Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2012 4:50 AM


Subject: Fly Shack Newsletter



July 2012

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Getting Your Cast to Cooperate


Casting is one of the most enjoyable aspects of fly-fishing - when it's going well. But it doesn't always go well. Sometimes it goes so badly the angler starts thinking about snapping the rod over his or her knee. Even experienced casters occasionally struggle to cast as far, as accurately and as smoothly as they would like.

Your cast is especially likely to go haywire when you're tired, frustrated or anxious. You may have internalized all the good casting advice and instruction you have picked up over the years, only to see it all swamped in challenging circumstances. If you're relatively new to fly-fishing, your good technique can evaporate that much more quickly - especially if the fish are taunting you and the day has been long.

When things go like this, it's a good idea to stop fishing, take a breather and remind yourself of some of the basics of casting. Some of these fundamentals have been translated into simple lessons for beginners, many of which start with the word "pretend" - and all of which can be useful to remember, even for anglers who haven't been beginners in a long time.

The Apple-and-Stick. Pretend you have a 12-inch stick with an apple stuck on the top, and you want to throw the apple off the stick. The acceleration and stop of a good forward cast requires much the same movements. Remember to make a good, crisp stop with the rod tip high, and enjoy watching your line unfurl toward the target.

The Paintbrush. Pretend you're holding a paintbrush freshly dipped in paint and you want to throw the paint in front of you. (Whoever thought of this one may have been a Jackson Pollack fan.) You hold on to the paint as long as you can before the final, forward flick. Much like the apple analogy, this one illustrates the value of a firm stop. But it also - almost subconsciously - reminds your casting hand to maintain a smooth momentum throughout the cast, right up to the stop. If your hand slows down toward the end of the stroke, your casting energy will fizzle.

The Wall. Pretend the back of your casting hand is rubbing along a wall that's parallel to your cast. This exercise can be surprisingly helpful. Sometimes, without realizing it, an angler develops a curve in his or her cast. (If you suspect this might be you, record a few minutes of casting on video. You'll see it.) The curve interferes with the rod's ability to pull the line forward. The wall exercise re-trains your arm to move the rod in a straight line from back to front. That pulls the line more efficiently, with energy transmitted from the rod tip right through to the fly. A straight back-to-forward pull, with a smooth acceleration and a sharp stop high on the forward cast, will usually send your fly true to its target.

10 and 2. Everybody knows this one. The 2 is more important than the 10 - it reminds you not to go too low on your backcast. It's not as big an issue on the forward cast because the forward cast is easier to watch.

Don't Use So Much Force, Luke. Casting instructors say the No. 1 casting flaw is overpowering. It's a natural impulse to push harder when you need the line to go farther, or when you're excited by the presence of feeding fish and rush to get a fly in front of them. But too much force will degrade your cast. Casting with a decidedly light touch can make an amazing difference. As they say, let the rod and line do the work. Both are products of decades of fly-fishing experience, meticulously designed for top performance. Use a light touch so you can take advantage of that design expertise.

Maybe the most important advice for good casting is to keep your cool. Again, it is natural to hurry up when you see a fish rise or roll. Desperation can creep into your casting when you know you're reaching feeding fish but they won't bite. And spending hours on end with nothing to show for it can induce fatigue that shows up in your casting. Sometimes the best thing to do is to reel in, sit down and rest both your pool and your arm. Remind yourself of some of the basics you learned when you were first starting out. When you do rise and get back in casting position, you may find your casts more enjoyable, more accurate and, with any luck, more effective.

Spey Casting Classes
by Internationally Renown Instructor
Michael Mauri
For All Levels from Novices to Professionals

Learn to analyze your own personal casting technique with an expert and experience hands-on advice on equipment and techniques for all levels of casting.

Spend a day learning the most advanced European Casting Technique, Mauri's Effective Fly Casting Technique (EFCT), which can be used for both single and double handed rods. The EFCT utilizes effortless, natural body movements which are based on simple power rules and energy lines. Together these create a comfortable and relaxed style with insane line speed for any style of casting.

Check our website for more details.




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