WF’s with a passion. I have never worked out what use they are. This is because I have focused so much on carrying a lot of line for my distance work that I always try to carry way too much and end up with arm fulls of overhang and most wf’s don’t like that. If push ever came to shove I would quite happily fish a DT for the rest of my days. A long belly WF is a good compromise for me. I can aerialise eighty or ninety feet, if I need to, and I have good close in control when I don’t. All I ask from a line is that if it say’s it floats on the tin then it had better float and not be a slow sink tip, as many of them are. I want an intermediate that sinks and not float around on the surface like an annoying turd that won’t flush away. If I am casting a dry fly I want a front taper that turns over cleanly and if I am casting half a chicken for pike I want a short front taper to pop the bugger over into a wind. Just don’t ask me which one will do what.

 Just a question for you instructors out there. What do you do with a pupil who has absolutely no sence of rhythm?


March 13, 2011 - Posted by | Fly Fishing, Uncategorized


  1. Shout at them. Some people got no timing. Even drummers!

    Comment by Steve kemp | March 13, 2011 | Reply

  2. Have you tried singing to them?!

    No? Me neither…

    Maybe get them to sing to you!

    Usually I have them cast out at the side so they can see both their fwd and back casts. They don’t need a sense of rhythm to see when the loop straightens.

    If you don’t want them to stand side on, then tell them “it takes just as long to unroll on the backcast as it does on the forward cast etc. etc.”

    If that doesn’t work, I’m with Steve, shout at ’em. 🙂


    Comment by Will | March 14, 2011 | Reply

  3. Just thought of another one which might or might not work.

    Get them to cast alongside you – with an identical length of line – and watching you instead of themselves.

    Might work!


    Comment by Will | March 14, 2011 | Reply

  4. Oh, and short belly WF’s: Great for teaching and spey casting.;-)


    Comment by Will | March 14, 2011 | Reply

    • And fishing!

      Comment by Steven Kemp | March 15, 2011 | Reply

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