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
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