The Little Things
I spend a fair amount of my time watching people fish and cast a fly a rod. It’s not so much a hobby as it is an occupation. As a full time guide and casting instructor it is literally the nature of my work. The byproduct of this endeavor is that I’ve learned to recognize the flaws and attributes of an individuals casting style. Some people cast far too fast and battle tailing loops. Others get lost in the seeming grace of the fly cast, and cannot summon the required power to initiate an effective cast. Then there’s always the broad shouldered type that assume they can muscle through what timing and mechanics can’t achieve. The single most detrimental solution to any casting hurdle is overpowering the cast.
In short , if you spend as much time as I do in the oar seat, or teaching waterside, you’ll see just about everything that can be done wrong with a fly rod . Along those lines I’ve noticed a few easy fixes that are worth pointing out. For whatever reason, some anglers seem to regress in their casting for lack of attention to detail. I’m not referring to absolute beginners, they’ve zero experience to expand on. I’m specifically talking about the folks that show up for a guided trip, or a refresher course, convinced that they’ve forgotten how to cast, or that they’ve regressed so badly that it’s not worth trying.
In every instance a few minor tweaks is all that’s needed to get each of those happy anglers slinging line again. I do mean tweaks too. Little minor adjustments to clean up that spey or single hand cast. In spey, the most common is an abbreviated swing to the D-loop. A delicate change in timing to achieve the full potential of the double haul with a single hander. Hand placement, foot placement, yes I said foot placement. Most often, line control. Little details that make a big difference in moving line and delivering line on target. I encourage everyone to go back to the beginning of their fly casting experience. Do step by step execution of every cast they struggle with. Most often they have reduced, or eliminated, a critical step they already know but either have forgotten, or felt it unnecessary. A few times from the beginning and you’ll find the little things are critical and that success will only build confidence. Most importantly, you’ll have more fun!
- Jake Hood