December 1st, 2003

The Dreaded Double-Haul
By James Castwell

It is on the bulletin-board, guys ask about it in the Chat-room, I get e-mails about it, students want to know how, at 'Fish-In's' they inquire, strangers on the street stop me and ask, "How do I do the 'Double-Haul'?"

Never have so many written so much about something which is so simple and made such a complicated mess out of it as the double-haul. People with room-temperature 'IQ's' can perform it with ease and well-papered scholars are mystified by it. It is high time that this situation be corrected and I, James Castwell, am here once again to rectify the enigma.

From this point on completely disregard all you have ever read about it, as most of it was hog-wash written by over-paid writers who had only seen it done in on TV and that was obviously wrong because those are actors not real fly-fishers like you and I.

Here is a picture we shall be using for the rest of this exercise. You might do well to print a few copies and tape them in conspicuous (or perhaps inconspicious) places in your home, work place and vehicle. Refer to them as often as needed as this will help ingrain the instructions for future use when needed. Remember too, that once you have learned this, (and this is the only correct method), do not at any time attempt to teach this to anyone else. You are barely able to comprehend it yourself now, after a long period of frustration, you are not remotely qualified to pass this along to another, and most likely never will be.

If by this time you still have not figured out how to perform the double-haul, I will type slowly and also point out some of the features of the picture that, to you, may not be immediately noticeable. There are strategically placed about the caster a series of letters from the standard English alphabet, namely the letters, A, B, C and D. Included in a smaller size are also, A1, B1, and C1. Do not look for a D1, there isn't one. Had there been a need for a D1, I most certainly, would have put it on there.

Notice first off the distance indicated at C1. This is a personal choice and is determined by one's own style. That is, novice (tyro) and professional (expert). There seems to be no middle ground here, either one can do this or one can not, period. The experts seem to increase this distance over that performed by the novice. This can be produced at any time during the cast, but looks rather silly if done in public, especially without a fly rod in evidence. I suggest one practices this move in private. In fact, most of this should not be for public consumption.

The term 'weight-forward' is explained by the arrow at B1. Any more description of this is unnecessary, redundant, not needed and I won't comment further upon it. The letter 'C' illustrates the correct attitude of the foot and toes during the cast, the quivering is an affectation of the model for this picture and is not at all desirable, omit it at all costs. Note here; notice the line from the foot to the nose, it is perfectly straight. This is not important but I thought it looked nifty so I put it on there, you can remove it is it interferes with your concentration.

'D' is a must. If one does not hold his 'off-foot' thusly, one shall most certainly fall over. The foot held aloft in that fashion is indeed a counter-balance to the before mentioned, 'weight-forward' shown at B1. As 'falling-over' is frowned upon now that you have matriculated to fly-fishing, you should really try to avoid doing so. (A1 is also a counter-weight and can be developed as needed. If this increases, one may attempt to keep both feet on the ground, but certainly not in the early stages of learning.

Our 'Caster' is of course left handed and would be holding his fly rod in his left hand signified by the arrow at A. Several students of mine have proclaimed to have the disease of aixelsyd so I put in a 'Lefty.' Feel free to transpose if desired. So, with the rod in his left hand (A) and pointed to the rear, (not his, way out behind him somewhere) the reel would be on top and the line would be running from the fly (way out in front of him, like out where he is pointing with his right hand) back to him and over his head and reversing it's path back to the rod tip (beyond the A, to the left someplace) down through the rod to the reel. That is except for the section of line he has jerked loose and is holding in his 'off-hand' (B). Note here; that one fingered gesture is also useful for hailing a cab or buying something important at an auction. The distance between the juxtaposed finger and thumb should not be taken as a measurement for anything at all, ever.

This is the hand which controls all of the important functions of the DH, or as some avow, the DDH. It jerks the line in a semi-syncopated rhythm interposed with the manipulations of the fly rod in semi-sequence of cadence. Simple, as you can now see for yourself. Another note here; the 'star' by the higher elbow is to indicate that the elbow should be leading the ast. I have no information on this but have read it for years and still do not understand it. But, it must be the right way, so many fine writers have said so.

Clothing is optional I suppose, that is, the tutu is not required but, does seem to ad a bit of a flair to the exercise, once again, that choice is, I suppose, yours. Well, there, now you have it. The first really important, concise, anatomically correct, perfectly done, highly informing and darn near a classic in the annuls of fly-fishing writings. In fact, most of what I write is almost that good.

I hope you take this in the spirit of which it was writ, just not too much of it at one sitting. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

All Previous Castwell Articles
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ] © Notice