July 9th, 2001

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .

On Casting

By Robin J. Rhyme, Texas

I have been so thoroughly enjoying your online magazine that I felt it incumbent on myself to report to you my casting epiphany.

Fly fishing has not always been a part of my life. When I was in the seventh grade I subscribed to Outdoor Life, Sports Afield and Field and Stream and soon became enraptured with tales of fly fishing. I asked for and received a Shakespeare fly rod for Christmas in 1968. I did some fly fishing but with no mentor or reference base I gave it up after a few years.

That rod hung around and hung around. I have it to this day. I have been re-visiting fly fishing for the past year or so, reading online and working to improve my casting. Yesterday I was on my father-in-law's stock tank casting away. This is the epiphany part. As usual I was having variable results, sometimes OK casts, sometimes a long curly blob of line with a 15 foot placement. Then I turned and started addressing a clump of willow trees to my right. I had to cast side-arm. Lo and behold the line was laid out all nice and straight as cold be! I began to evaluate what was different about my sidearm cast vs. classic overhead, overarm cast. The conclusion was so simple! I have to tell someone and you are "it."

It seems to have to do with rod loading and perceiving such loading. I realized that the sensory perception was not all different from the one used to jump on a trampoline or play with a Fli-Back paddle (wooden paddle with rubber ball attached by elastic cord). When one is jumping on a trampoline etc. one can sense the loading and know when its time to kick off. If it is just right one gets a nice rebound. If too soon or too late the energy is lost and dissipated. When I had that light bulb go on I saw a 100% increase in casting skill and personal sense of satisfaction and soon afterward hooked into a nice little largemouth who fought a great fight!

My hope is that this information might be of use to any others aspiring to improve their beginning skills as a fly caster. Please feel free to use this if it has any value at all.

Black Foam Beetle

A final item - I tied up a mess of Black Foam Beetles according to Al Campbell's instructions in your Intermediate Fly Tying section and the bluegills would not leave them alone! I used black sheet foam that I bought for 33 cents a sheet in Wal-Mart's crafts department on #12 nymph hooks and it worked like a bomb. So thanks for making that available on your fine web site as well. ~ Robin J Rhyne

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