October 15th, 2007

What a Fish In!
By James Castwell

Yes, it was a grand time and I think we had the most registered ever, who actually showed up - 61. The dates are already set for next year, hope you can join us. The fishing was top notch, some even catching the first trout of their lives. The ladies were more involved then last year, thanks to Vicki and all of her prior planning. There will be a few reports on here about the details, but I thought I might give a view from my perspective.

I think I learn from every one of these events and still have a long way to go. Some time ago I took a bit of pride in my talents as a casting instructor. I seem to have been effective and have had more than a few others agree with me on this. I am a fair caster but have thought of myself as a better coach. What is it, "If you cant do it, teach it?" I am beginning to think I have been more than a little guilty on this score.

I will start by mentioning to any who may have missed me around the last campfires and the other evening events that somewhere on the first day, Tuesday I guess it would be, I did something to my back, still have not got it straightened out. It was fun helping those of you who came over to cast some rods and work on what ever glitches, real or imagined, you may have perceived in your casting. I think we made some progress.

Wednesday was fun too. Superman made an appearance and was truly a sight to behold. Is there no limit to this mans talent. Amazing, even with a bit of a sore back. Here is a picture.


So much for that. Let me move on to something actually important. Casting. Style. Like I said, I think I may have learned something again. Let me try to explain what I am talking about. We have had several Fish In's in Idaho and I have had to opportunity to help quite a few guys with fly casting. Now, over the years, I have rather firmly maintained that most guys don't have a 'style' of casting. I see guys write that a certain brand of rods does not suite their style of casting, they don't like any of them. Or the opposite, they might like them all because they are designed well and just right for their style.

I have seen guys learn how to form better and more controlled loops at a fish-in and the very next year have to learn them all over. Go figure. I had been patting myself on my back at how well I had done and then a year later see that I did not get the job done. Or did I?

I am starting to believe that a person may have a certain style after all. And no amount of improving or changing of the casting stroke will ever stick. I see them change, see the casts improve and then a year later, it's back to where they came in. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing, I hope. A person can learn many of the small events of fly casting, recoil casts, slack line casts, line mends and all sorts of maneuvers. These he can hang onto from one year to the next, but the co-operation between the line hand and the casting hand may be something else. The double-haul, the little tugs and pulls of the off hand are where style is also created. These can, and do change. And those are the little things we may need to refresh from year to year.

You add the size of the casting arc, the stopping points and quality of the stroke and you can come up with several different ways to fling a fly line. Somehow, we all are unique. No one does it the same, I know that for sure. Proof? Just watch at the next show or fish in. No matter how hard I try, none of you cast like me. Thankfully! ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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