Tuesday 19 May 2009

Fly casting for saltwater

Let there be no mistake about it - fly casting for bass in the saltwater environment can be a challenging task! But too often that task is created by ourselves and the search for distance. Somewhere at the beginning, and often far too regularly, our objective becomes 30 yards as quickly as possible. And yes we measure it with footsteps and tapes and strips and congratulate ourselves when we get there, but we forget to look how we got there.

Satisfying your ego with distance often can make you both blind and deaf. Blind to your wide ripped open loops, blind to the broken wrist, blind to poor turnover. All we see is our tag and leader crash landing some distance ahead of us and we are happy! The poor hearing is a result of the shouting done by the voice in our head - we must cast further. The rational and cool tones of self analysis are drowned out - we cant hear ourselves think never mind remember the words of our instuctor.

Casting 30 yards in the local park to the background sound of summer blackbirds is different than pushing big flies into a headwind whilst terns hover overhead and you lean into thee foot waves. But we want personal satisfaction immediately and too many times we are not prepared to listen to our instructor and do as he or she says. We dont practice enough (only short periods - regularly) or we practice too much and then wonder why we havent mastered the technique that we paid a lot of money to learn. We dont listen because we think we know better or somehow, magically we will assimilate the ability to fly cast before the next time we go fishing.

Some things I look out for

Rod - when double hauling over long periods of time a more mid action rod rather than a super fast version will help with your timings - you dont need to be as accurate or practice ALL of the time.

Line - dont extend the overhang beyond your ability to control it - be aware of where the rear taper ends and the running line begins

Hauling - hauling wont make a 70 foot caster into a 120 foot caster - it will however make your casting much more effecient, and when blind casting to bass over long periods hauling will 'sprad the load', leaving you less tired at the end of the day.

Line management - In saltwater fly fishing on the Irish coast line management is a skill in itself. It needs to be integrated into the entire aspect of your fishing. If your technique is good but you cant manage your line - your fly wont travel!

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The beginning AND the end…

Forwarded to - The Irish Bass Policy Group (David McInerny, John Quinlan, Shane O Reilly, Mike Hennessy, Dr William Roche, Dr Nial O'Ma...