December 1st, 2008

When Out of the Past
By James Castwell

A great horse and a hearty cry of… "Tear Yer shorts!" Well, no I guess that's not the way it actually was but I needed a lead in and, face it, by now you know I'm not much of a writer. I sit here now, it's wet and damp out, the first part of December, cold, clammy and rain. It's not even nice enough to go out and try to practice my fly casting. Well, maybe not to improve, but keep from letting age nip bits of it off; age does that, trust me, I know.

I remember when I was in my 'developing years' I made a revelation about my casting and wrote about it on here. It was back in 1997 and just in case you overlooked it, here it is again. It is not any worse than most of my other columns and as I recall I didn't get too many negative emails about it. In fact, I don't think I got any emails about it. Hmmm.

Tear Yer Shorts?

Webster's New World Dictionary: casting; to put, deposit, or throw with force or violence; fling; hurl … to give vent to…

Now I have a problem. For years I have tried to make my casts smoooooth. I've spent hours and hours practicing the rhythm of the mid-range cast. Over and over, until the front and back loop were as close to perfect and equal as possible. Obviously I have been doing it all wrong!

One of my first clues was watching the 'Greats" at a sportsmen's show. These were the 'biggies,' the ones who write books, make videos, give classes and performances. These are the ones I should try to be like. No matter how hard I have tried to make my fly-casting smooooth, I have had this nagging suspicion that the real good guys don't cast that way.

The show opened my eyes! Out of ALL of the fly-casters there was only ONE who did cast very smooooth; ok, smoooothly. The rest of the fly-casters would get a darn nice rhythm going, make sure they had good control of the line length, the shape of their front and back loops, and then WHAM; make the final heave to the front with enough force and violence to tear their shorts!

Now, the single fact that the only fly-caster who did not cast that way won the distance event should not be considered. He was only one out of about fifty. I have, since then, started to put a lot of violence and force into my fly-casting. Fifty to one; ya can't go against the odds, right?

So far the results are not too encouraging. A lot of tailing-loops out in front, my distance seems to have fallen off, but I have not broken any fly rods; yet. I feel that if I just keep giving my final forward cast that every-last-all-I've-got-punch, I too may do well in one of those distance casting contests. It is hard to break the habit of making a cast smooooth, but I will keep at it.

The fellow who did win wasn't as fortunate as I am. He must have never seen how the 'big-guys' fling their guts out on the last cast. He didn't know any better. I wonder how much better he would have been if he, like me now, would learn to when making that last forward pitch, "tear-'yer-shorts"! I am glad that it is too cold out now to practice and I can sit at this computer and write this for you. The tennis elbow-brace and the hernia belt are not much of a problem as long as I am sitting down. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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