Spey Casting- More on the Snake Roll

by Eoin Fairgrieve

we’d previously seen an introduction on this wonderful all-in-one change-of-direction cast with descriptions by its creator, Simon Gawesworth and beautifully demonstrated by Christopher Rownes and today’s treat compliments the previous instruction perfectly.
always pleasantly explained with simple, concise wordings, Eoin’s as always spot on: it’s all good and well worth paying attention to every single bit.

whether learning for the first time or working on this cast, this is a little goldmine. enjoy !

note- beginners might want to focus on all the same moves but at a slower rate with short to mid belly lines to start off.

new to this or old, be sure to check out the previous Snake Roll article HERE for just about everything there is to know about this cast.
if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments box.

Fly Lines- Barrio SmallStream 2wt Line test

via Merge Fly Fishing

the video below isn’t much of a review in itself but it sums up all the important features and the film’s lovely location is a perfect example of where this new Barrio line shines like a star.
its short yet very stabile and well proportioned head design lets anglers of all levels easily get the fly where it should go in these tight spaces, whether we’re using aerial or rolls or spey casts.
i used this line model extensively throughout the past season in 3, 4 and 5wts and the great first impressions with each one haven’t changed a bit: i very highly recommend it.

in case you’re wondering, its use isn’t confined to minuscule fish as buddy Sandy Nelson demonstrates here !
sandy's smallstream troot

available in tan or light olive from sizes 1 to 5, click either pic for more info and user reviews on the Barrio site.
at 27£ ( 34€ – 43US$) including fast shipping anywhere in the world this one’s a no brainer.
barrio smallstream

Craig’s Bottle Rockets

here’s a super-cool, fun and very effective fly casting exercise from Craig Buckbee

Have you ever thrown apples off the end of stick? well, neither have i, at least not until i started taking this fly casting thing seriously something like ten years ago. my childhood toys involved rocks, wrist-rocket slingshots, BB guns, bows & arrows and various types of fishing rods. all projectile-throwing activities but the apple on a stick thing just seemed a bit too Tom Sawyerish to even be considered at the time because it didn’t seem like a cool thing to do. looking back on it now, neglecting the apple thing might be why i struggled for so long getting my fly lines to do what i told them to do. who knows…

ready to start launching ? you’ll need rockets like these
bottle rocket 1
and they’ll be attached to your launcher like this
bottle rocket 2(snow is optional)

“At first, don’t think (or worry… ) about Casting the bottle – just place it over the end of the rod and simply throw it to an area out in front of you – not too far. Then, as you get warmed up, throw it a bit further . Don’t think about Smooth Acceleration or a Crisp Stop – just throw the damn thing out there.

Next step: Start to Think. Taking a cue from this, ease into the Key Position, the Ready Position: the starting place for the forward cast, where your arm and body should be to begin the stroke. Then, with your hand + arm easing forward and down, pick up speed – smoothly – as you drop your elbow. When your rod hand arrives inline with your view to the target allow (not force ! ) your wrist to hinge forward… just a bit”

this is really good stuff and definitely one to do with your little ones. i’m firmly convinced that the best way to learn or improve fly casting is through games and here’s definitely one to add to the list.

for the rest of Craig’s very comprehensive article click either pic or here, enjoy !

Fly Fishing History- The Dry Fly

via Dr. Andrew N Herd’s great A FlyFishing History

“The first mention of the dry fly in print is in the issue of The Field dated December 17th 1853. In an article by-lined “The Hampshire Fly Fisher” the writer says: “On the other hand, as far as fly fishing is concerned, fishing upstream, unless you are trying the Carshalton dodge and fishing with a dry fly, is very awkward.” Dry fly patterns certainly became commercially available around this time; the firm of Foster’s of Cheltenham selling dry flies with upright split wings as early as 1854. It is, however, unclear who actually developed the first dry fly, if any one man can be said to be the inventor. James Ogden, another Cheltenham tackle dealer, claimed to have been the first to use a dry fly, stating that he used dry patterns during the 1840’s.”

drymay

ok, it doesn’t take a brainiac to figure out that in order to catch surface feeding fish one needs to make a surface imitation however, this is where the whole journey becomes really interesting:

“One reason why the dry fly took so long to catch on was that it wasn’t very easy to fish it. The dry fly of the 1880’s had several glaring deficiencies. When cast, traditional dry flies frequently landed on their sides, or even upside down. Another problem was that the that flies became waterlogged and sank, often in fairly short order. Again, flies were most often tied to gut, which not only made bodies bulky but positively encouraged them to sink, a process which was speeded up by the tendency of silk lines to become waterlogged.

Another key development was the acceptance of the single-handed split-cane trout rod. The 1850s marked the beginning of the end of long double-handed trout rods, although they didn’t  totally fall from favour for at least another forty years. Apart from their length, the worst fault of these early and mid-nineteenth century rods was their excessive pliability. Six strip split-cane fly rods, which were stiff enough to false-cast a dry fly repeatedly, didn’t become cheap enough for general use until the 1880’s.

The term ‘false-casting’ wasn’t adopted immediately, although the technique was widely practised, and for many years after its invention, the process of drying a fly by false-casting was known as ‘spreading.’ The technique led to the development of stiffer rods with pliant tops that could generate the line speed necessary to perform the manoeuvre and had a far-reaching effect on the design of dry-fly rods. These were pioneering days, and one school of thought held that in the absence of paraffin flotants, it was necessary to ‘crack’ the fly at the end of every false-cast in order to dry it properly, a method known as ‘flicking’.” and very probably leading to several un-gentelmanly comments muttered under their breath…

fascinating indeed when we see that the creation of the dry fly was the roots that basically conditioned everything we can still consider to be contemporary fly fishing.

this is special. for the complete article click HERE. enjoy !

fly casting- The Ropin’ Fool and the Lasso of Truth

i often get comments to the effect of how passionate about fly casting i can be. just to be word-picky i’d say i’m passionate about sharing my enthusiasm of it with others and this whole casting business is more of an obsession… but ! i think i’ve finally been able to pinpoint how this started and its all thanks to these two lovely people and this happened a long time ago when i was just a little boy.
interestingly enough it doesn’t have much to do with fishing.

first off, Will ‘The Ropin’ Fool’ Rogers.
cowboy trick-dude and line-slinger extraordinair who filled me with awe during those long rainy saturday afternoon rerun stints on channel 20. my fondest and most concrete memory being Will sitting at a table, seeing a mouse peep its head through the mouse hole, grabbing a string-like rope, tying the noose and catching the little mouse in what all seemed like one smooth and expertly executed motion. awesome !
i haven’t been able to find the exact film clip to share with you (if my memory of this is indeed correct) but the one below is pretty darn close.

as i grew older my focus on cowboys shifted a little as these things tend to do during adolescence but the lasso was still there.

enter Linda Carter and her mighty Lasso of Truth !

finally, there’s something about a line flying through the air that’s just, well… incomparable to anything else.

tumblr_lnqedvRvJ71qh9e7ho1_500

even if there isn’t any mention of lassos you’ll find a semi-comprehensive and passionate compendium of fly casting related articles HERE. enjoy !