I love it when they do that last-laugh thing by giving us a good splash in the face on the way out.

just to show that our friend Peter does a lot more than just splish-splashing, here he is catching a lovely golden brown in a tricky spot.
in the end he doesn’t stay completely dry but that’s just part of the fun.

How fly lines are made

of course there’s a lot missing but then we wouldn’t expect a line company to openly share proprietary secrets. however, this short film from Rio gives us a good and simple insight on the making of what’s the most important element in the fly casting system: the fly line.
every manufacturer will have their own variants, profiles and special ingredients that make them unique but the basic construction is the same. enjoy !

a long-long cast !

just out from Akos Szmutni, here we’ll see him casting the soon-to-be-out (April 2014) 9′ 6wt Stickman T6 with a Barrio GT125 5wt line to 41 meters/134,5 ft.
he makes it look so disgustingly easy…

 

for more info on this new range of fantastic fly rods click here.

Fly Casting Grip Styles: The Index on Top

Is it time for a Grip Switch?
By Joe Mahler via Sage Blog

“When the subject of grip comes up and I express that I prefer the Index on top, the response is usually something like, “I can see using that for little short casts” followed by a schoolmarm-like finger pointing motion. But you might be surprised to find that, when done properly, the index on top grip offers the same power with less effort expended by the caster, than the Thumb on top or the V-grip.”

for the longest of times i was one of those “I can see using that for little short casts”-only types as well until i started to experiment with different grip styles not only for myself, but also as alternative ways to help my casting students.
having understood maybe ten years ago that the ‘thumb on top’ grip wasn’t for me and that it left a very unnatural feeling and consequent poor back casts, overall inconsistency, wimpy distance and all the combined nasties where specially highlighted when doing accuracy, speys and slack/curved/piled and whatever-else presentation casts.
the ‘V’ grip went a long way to help me control the rod better but easy and more importantly, precisely applied leverage was reduced because it means reducing hand-length contact area on the rod grip, the shorter of the three main styles. (see image below) for some reason it also fatigued my wrists more, specially when doing non-linear casts.
as a reminder, the three main styles are Thumb on Top, Index on Top and V grip. i’ll exclude Jason Borger’s excellent Three-Point grip from our ‘main’ list being a combination of thumb and index grips.

when thinking about how to perform a specific cast i like to think of it as ‘drawing’ figures with the rod tip as if there was a marker on the tip of the rod and i was drawing on either a rigid or flexible board. with the index i also ‘tell’ the line where to go by pointing at the trajectory it should take and where it should go. the correlation pointing index/rod tip is at its highest and that’s made me a better, more consistant caster.
pointing or drawing with our index finger is intuitive whereas the only time i can think of where we point with the thumb is when hitch-hiking.
(this might also be one of the reasons people tend to not pick up hitch-hikers any more: they’re pointing unnaturally and this sets off an immediate sense of mistrust… )

anyhow, grip styles are just that, styles. there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any style as long as it suites the user and suits them well. the Index on Top happens to suite me best and as such i can’t help but think that it might help others. i don’t initially teach this style but its helped more students get over common problems than i can think of, so i guess that speaks for itself.

Leverage
“As you know, the rod is a lever. Think of the hand as the lever that works the lever. Comparing the two grips, you will notice that the index finger extends considerably further up the cork than the thumb.”

Joe-Mahler-FOT- leverage

for more on how this grip style can be beneficial for you and maybe enhance your performance, click the image above for Joe’s most-excellent complete article. i hope you’ll give it a good try. enjoy !

Jim’s Reversed Spey

casting and film editing by Jim Williams

when learning or brushing up on any fly casting techniques, one of the better ways i’ve found is to (at least try to) analyse both theory and actual casts from as many perspectives as possible: reversed, inside out, diagonally, on different planes, through ‘third person’ video and in today’s case, backwards.
this kind of casting study might not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least its interesting to see the fly line defy the laws of physics by being pushed instead of pulled. enjoy !

btw, the cast is a Snake Roll off both shoulders.

