July 23rd, 2007

By James Castwell

It takes a lot of something to dress up in a Superman costume, but when I found one an sale after last Halloween I just could not resist buying it. Last year I wore 'tails' for some casting demonstrations I did and had fun doing so. The idea is to poke a large amount of fun at some folks who get all stuffed-up with themselves on how well they can fly cast. It seems to help relieve some tension, when Good grief, it's just a stick, get over it.

I am a decent caster and do pretty well at helping others improve. But, the rewards are always all mine. There is a wonderful feeling of satisfaction when I can watch a person forge ahead to better casting and line control. Most of anything I know has come from many of those who have helped me over the years and all I do is just try to pass things along.

In fact, one of the things I try to teach, is how to teach. Almost everyone I work with knows something about casting already, just want a little help or a tune-up. By giving them some tools for actually teaching folks on their own, they can apply the same tools to themselves.

It is an honor actually and I do take it seriously. My objective is to as quickly as possible, identify anything that may be holding the caster back. To allow them to continue practicing errors is one of the things I guard against, or at least I try hard to. Do I have a certain way I think we all should cast? Of course I do. But, if I could wave a magic wand and you all cast like pro's I would rob you of the years of satisfaction of learning. After all, that is the secret of fly-fishing. The fun is in the learning; it is that simple.

But, what is my way? The things that I feel are important? Most are refinements of actions. Many are not needed at all, but only to serve to make you a more efficient fly-rodder. Like that thing I preach about with your reel, Making sure it rolls up to the top when you make a back-cast. Does it matter all that much? Nope. Will you cast a more energy efficient loop? Certainly. Can you still cast just great and continue to swing your reel sideways into the back-cast? Of course you can. But, why would you want to? Maybe it's because you have always done it that way. Okay by me. You're the one casting; go for it.

Learning the double-haul is another one. Most of us do not in any way need it. Probably why many can't do it and will not try for fear of finding out they are clods and can not figure it out. Nothing ventured; nothing proven. Trust me, it is not hard to learn or do. It is sometimes held in that light by those who teach it. A little tug here and a little tug there; in each direction. Try it, you'll see.

So, anyway, I had a grand time in Michigan at the 'Fish In,' met some nice people and re-met some others. Was honored to have the opportunity to help in some ways on their casting and some of the other facets of our recreation. Thanks to all who worked so hard at learning to cast better.

And oh, by the way...about that 'thing' in your back-cast... ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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