September 29th, 2003

Castwell Has Entered the Camp
By James Castwell

Four p.m. Monday came and went. The Ladyfisher and I had not arrived at the Three Rivers Resort in Lowell, Idaho. For some reason I had remembered the drive from west of Seattle, WA to the 'Fish-In' as about three hundred miles and would take about six hours. In retrospect even that does not make any sense. So, after getting a late start on Monday morning (dropping off our dachshund, missing a ferry by five minutes and a detour in Seattle and realizing that it was more like 418 miles and would take about nine hours) (oh yes, Krispy-Kremes too) we pulled into the campground at about nine-thirty. Only to be soundly chastised for worrying the heck out of the bunch by being so late.

Arms were pumped thoroughly, smiles and grins exchanged and warm salutations abounded. We had at last arrived; our vacation had started. The plan was to stay from Monday afternoon to Saturday mid-morning, let those attending play with the many rods we had brought with us from several makers (new stuff, some only days on the market, not yet in shops) and fish when we were not swapping tales or trying to help a bit with any perceived casting problems.

It was wonderful seeing the gang again, most only once a year, filling in each other on what has been going on and in general, just 'hanging-out.' There is no doubt, fly-fishers are a fine group of folks. So, Castwell has entered the camp, Let the games begin! And we did.

The Ladyfisher will fill you in on more of the details, I want to try to bring a different view of events. As you might suspect, it will be about fly rods and casting. Some things became rather clear as the days went on and more and more got to play with the rods. This for instance. If a rod seemed to have a 'light' tip and a 'stiff/heavy' butt section. Not saying this is a bad thing here, but that if the rod was that way, all who cast it would agree. It might be fine for short casts and had the power to lift a better fish if hooked, but would not perform well at longer distances.

This type of opinion seemed universal. All would agree on each rod. If the rod seemed to be 'great' they would agree on that too, everyone of them. I found this to be rewarding, and truthfully, a bit surprising. I will mention a few here now and give more information in later columns and reports. One outstanding very low priced rod was from Gatti, an IM6 for about a hundred and a quarter. Folks, that is one fine stick, at any price!

The fiberglass rod from Hardy nearly put all in shock, nothing is as smooth, nothing. The Xi2 from Sage was an absolute winner casting at all distances well, but the star of the show was my wife's new rod. The one-piece, six foot, five weight cane, 'Lee Wulff Classic.' This is the one I picked as the best of show in Denver and was very pleased by the raves it received there, but I was not prepared for the reception it got at our Fish-In.

At the show I had watched as a fellow mistakenly was casting it with a six weight line, it was doing just fine. Last week someone put a four on it just to see what would happen. Again, it was just fine. Now we will all agree that any rod will cast three lines. This is the first time I have seen one do it with no change in any way. The rod is actually a 4/5/6. She does use a five on it by the way. We both fished it and not only does it cast great, it 'fishes' well too. There is much more to be said, but not right now.

LF casting on the Selway

We had a grand time, everything went well, had a nice vacation, met old friends, made some new ones and are now ready to get back to work. Hang in there gang, the best is yet to come. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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