Fly Casting- Back Cast Training

one of the more useful, yet commonly overlooked casting practice drills there is: accuracy to a target on the back cast.

it makes tracking perfectly straight a necessity and we have to move ourselves and the rod tip in the exact same manner as when delivering to the more common front.
this brings us closer to casting symmetry and that brings us closer to being a really good caster.
even if we’re not delivering there, being able to place the back cast in the exact alignment and casting angle not only sets us up to make better fronts casts but also to keep the back cast out of trouble and out of branches, grass, fences and cows.
delivering on the back cast isn’t just an exercise either as it’s of great use for casting longer lengths of line when there’s on-casting-shoulder wind. personally, i find this a lot easier and more consistent than casting and hauling off-shoulder as apart from turning around, i don’t have to change a single thing from my usual cast. it’s all good.
i hope you’ll give it a go and maybe even turn this into a little comp among your casting friends.

here’s yet another great video from Aitor Coteron showing us this drill. enjoy !

Fly Lines- Understanding Skagit and Scandinavian Shooting Heads

Demystifying Skagit and Scandinavian Shooting Heads
by Peter Charles via hooked4lifeca

once we get over the infomercial aspect and the ever-false “The Anchor loads the Rod” notion we’re left with a very good and comprehensive, straight, simple and easily understandable description for those wanting to understand modern two-handed rod shooting-head systems and incorporate them to their bag of tricks. enjoy !

Shared Mechanics Concepts between Overhead and Spey Casts

by Dr. Way Yin via Virtual Fly Casting

always a bit dismayed by comments both in real and on the internet of how different aerial and spey casts are, this great article by one of the more knowledgable persons in this matter should hopefully set a few things straight both for the angler assimilating one method to the other and for casting instructors who have gone astray.

shared mechanics concepts between overhead and spey casts way yin
hmmm, sounds like The Five Essentials so commonly associated to single hand overhead casting doesn’t it ?
among all the other goodies, of special interest is Way’s disassociating views between the standard roll cast and the delivery/forward cast of a spey cast.
we tend to define a spey cast as a ‘change of direction line move followed by a roll cast’ but maybe it’s time to rethink the last part a little.

way yin 2

click either text block above to access the complete pdf article. enjoy !

Fly Casting- Bruce Richards helps prepare the IFFF-Certified Casting Instructor Certification: UPDATED

just a little heads up to inform potential candidates that since the original Fly Casting- Bruce Richards helps prepare the IFFF-Certified Casting Instructor Certification was posted, the good folk at Silver Creek Outfitters have added two more videos to the series bring it to a total of four.
my CCI was a while ago but if memory’s correct, apart from a few tasks that’s almost the whole test or at least the ones to focus on the most.
pretty much handed on a platter….
click the link above for the refresh.

after rereading this i thought a 3 sentence post seemed kinda bland so here’s an untouched pic of me that one of my examiners took while doing the MCCI exam near Munich in 2010. i’m hoping the IFFF will include Basic Photography 101 in future curriculums as this is anything but Masterful
MCI exam EWF MF:TLC

Pretty casting.

not sure how else to describe Christopher Rowne‘s style but it sure fits the bill. as casting geeks we could go on and analyse this and that but for today ’nuff said, this is eye candy and it’s very tasty. enjoy !

as a side note, i’m really happy to see mini-drones used for filming casting sequences as it’s giving us perspectives that are otherwise quite difficult to achieve.

Fly Casting- Bruce Richards helps prepare the IFFF-Certified Casting Instructor Certification

via Silver Creek Outfitters

of great interest for CCI candidates, the following videos should also be of help for anglers working on understanding good and bad casts and upping their casting game.

first, an introduction of the IFFF by Rick Williams and candidate expectations by Bruce Richards, both Casting Board of Governors.

without going through the complete exam, Bruce demonstrates and explains a whole host of information any candidate will benefit from. take special note of The Six Step Method and how everything relates to The Five Essentials.
if a candidate fully understands and knows how to explain and demonstrate those two then they’re more than half way there.