There is a little reluctance on my part to write
this up. James Castwell has written a lot lately
about casting and this was not the best day I have
ever had. I fear that I might become the subject of
one of his column directly because of all of my
mistakes for the day.
I went out for my normal Saturday morning exercise
in reviving the spirit. I went to a pond that I have
been to before and got everything ready to go. I
had the rods strung up and flies on them. The anchors
were attached to the canoe and the paddle and fish-basket
were in the canoe. It now was just a matter of getting
in the canoe and going at the fish. Little did I know what
The wind started to pick up a little as I got out on the pond. I was not
worried as wind is a normal part of what we have to put up with here in the
Midwest. I put the back anchor down part way and just started slowly
drifting down the pond as I cast to see where the fish might be.
The first cast went fine, even though no fish were interested in the fly.
The second cast was a fore-bearer of what the day would be like. I somehow
managed to get three loops of fly line around the tip end of the rod on the
back cast. This was a talent that I did not know that I had.
These were just not loops, but more of half-hitches that I needed to
take off the tip of the rod before I could try to cast again.
Things just did not improve after this. The next cast I managed to wrap the
fly around the leader about six times with a few loops caught in-between
some of the wraps. You must have some amazing talent to do this. I still can't
remember how I did this. But it did take a few minutes to get the leader
untangled. I was smart enough to go slowly and not tug on anything to make
tight knots which are harder to get apart.
My next cast resulted in a feisty bluegill hitting the fly and cutting some
fancy didos before I got him landed. I thought that I might have finally got
into the groove and would be fishing. What a joke. The next cast resulted in
a huge birds-nest of leader around the loop on the end of the fly line. Again
I don't know how, but I managed to do it with a great deal of
skill. This was such a big mess that I decided to skip it and use another
rod. I did not want the aggravation of trying to undo the birds-nest of line
instead of fishing.
The first cast with the second rod produced another
one of the feisty bluegills that are in this pond.
Maybe is was just bad luck with the one rod and I
would do better with this one. By now I am at the
end of the pond. I have spent so much time working
on the line and leaders that I have reached
the end of the pond.
I decided to turn the canoe around, face into the wind,
and fish up the other side of the pond.
Maybe if I cast into the wind, I can control things
better. At least one can hope.
I am set up so that I can cast to a weed edge that
also runs along a breakline that goes from about three
feet of water to six to eight feet of water as you head
toward the dam. I wanted to drop flies along this area and
see what sort of action might come from that. There are
several points and depressions in this weed edge and I
was going to cast to all of them as I went up the shoreline.
The first few casts went pretty well and I got another
nice bluegill on each of them. They came out of little
depressions in the weed edge that I dropped a fly near.
The fish would swirl on it and then the fight would be
on. This was more like it, much more fun that undoing
line snarls as the fisherman is snarling.
So much for feeling good, the next cast is another one
of those wrap the line around the end of the rod. This
time I have five loops, no half-hitches, on the end of
the line. It only takes a few seconds to undo
this, but it is the aggravation of having to do it.
Then things go well for a few minutes and I pick up some nice sized
bluegills as I move up the shoreline, casting to all the points and
depressions along the weed line. The wind picks up a little and I go back to
the wonder casting that I had done earlier. I have another birds-nest on
this rod that I do not want to mess with.
I go to the third rod that I have in the canoe. This is
the 1 wt that I built and I am not to sure about casting
it into a 25-mph headwind. But if I want to fish it is
this or get rid of the bird's nest on one of the other
rods. I pick up a few more bluegills as I move along the
I have been being very careful and not making long casts
and I am having some success.
Then I am dumb again. There is a large depression in the
weed line, and instead of moving the canoe I decide to
make longer casts. I should have known better. After two
nice size bluegills are taken, on the third cast, I
form another huge wind knot, with loops and twists in it.
In any case it will take time to undo.
At this time I decide that this is really probably not my
day and that I would be better off leaving instead of trying
to force things along. This was getting more frustrating
than it was fun.
I went home and took care of the 17 bluegills that I did
managed to catch.
Hope you can get out on the water and have a much better day
than I did. ~
PS. I worked on the lines Sunday afternoon and gave up. Cut the leaders off
and started again. Much quicker and much less aggravation to cut them off
and retie. No pictures as I don't want to remember them. Rick