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 Ive seen this happen repetitively and sometimes things such
as this make me want to puke. But lets 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. Docs getting weird now." But I
dont 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 Borgers casting abilities in the movie A River Runs
Through It. Borgers "shadow cast" does not resemble anything professed
by the faithfully incorrect.
Now just to rub some salt in the wound
Ill 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. Im sure he practices certain
things but in the end he just goes out and just swings his club and doesnt 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 youre still having problems
stop by and Ill show you how its done
but one time only then youre
on your own. In a past life of mine the expression of see one do one still
Doc Knoll 2004 ©
Docs shop is located on the east
side of the Yellowstone near Chico Hot Springs. Stop by and find out why its more
then just another fly shop. Or call him at (406) 333-4848. http://www.knolls.us/