J. Castwell
September 1, 1997

"Keepyst Thynne Baakast Upeth"

"A neat name isn't it?" I like it; it's not mine, but I'm going to use it anyway; and I'll be writing mostly about fly casting.

"Good grief JC, not some more of the same old crap about casting," she said. "No," said I. "That's all this sorry world needs are some more you-know-what about casting." Just a small bit of conversation between my wife and I when I told her that I would be writing this. And you know what? She's right. That's just what I don't want this to be. Not the same old thing. Not dry, not clinical, not boring!

It's not going to be easy, and I will need your help. You'll see what I mean as we go along. I've got to get you to know me and trust me, and that's hard. It's a lot easier when I'm out on the field or pond and actually giving casting lessons. There you could hear me, and see how I cast a fly rod. Which, by the way is only fairly impressive, and that's if you're a beginner.

Ok, you still with me so far? Just be honest with me for a minute and then I'll let you go. Are you really, and I mean really, sure you are casting up to your potential? The very best that you are willing to put out the time and effort and all that other stuff to be able to do? I know that's lousy grammar, but I wanted you to slow down and think about the question. Go back and read that one again. Did it get you to thinking? Well, my friend, I very much hope that some of the rest of this will get you to thinking too.

You see, I'm a casting instructor. I'm not one of those factory reps., I never wrote a book, and I don't have anything to sell. I just love teaching casting, been doing it since 1970. I've been there before, during, thru, and after a whole lot of great, new, improved, revolutionary, wonderful, and other highly enlightening information came out. It's all been good, it's all been great, and it's all been the same.

Alright, chew on that some and if your interest isn't up you're too old to be casting anyway.

About now your probably asking yourself "what the heck kind of a writer is this guy?" Different, I hope. You and I are going to try to work together to accomplish what is actually very difficult to communicate in writing. But, I'm game and I hope you are. Stay with me just a little bit more. This could be of some value.

"If you can't cast, you can't fish."

"Can I teach you to cast in this column? "Good grief, JC, for your sake and mine, I surely hope so." That's me talking and I mean it; I really want to do this. There is something in casting a fly rod that binds all of us together. You don't get the same thing with a spinning rod; that' just fishing; fly casting is hunting in one of its purest forms. Yup, fly casting, that's where it's at.

Please, no offense, but no one ever developed from a fly-caster to a fly-spinner. It just doesn't work that way.

I teach casting because I want you, pay attention now, you to get really good and experience the joy and fulfillment that good fly casting brings. To live the dream that the fathers of fly fishing had when they were upon the streams of the east in the early years of this country.

To experience the intensity of fly fishing as did those with names like Gordon, Hewitt, La Branche, Brooks, Wulff, and Marinaro. To become part of the great fraternity of those who have gone before us. To carry on. To carry it on. To keep carrying it on.

"Fish . . . streams . . . and what it means."

If you learn to cast well, you will catch more fish. That will mean you will have to let some go. And that will make you wonder what happened to them, where did they go? And you know what? You will become a steward of your environment. Now, don't get excited here; this is just JC talking with you remember. What I mean, is that you'll take a greater interest in what's going on around you, and also in your fly fishing. You'll become more motivated, you'll get involved with what's going on. That is why I teach fly casting. And, I think that's probably goes for most of the real casting instructors all over our country.

Well, there you have it. Now you've met me, know why I teach casting and know why I am writing this. There are many reasons to improve our casting and these are perhaps some of them. Hang on for the next issue and a different view of how to cast really good. I guess that should be, cast well. See you then.~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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