funny and silly as it is, this video got me thinking about foot stance. not the foot stance used in ideal and comfortable conditions as when practicing out on a field, but the different ones we’ll use while we’re out fishing.
i’m always hearing and reading that this or that position of the feet is best with often lengthly explanations to prove the point. this always makes me wonder if these instructors or authors ever fish at all…
in my experience, it’s a rare opportunity to be able to choose how i would like to stand when i’m trying to cast to a fish. banks and riverbeds are uneven, tides and currents want to push me down, there’s a rise behind me on the other side of the boat, a friend or an obstacle are in the way (sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between the two… !), i’m on one knee, laying down behind a bush, casting backwards (presenting the fly on the back cast) and let’s not forget the wind that always seems to want to complicate the task ! these examples make it obvious to me that the more we practice and get comfortable with casting in less than ideal situations, the better our performances will be and the more stressless fun we’ll have when we’re on the water.
when working on stance whether it be with beginners or confirmed casters, i ask them to ignore the usual straight forward stance and cast in as many different positions as possible. at first it feels awkward but that feeling soon disappears. we adapt quickly when we see that things are a lot easier to do than we thought.
fly casting and fly fishing are a series of constant variables and foot stance is just one of those variables.
i hope you enjoy this amusing video by ‘The Great Murray ‘Muzz’ Wilson from Australia. watching him cast while doing these shenanigans, and how he casts better than most people while doing them makes me think he’d agree with the above. may this article incite you to include some variety during your practice sessions. practice doesn’t always make perfect but it’s rare that it doesn’t make ‘better’.