This Week's View|
by Deanna Lee Birkholm
January 13th, 2003
Archive of Ladyfisher Articles
One of the lessons fly fishing teaches (if we are listening)
is we must adapt. The hatch doesn't come off. Pack up,
go home? Never. Check the water temperature, turn over
some rocks. Should the bugs have hatched? Well...now what?
Nymphs of the expected insect? Emergers? That didn't work?
How about an attractor or streamer?
What if the water isn't fishable? Go home? Naw. Maybe this
is a good time to do a little prospecting? Are there any
feeder streams? Tailwaters where the water may not yet
be stained or high? How about lakes or ponds? Explore - get
out of your rut. You just might find a new 'favorite' place.
Fly tying and you don't have the proper winging material?
What else do you have? If the fish are seeing it from the
underside, how much difference will it make? Worth a try?
Who knows, you might come up with a real winner.
New fly rod? Having trouble casting it? This one is relatively
easy to fix as well. The key is adapting. But first, let's
look at your old rod. Does it bend all the way down to the
cork when you cast? Half-way down? With a really stiff
wrist, hold the old rod pointed straight out in front of
you, parallel to the ground. Give it a good wiggle. Now
do the same thing side to side. Can you make just the tip
wiggle? Lay it down and pick up the new rod. Same exercise.
Where does it bend? Does it take more or less effort on
either the 'old' rod or the new one?
You've become use to casting the old rod. You've done what
it takes to get a cast out there. The casting stroke you
developed and use now may need to change. The timing, how
long the stroke and how long you wait for the rod to
recover to make the forward or back cast will be different
between almost every rod! With experience, you learn to
adapt or adjust your casting to make the rod work.
Remember, the rod is nothing more than a tool, an extension
of your arm, which carries the fly line and fly. A 'slow'
rod, bends further into the butt section - in fact with
some it feels like the cork is bending. A 'fast' rod
usually doesn't bend as far, the word 'fast' comes from
how quickly the rod recovers (goes back to round from
the oval it becomes when it bends). There are fast rods
which really only use the tip to cast. If you mentally
picture the slow and fast rods, it becomes pretty obvious
the same casting stroke won't work for both.
Go back to the basics. Stopping the rod makes the line go.
It is easier to stop a fast rod. The slow ones want to
keep going, (remember a body in motion tends to continue
in motion). This is why so many people casting slow rods
have difficulty getting a nice cast. Not stopping the
rod causes the line to end up in a puddle. Not nice
unless you are intentionally trying to do a 'puddle cast.'
The fix - a shorter faster casting stroke with a hard stop.
Fly fishing is a wonderful adventure. It can be the ultimate
life journey. If you learn to adapt. ~ The LadyFisher
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