I WON!... I WON!...I WON!... Ok, so now you get the message, and yes
I did come in first in the distance casting contest. It was lucky; funny how
that sometimes goes, the harder you work at something, the luckier you get.
Now I feel a bit like the 'fast-gun' in town, got guys gunnin' fer me next year,
sooner if possible. The real truth of the ACA casting contest is this. Nineteen
guys, using rods to nine weight, gave it their all, and then some. Many used
shooting heads with running lines, some just nine-weight distance tapers.
The great 'equalizer' was the WALL.
What's that you ask? The 'wall' was a shaft of wind that screeched between
two buildings and shattered the dreams of several would-be winners. It was
not necessarily straight at us, but, sideways somewhat. You could make a great
cast only to see it seem to crash into a seemingly solid glass partition, the wall
as we fondly called it. With the big guns (nine-foot nine weights) firing
speed-of-sound fly lines that crackled the afternoon, the wall of air would
deposit the offerings unceremoniously back to the caster. Not the whole line,
just a percentage of it, about twenty percent in many cases.
For a very long cast you must aim high, really high, maybe thirty feet above the
ground. At that height the wind would turn it right back and although the complete
ninety-foot line and the nine foot leader was cast, the distance recorded to the fly
would be far less. If the cast was too high, it blew back, if too low, it dumped
on the ground. I got lucky and threaded one about four feet high and the leader
opened. That is how it really happened. Mine opened, theirs didn't.
The two others who placed did very well and were not far behind me, Joe
Marincel from the Pro-shop at the Delaware River Club (DRC) took the Silver (2nd) and
the other (a host on FAOL), fine caster Ray DuBois took the Bronze.
One inch separated their scores. The big stories were those who did
not 'medal.' These ACA events are very formal and controlled, not
just a club type thing. Very few had ever had the opportunity
to sweat it out under such pressure. Those not participating
had a blast just watching us 'tear our shorts' as we spent
five minutes on the platform. The casters who did give it
a try had an even better time. One commented, "That's the farthest
I have ever cast!" He was not unhappy, he was ecstatic
he got it as far as he did.
Oh, yes, what did I use? The most powerful two-piece, 8' 8", six weight rod I
have ever cast. (Minor problem here, it is my wife's rod) the line was a 'off the
shelf' Wulff Triangle-Taper six weight. I will write more about the fly rod in a
future column, it was the 'Ladyfisher' by Kerry Burkheimer. Yes, he has named
the rod for her. (What an honor, designed by Russ Peak and Kerry and produced
completely by him with today's finest materials) It is not a series, it is just what it is,
So for now gang, those who were there, thanks so much for the support of the
'Fish-In,' without all of YOU it would have been pointless. And to the rest who
did not join us, but have been putting up with all this silliness, thank you too, we
will soon be off to other subjects. And, there is always next year!
And this too, Ray DuBois beat me with my own broom!
Bob Petti from the Global Fly Fisher attended on Friday for Cane Day,
and wrote a nice article for their website. You can read it
~ James Castwell