I needed to devote some time last week to physical fitness for my health’s sake so my time on the water was limited.
The weather is warming up and more people are making their way into my parking places and it looks like I wont be enjoying the water by myself like I did all winter. So until trout season heats up a little bit I think I will forego my usual haunts on my adopted home waters, opting instead to maybe go down to the beach on the Willamette and practice my much neglected competition casting.
I said all of that to say that I was not as focused during practice this week and since I did not have much of a video goal I just played around with my scandi casting. I did do a little hiking around looking for some spots with better lighting for filming. I totally lacked motivation in the fishing department since there are basically no Steelhead in the rivers and lacked a little focus and motivation for casting. But I get a little homesick when I’m away from my family for work and nothing distracts me more than trying to hit the sweet spot on any cast using a two handed or for that matter a one handed rod with some sort of “Spey” line attached. And nothing gets my mind of work and the issues associated with work like time on the water working on the technical aspects of the cast.
I get to work about an hour early so I wont have to deal with traffic or take the slightest risk of running late. That gives me time to study and edit my “film” from the previous evenings casting session so I will have something to publish the following weekend when I arrive at the linespeedjedi.com regional office, which is my recliner and my wife’s laptop.
So this weeks casting video is nothing to write home about. I played around with some D loops in front of the camera because that actually is a good drill for new casters who do not quite understand how a D loop works. I should have used less line like Derek Brown does on his Spey casting video. That drill helped my buddy Mike when he picked up his first Spey rod because like everybody else who has done a lot of one handed overhead casting the idea of the D loop eluded him until he tried Derek’s D loop drill and learned to flip the line out from there. After that the light kind of came on for him.
I practiced for a while and made a big crows nest in my new tapered leader and by the time I had the crows nest out the tip had to be shortened. After that I snapped my fly off. After that I snapped the tip of my fly line plumb off and quit shortly afterward. I guess I better fix it before I forget and surprise myself the next time I decide to fish it.
While that cluster of session was going on I did make a discovery. Actually I made several discoveries. One, I was too far away from the camera and that darned strip of cut bank on the opposite side of the river shows up too bright in the video. So much for award winning footage. My only hope for a video going viral may be if a cougar attacks when I’m casting.
The casting discovery I made was this: I do something in my forward stroke that takes away from the power. When I pull with my bottom hand, I of course push with the top but my upper torso is too passive. Even If I’m stepping into the stroke or rocking forward on my feet. If you watch Janusz Panicz cast you wont see him bobbing and weaving and stepping around. His body is still, but I get the impression that if you were to run into him at the moment he does his forward cast you would bounce off and fall down. In light of that….
Near the end of my session I made some forward casts where I braced forward into the cast, not with movement but with core strength. I did not allow my body any passive reaction during the forward stroke. You know, like when you take voice lessons and they tell you square your shoulders and squeeze your butt cheeks and tighten your core and sing from your diaphragm. That kind of thing.
Only it didn’t require much physical effort but it did require focus. Somewhere on youtube is a Dwight Klem video where he talks about this kind of thing, Anyway I think I’m on to something. From now on with these short heads I think you will see less movement but more core strength and focus on the forward cast.
This video is not all that great but I wanted to present something of value to my loyal subscribers to say thanks. To show you my appreciation I did not edit out the sound of the rifle shot at the end of the video where I snap the tip off of my fly line. That’s my way of saying thanks, being transparent. I probably wont put a link to this video on Speypages and I doubt the youtube video will get much traffic but for those who subscribe and read I want you to know how much I appreciate that.
I appreciate my friends like Greg, Bruce, Janusz, Aitor, Paul, Jim and others who comment on the blog and are so kind to contact me offline with their generous knowledge and encouragement.
If you are on a mission to improve your casting remember to focus and concentrate and most importantly practice through the sticking points. Stay with each session long enough that you get something worthwhile out of it. Practice becomes its own reward for a lot of different reasons.