Jim had a good point, it must have been, I stayed on the
phone with him for an hour. I am near Seattle, WA, he is
by Chicago, IL. He is a 'world class' competition fly caster.
He just won a contest lately, senior mens division, I am 67,
Jim is a few years older than I. He had a fantastic time, one
of the best pitches he has ever made in his life. But I am
getting ahead of myself here. While he was practicing a few
days before the event (an ACA sanctioned one) something
wonderful and at the same time, very puzzling had happened.
I know it has happened to me, and I'm darn sure it has happened
to you, and to all of us more than once when we practice. Things
are going about normal, I am working on some particular facet
of my casting stroke or whatever and then... a cast goes
out... and out.... and out... I have no idea what I did that
caused, or in reality, allowed it to happen. The line just
sails and goes considerably farther than any others have. I
have mentioned this to several top casters, they all have had
it happen. Some particular group of elements comes together
just exactly right and the result is as close to the perfect
cast as the combination is possible of delivering.
Wow! What a feeling. Then we all do this, at least I do. Try as
hard (that may be part of the problem) to duplicate the cast.
Not a chance, never happen, no way, no how, we keep trying.
But that was not why he called. He wants to help promote
competition fly casting, not competition fly fishing, we are not
in favor of that, although some may like to watch it on TV, they
also like to watch 'Wildest Police Video's too. I do not think
competition fly fishing projects a very true image of our recreation.
Here was Jim's point and he may have a valid one. We all agree it
is a good thing to teach kids to fish, then when old enough, to
fly fish. To get them to catch a panfish is about all it usually
takes to get them hooked for life, or at least interested in the
places where fish live. Jim says lets take it a step further.
There are not many places, especially in our urban centers where
a kid can fish for, or have a chance to actually catch a fish of
any kind. How about considering just fly casting? Even at the
events we go to where there are facilities where kids can catch
a trout out of a pond or a tank, why not organize some accuracy
and distance events too? A tape measure and a few paper plates
are about all that are needed and some guys to help run it. There
are actually several 'Casting Clubs' in many of the major cities
already, but lets try to get more started in the smaller cities
Competition is a fine tool for building character and the results
will surely benefit any one who learns to cast better. We had a
wonderful time at out FAOL Fish-In last year and plan to again.
We had a big audience cheering, there was a lot of rivalry tempered
with congeniality and humility. We all learned, we were all the
better for it. Those who did not enter learned by watching, those
who entered learned by participating. There may have been some
awards given out, but, there were no losers, we all won.
~ James Castwell