Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


If you really sit and think about the act of fly casting it gradually dawns on you that it’s no wonder some beginners have a problem. First of all we have a fly rod which bends, then we have a fly line which varies in weight depending on how much of it is outside the rod tip and finally there is you, 5’10”, too fat and a dicky shoulder, or wrist, or back, or whatever you woke up with this morning. I don’t count hangovers, they usually wear off after a while.

Rod designers now make rods that are generally progressive and with a bit of practice it becomes second nature to match the bend with stroke length and casting arc but even so different rod actions need some adjustment to technique to get good results.

Lines are infinitely variable, not only by design but also the weight differs as you extend it while false casting, or put that little bit of (unnecessary) oomph into the delivery.

Finally we have the most variable component in the whole system; You. Oh you may think you are a superb example of the human form in all it’s varied beauty but I’m sorry, that accolade belongs to Kylie Minogue (really), the rest of us mere mortals have our problems. We have different builds, different levels of supplety, different levels of musculature, different levels of athleticism, fitness, hand eye co-ordination, injuries, even eye sight can make a big difference. None of these differences should make casting impossible. A friend of mine is involved with Casting for Heros (I think it’s called) and he was telling me that even the most severely disabled with missing limbs can enjoy fly fishing and casting. So, there is hope for even the most un-coordinated of us. All it takes is some persistence and perseverance (and some good instruction to get you heading in the right direction).

The brain is a big problem. A lot of people seem to over think what is basically a very simple operation. You just have to move your hand from here to there and back again and stop abruptly at either end. It’s not as if you have to move it very far, maybe a foot or less for fishing distances. And the wrist! It’s a wonder the fork ever finds the mouth with the apparent lack of control some people have over it. You stick a fly rod in their hands and ‘limp wristed’ takes on a whole new dimension.

I don’t claim to be the fastest learner in the world, in fact I am not. Learning new casts can be very frustrating for the person teaching me. I remember a very frustrating session with someone who was trying to teach me the circle C. Lift, sweep up and over and prod low into the bank. Time and time again I lifted instead of prodded. I knew I shouldn’t lift but I just couldn’t stop myself. I did get it right in the end. I also have friends I can describe a cast too and they make, at first attempt, a cast it has taken me hours to work out. In terms of annoyance these people outstrip the limp wristed brigade by some margin.


September 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments