May 9th, 2005

Blind Casting
By James Castwell

Oh sure, we all know what blind casting is. It's when you are just pitching it out there, nothing rising, nothing seems to be going on, you're just 'casting blindly.' It's a cast of many things, eager anticipation, frustration, boredom or perhaps simply nothing else to do but cast the fly out there. Pounding them up and hunting them up are a couple of phrases sometimes associated with blind casting. But, a lot of fish have been caught by the method. Sometimes even when an idea may not sound like the best one in the book, given a chance and some time it may be alright anyway. Yes, I am leading you again. This is about blind casting, real blind casting, casting blind.

Yes you can. In fact it's a known fact that when we shut down one of our senses often the others will ratchet up a notch or two. Fly casting is like that. And at this time of year we have a lot of guys trying to learn how to cast a long stick. And they are doing it with no help at all. No coach, guru or fly shop. In fact they are trying to learn just the way most of us did. Hey, young'uns, don't get excited. Back in the 'good ol' days' they hadn't invented casting lessons. It was not considered chic to take lessons for everything. Mostly we just went out and did whatever it was there was to do. If (when) we messed up, we tried to figure out how not to the next time.

So, for you new guys (no old-timers here please) (you're supposed to know this stuff already) here are two things to help screw up your casting even more than it is already. Oops, I mean to keep you from screwing up your casting even more than it already is. Try these things, they may help. I know they work, if they do not work for you, it is not the method, it's you. Go back and do them until you get them right.

Most of you mush-heads can't pitch a back-cast to save yourselves from laughter. Ok, so that was harsh, deal with it for now. I will apologize later, I'm on a roll now. To fix those big, wide open, useless circle type of back casts put your feet together, stand straight, shoulders back, chin up, (smile, this is supposed to be fun) rod in rod hand, about 25 or so feet of fly line out in front on the water/ground/rooftop. Assuming you're right handed and really your mother was right, you should be, if not you have an emotional problem, hold the rod in your right hand (pointy end low and out in front of you), smartly (big assumption on my part here) bring the rod back toward your face stopping just short of your nose (with practice this will become less painful), and notice how your biceps muscle is big and bulgy.

Make a few casts back out in front, returning to the NQOTN place, (Not Quite On The Nose) This sudden and almost violent, at least it is supposed to be, stop may help your pathetic back cast to make a nice pretty narrow loop (that is what you are trying for) instead of the big dorkie one.

Now let's assume you are not able to perform the above delicate maneuver but still insist on learning to fly cast. There is one chance left for you. One. Do Not screw this one or you are lost altogether. You never will know the thrills of losing flies, falling in, breaking very pricy rods and trying not to cry in public. Things that all real men strive for. Get a bag.

That's all right, I will wait. Dee, de, de, dum, dumty dum; good, ya got one? [for this I will assume we are outside and have a fly rod etc.] Insert your pointy little head, point end up, into the bag. As an alternate method, hold your pointy little head firm and cram the bag down over the point.

"Ok, now cast! I mean it. Strip out some fly line. I don't care if you can see how much or not. Some, however much you think is some. Alright, now start whipping the rod back and forth a bit. Come on now, you gotta get the line outta the rod. Harder. There, now you have some out and going back and forth. Let out more of it! Yes, more of it. CAREFUL! You'll hit yourself that way! Get the rod over to the side a little. There, that's better; keep going. Harder. Feel the line on the back cast, huh? Feel it tug a little just before you come forward? See, (oops) I mean, I told you that this would work. Now, keep casting and make the casts nice and strong so you can really feel the line tugging in both directions. Now, there, that wasn't so hard was it? Whew, I knew it would work. Now you understand how a loaded rod casts and feels.

I will tell you this. Right now. Right at this moment, you, as new as you are to fly fishing know a thing about casting that darn few know or have ever even given any thought to over many decades of casting. And too, remember, now that our casting is even better, heck ya can do that blindfolded!" ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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