Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Footloose And Fancy Free

It’s odd how something sticks in your brain and stays there when a lot of other stuff just goes in….and then goes straight back out again (see, I have a theme running). One of the things that stayed in was part of a demo I watched Hywel Morgan do at the BFFI show at Trentham a few years ago when he explained why it was necessary to open the stance the further you were trying to cast. It’s obvious when you think about it but it does sort of go against the grain of traditional (or old-fashioned) instructing where if you were right-handed you were told you should stand with your right foot slightly forward (closed stance). This is a good stance for close in work like some river  fishing or short-range target practice. It has the benefit that if you bend the right knee a bit and you lean forward slightly it will automatically alter your casting plane from horizontal to a more high back cast low forward cast. If you stayed in the closed stance and tried to cast further you will start to find your arm movement becomes increasingly restricted, your elbow is locking up and it is difficult to take the forarm much past vertical. If you are a confirmed closed stance caster you now have a problem if you want to bang out a long one. Your shoulder. The way we are designed means that if you want to open up your stroke length your hand path will have to curve around it. Tracking gets screwed, you start to get swinging loops and you lose accuracy, plus, it can become uncomfortable. The simple answer is to open your stance, bring your right foot (for a right handed caster) slightly behind you, angle your body slightly clockwise and hey presto, you suddenly find you have a bit of room to manouvre your hand in a straight line rather than having it curve it. The further you want to cast the more open the stance. Look at it like switching from throwing a dart to throwing a javiline. Yes I know some distance casters use a closed stance. In fact most of them don’t. They have developed a stepping action that takes them from closed to open and back to closed for the delivery. I stopped doing it that way because I kept falling over!

The purpose of stance is to put your body into a position where it can most effectively make the cast you want to perform but I don’t see any reason to be dogmatic about it. Many times, while fishing, my stance is dictated more by the terrain than by the cast I want to make. It’s not very likely you are ever going to tell yourself you can’t cast at that fish because the boulders under you feet make it impossible to stand in the prescribed stance for the cast you want to make.


January 29, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Excellent read Mike, I always learn something when I read your blogs.
    Alan s

    Comment by Alan Stonelake | April 10, 2012 | Reply

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