December 31st, 2001

Don't Put Your Hands Up Your Butt!
By James Castwell

Those of you who garden know the name of Ed Hume, I used to watch him on TV when I lived in Montana. After moving out here I had a chance to meet him in person. Neat guy. I remember my comment to him at the flower show in Seattle, WA. It went something like this; 'the thing I like so much about your show, you never seem to get tired of giving out the basics.' By that I meant no matter how important and fascinating all this stuff may be, the basics are still the very most important ideas.

When I started into fly-fishing every book I borrowed from the library was new information on each and every page. After a few decades of books it is hard for me to find one with more than a couple of new ideas. Not that I know everything, I tend only to read books that interest me. When I do find something different, or a way of looking at or thinking of something I had not come across before it is still highly valued.

Many of you who read my columns have been at this silliness even longer than I and other than a smidgen of humor probably find nothing new in here at all. But, I still keep pecking away at this in hopes of helping someone who has not found all the answers yet. Here we go on a pet peeve of mine. The dork who still thinks he is spin-fishing, or at least still thinks he is using one of those unbreakable, 'hoop-em-end-to-end' spinning rods.

It is true that over the years I have made many good acquaintances in this game, many of them make fly rods. They all have the same problem. Dorks who do not have a clue of how to use a fly rod. The big problem with that is this. You and I pay for their dorkiness! The manufacturers bend over backwards to humor these guys who send in 'defective' fly rods. "Gorsh, I was jest landin' the fish, done it that'a way all me life. It jest broke, musta been defekteve."

I guess that may have been a bit strong, but you get my point. They may not all talk like that, but their knowledge of fly rods is on that level. You don't put your hands up the rod to land a fish. Maybe we need Ralph Nader to put warning labels on the butt sections, "Warning! Putting your hands up your butt may be hazardous to this rod, and you!"

To play, (make that 'fight' for some of you) a fish, keep the darn rod low, somewhat pointed toward the fish. Fly rods are casting machines, not derricks. They are very carefully designed to cast and play and land a fish of reasonable relation to the rod. The guys who design them are pretty good at it and, trust me, it bugs them to see some of the rods that come into the repair department busted.

Expert yet So, all together now... "I will not put my hands up my butt!"

Good, you may not soon forget this little bit of wisdom, however if you are tempted to do so, here is a picture of a guy putting his hands up his butt. He will soon be explaining to his chums, "Gorsh, that fish was so big it busted my butt!"
~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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