Swedish version

It’s in the Timing
by Doc Knoll

  During the course of having a customer try out a new rod on the casting pond just to the left of my shop, I notice quite a few similarities in many of the novice anglers casting techniques. However, in spite of what I see it is almost inevitable that at some point the novice will ask, "I have a problem getting distance to my casts. Do you have any suggestions?"

Well most likely I had already thought of a few but rather then criticize the angler I almost want to scream at the "dweeb" who elected himself as an instructor because he purchased a scrap of paper from some $200 fly by night college which as expected acknowledges him as an instructor. Through time I’ve seen this happen repetitively and sometimes things such as this make me want to puke. But let’s not get into that side of the problem. The problem started when the novice student was told something like, "the cast should be mechanical as clockwork and using ten and two as the relative reversal points of the cast if your form is correct." Well, bull sheets.

This does become the demise for many potential anglers simply for the reason that not all of us react to physical situations in the same manner. Our physical abilities are different, our rods capabilities are different and the relative form of each of our casts can be drastically different as night and day.

Relative form? This is something new. You may even think, "Well, here he goes. Doc’s getting weird now." But I don’t think so.

Take baseball pitchers. Does each pitcher deliver the ball with the same form? Sure the end result may be that the ball crosses the plate but the technique of the delivery can be totally different. To practice casting with this same stoic "ten and two" and "hold your rod hand this way" is just nonsense. And to prove my point, even the instructors, who dole out this utter nonsense, gawk at Jason Borger’s casting abilities in the movie A River Runs Through It. Borger’s "shadow cast" does not resemble anything professed by the faithfully incorrect.

Now just to rub some salt in the wound I’ll add this. Golfers with poor abilities are commonly called "hackers." Hackers normally take lessons from bigger hackers who think they are good or think this "profession" may give them an easy lifestyle. Sometimes these "pros" shoot in the mid eighties on a regular basis. On the other hand Tiger Woods is a "natural." Sure he had prompting early on but ultimately he just went out and hit the ball they way he liked to hit it. I’m sure he “practices” certain things but in the end he just goes out and just swings his club and doesn‘t think too much about it.

So maybe, if you feel you are having difficulty getting this "ten and two" out of your head while fishing then just leave it be. Cast in the “relative form” your body will naturally seek. By you using all your concentration on placing the fly in the target area should offset your mind enough to eliminate the acquired bad habits you may have received from poor, certified or not, teachers. With a little practice and the freedom of casting without the restraints of structured attitudes, things will naturally improve. And besides, you may have a little fun instead of feeling frustrated.

In short, the timing of your cast will become more important than the position of the rod or how you are holding the rod. By flinging the fly behind you and just when you feel the line beginning to flex the rod simply reverse the cast. And, remember to go slow. There is a lot of time needed for the line to fall from its arc. Another point which may help is that it is quite alright to watch the fly line as it moves in both directions. If you’re still having problems stop by and I’ll show you how it‘s done… but one time only then you‘re on your own. In a past life of mine the expression of “see one do one” still holds true.

Doc Knoll 2004 ©

Doc’s shop is located on the east side of the Yellowstone near Chico Hot Springs. Stop by and find out why it’s more then just another fly shop. Or call him at (406) 333-4848. http://www.knolls.us/



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© Mats Sjöstrand 2004

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