good knots

it’s been brought to my attention lately that a lot of people believe good casters never make ‘wind knots’.

well, that’s a load of bull it’s just not true. i regularly have the great joy of meeting and casting with what are referred to as some of the best fly casters in the world and i can assure you that it’s quite rare to see a ‘clean’ leader, specially during competion-style distance casts. heck, i even specialize in figure-of-eight knots! (above and below) these knots are a good thing. a blessing. they teach us.

they’re here to remind us that we can always improve and do better, but mostly to remind us that fly casting is an activity that no-one will ever truly master. that might be a hard one for some to swallow. too bad. the one below happened to me during a course. i had a dozen or so beginning students in front of me, i lifted the line to demonstrate a cast, the leader or fluff got stuck in some mole turds (see the mounds in the background), jerkiness happened (the line jerked and i jerkied it even more) and what happened next took around five minutes to undo. of course this isn’t supposed to happen and of course it’s entirely my fault !  (i hadn’t taken the mole turds into consideration) and to make it even worse, what knotted so badly was the fly line… however, what happened was all of a sudden, the dozen or so people smiled with even a few polite and well deserved giggles. what happened was all of a sudden, the pupils and the teacher where on the same level and all of a sudden, the whole group was less intimidated by their beginnerness. the day finished wonderfully and most left with enough casting skills to go out and catch a fish or two. a big lesson there for both sides. just like the sticker says: “sometimes it’s good to fuckup… “

9 thoughts on “good knots

  1. That’s the way Marc…. just let your guests feel you’re only human too… And that’s why I “hate” casting demo’s most of the time… How often do we see master-casters trow a line 40 meters, make fantastic showcasts (and even use a different rod/line combination for every different cast… :o) and leaving the spectators confused and discouraged at the end… I always thought demo’s and lessons (for novices at least) were there to get them in to flyfishing and showing them the pleasure of being able to cast a line over 10-15 meter at the end of the session…. Joy and passion should draw them in to ‘our’ wonderful world… not putting them of… So yes… it’s pretty cool to fuck-up once in a while… 😉

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  2. Great read Marc. It’s so true, I had the very same conversation with two friends at our casting club tonight. We decided you want to have the perfect balance of a couple good casts to impress people a little and a couple screw ups to relax them 🙂 It’s really a nice feeling when you see them loosen up.

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  3. and now, ladies and gentlemen, you may want to step back a little because I’m going to try and tie a wind improved double clinch knot on my leader. it may involve some hazardous moves and a mole turd, so watch out!

    … the pros: nobody can fuckup like them. ^_^

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    • here’s a comment i got elsewhere from my friend Magnus Hammarström-
      “I saw Hywell Morgan do the coolest thing, I have tried it and cant make it, he made a wind know on purpose, on the line, not the leader, with perfect control so you really could see the making of the knot.”

      this has become the challenge of the year. how’s that for ultimate line control ?

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      • I’m impressed. I’d like to see a video, I can’t even imagine what you do to make a wind knot. I do a lot of them, but I never know when or how.

        and it has a lot of useful application in actual fishing situations. ^_^

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