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May 22nd, 2000

Pick Up Lines
By James Castwell


Ok, so the title is a bit misleading, but I wanted you to read this. The idea came to me at the 'Fish-in' in PA this spring. The local TU group held a meeting at stream-side with a fellow who gave some casting instruction for the group. Great setting, by the way, at Fisherman's Paradise on Spring Creek. When he was through, he asked for any questions. There were a few, one in particular. "Is it important how you get your line off the water after you have made a cast?"

We all know it is, and he agreed and showed how to do it. "Just get the line moving and it will come right up without making any disturbance." A short demonstration as he was talking proved well his point. The questioner then asked if he could demonstrate another method, and taking over the rod, went on to show us.

The 'Shake-pickup,' I call it, it's the one I have used for years. Simple thing to do, you just wiggle the rod tip a bit just as you start to lift the fly line from the water. Up it pops and no mess.

There is of course the aerial roll-cast pickup we all use with dry flies. This is a half roll-cast that lifts the fly off the water like it jumped up on its own.

Some background is needed here. Years ago I knew a guy named Joe Brooks, not well, but I met him and had dinner with him. Great fly fisherman and gentleman. Reading one of his books a few years back I came across a pickup he called a 'horizontal' pickup. Partly because I knew him and partly as I am always curious, I tried it. I do think it does lift the line the cleanest, but since the others work so well it is not really necessary for that. Here is why I like it.

It looks classy! Want to impress the heck out of your buddies? Learn this one. Makes you look a lot better than you might really be. A very simple little circle made with your rod tip will do it. Just before you lift the line from the water, give a (I use a counter-clock wise) circle with your wrist, causing the rod tip to make a little circle of line which runs down to the fly. As it gets there, pull. That's all there is to it.

I am sure it goes by many names and Joe may not have been the one to invent it. Not the point.

I like it and use it. It comes up cleanly and works for me.

So now you have four ways to pick up your lines. Slide it, shake it, roll-cast it or horizontal. These are tools we all need and use. Keep practicing. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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