The fable of the poet fly caster
by Carlos Azpilicueta
Strolling in a field one day, a toad and a centipede meet. The toad tells the centipede how much he admires him and how awed he is by the marvelous, perfect coordination of the movement of so many legs as the centipede glides along so gracefully. As they stroll along, the toad goes on expressing his admiration and wonder. The flattered centipede, not knowing what to say, starts thinking about how he actually does it and the more he tries to understand how he moves, the clumsier and slower he becomes. After a while, the centipede is stymied, comes to a complete halt, paralyzed, thinking how to coordinate his legs to keep walking. At this point, the toad gobbles him up.
Moral: “If you’re a great fly caster and don’t want to explain how you do it so that others can do it like you, no one will be able to stomach you.”
a fabled excerpt from Carlos’ article Poets and Engineers
a brilliant article from Aitor Coteron addressing a rather big issue contemporary casting instructors are experiencing. needless to say, i couldn’t agree more.
” The late Mel Krieger classified casters in two broad groups: “engineers” and “poets”. The first group needs to know how things work in order to learn them; the other one relies more on feeling and doing those things than in any analytical approach.
Mel didn’t make any qualitative distinction between the two groups; although he himself was a “poet” instructor I think that he never dismissed those more inclined to the engineering way of seeing things. In fact he saw both views as equally valuable and complementary.
When in the recent history of flycasting instruction this has changed I don’t know for sure, but currently those who claim themselves as “poets” like to dismiss on a regular basis those of the “engineer” class.
To be honest I am able to differentiate very easily those instructors of the “engineer” kind: they just can explain, when necessary, casting issues by means of applied physics.
I have a hardest time, however, when it comes to distinguish those who consider themselves “poets”. Of course you find them using examples and similes to explain casting mechanics, but I don’t see why being an “engineer” prevents you from doing the same. There is, however, one key trait that makes “poets” as noticeable as a priest on top of a mound of lime: they proudly declare that concepts like “inertia” or “acceleration” are utterly unintelligible, whereas you can find tongue twisters like “kinaesthetic” appearing frequently in their conversation. “
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