Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

You Cannot Be Serious

Well, I can be sometimes. When I have something to say or someone winds me up I may put on my serious face, but generally I’m a bit more tongue in cheek than deeply meaningful. Now and again some good stuff slips out but it’s usually more by accident than design. I just write what I think and usually with nothing specific in mind other than the fact I feel the need to write, like now, for instance.

My life has focused around fly casting for about twelve years now. Before that I just used to go fishing and never bothered about the casting. Actually, thinking back, I have always enjoyed casting. There was a period where I was quite interested in beach casting. I even got to about 200yds in the field, which by todays standard is a mere flick because some of the top guys are hitting 300 metres plus. I have spent many a happy night on some bleak and freezing beach trying to untangle a birds nest on my multiplier. I refused to use a fixed spool on the grounds that they were the reel of choice of a ditter and not a serious minded sea angler, like wot I was. Idiot.

Of all the fishing I have done over the years I think I enjoyed coarse fishing the most. The early mornings with the sun just coming up and the mist rising off the water. The mini bubbles fizzing up around the lilies as the tench feed around the roots. All the usual romantic stuff. I only got into fly fishing in the first place because of the old close season. Fishing was an obsession in those days and to go a week, let alone three months, without going fishing was unbearable. Eventually I found the process of going fly fishing so much simpler than all the kerfuffle that surrounded going coarse fishing. Just grab the rod and waistcoat and go. No bait to buy or ground-bait to mix, no pinkies to sort out, no smell of sweaty maggots, no swarms of blue bottles flying around the van on hot days from all the escaped maggots. Just box of flies I had tied and some odds and ends and I was good to go.

I readily admit I am not even close to being a great angler. Generally the fishing was just an excuse be on my own. I have always needed me time and I have always enjoyed the slightly ethereal quality of being somewhere relatively remote on my own so fishing was perfect for me. I am not usually a joiner of clubs, those I have joined were only to access some water or other, never the social side. I have enjoyed the odd day fishing in company but generally I was alone and paid the consequences of being a loner by hardly ever fishing with someone better than me and thereby learning from them.

The sudden obsession with the art of fly casting took me by surprise. I had no intension of developing a near anal interest in it. To decide to learn to cast a five weight as far as is humanly possible is not really normal, is it? Couple that with my dwindling interest in fishing for the stock fish which is the vast majority of the easily reached fishing in the area I live and you have the recipe for the creation of another obsession. Fly casting can be solitary but then it really would be pointless. Just you a rod and a tape measure is the road to insanity. You, a rod, a tape measure and some like minded friends may be communal insanity but you do get to meet some interesting people.


October 15, 2011 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Fly Fishing, Mike Heritage

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Mike, love your thoughts and writings and can’t help thinking how parallel our paths have progressed from just fly casting sake to FFF certification and teaching, just wanna say keep it up.
    CK Ling , Malaysia.

    Comment by Ck Ling | October 19, 2011 | Reply

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