Fly Casting- Jean Dujardin never turned around.

fishing in tight spaces are always a tricky situation because casting and therefore fishing successfully involves thinking and more precisely, thinking before acting. what i’ve noticed in life so far, is that thinking after the fact usually doesn’t do much good because contrary to popular belief, most people don’t really learn from their mistakes. Lefty’s still saying that god won’t let you cast this way or that, we still burn our tongues biting into a hot pizza and rap is still a popular music form…
when encumbered by trees and brush, cliffs and livestock, to get the fly out to the fish in an inciting manner the successful angler needs to look around and be aware of all those dumb things that nature surounds us with and puts between us and our slimy friends. this Jean guy i used to go fishing with who was always snagging his flies left and right and everywhere in between once said: ” Nature’s a bitch ! “.
now, i don’t know about you all but i find that to be quite an interesting observation. however many times i might have tried to explain that he was seeing the situation in reverse, all the “bitches are just part of nature, they’re definitely not all of it “ didn’t manage to change his Nouveau-Hollywoodian constricted vision of things one iota and this stiff-as-a-pole Jean guy kept on banging his rod tip against lampshades, casting and loosing countless flies in bonzaï trees and he eventually died of hunger, stucker than stuck in stream-side quicksand… i can’t say i feel sorry for him because a) he was a bad actor b) he didn’t have any family or friends and c) i don’t like dirty-mouthed vulgar people anyhow so it all worked out somewhat well in the end, he got what he deserved.
i learned from his experience, gained strength through his weaknesses, dropped my silly french accent and learned to look around me constantly when i’m fishing. i hardly lose any flies and i’m still alive to talk about it. not bad. as a side note,  i’ll never fish in an Andorran souvenir shop again because well… there aren’t any fish in Andorran souvenir shops.

turn around !

“You can’t feel, hear, smell or taste the quality of your back cast but you can see what happens.”

today’s quote by Bernd Ziesche

an old saying in casting instruction is “The quality of the front cast is conditioned by the quality of the back cast”. the back cast is 50% of a full casting cycle which means it’s just as important as the front cast. the back cast is also something that as far as i can find out, and i’ve been searching for several years, is the only activity where we throw something behind us. our physiology and activities are based on what’s in front of us and we do that very well. however, since we’re not used to throwing behind, this is an area we want to work on using what we have. luckily, that what is probably our strongest sense, the sense we rely on the most, vision.
so, as Bernd so perfectly explains, if we want to improve our casting we need to know what’s going on behind us and the solution is as simple as learning to turn the head around to watch what’s going on but maybe more importantly, to confirm or not what we think is going on and thereon we can adjust what needs to be adjusted.

in case you’re thinking, “wait a minute, am I supposed to turn around all the time ? when i’m casting just a few meters ?” the answer is: obviously not.
just as when we start off fly casting and learn to do a straight line cast (and learn to no more do straight line casts just as soon as we learned how to do them !) this is a foundation exercise and these exercises are meant to build up our capabilities and senses and here’s the paradox: we want to develop the exact same senses Bernd said we couldn’t use !  this new learning and exercise needs a little time and regular practice. don’t practice it while fishing as it’s almost always counter-productive to practice and do the activity at the same time as we do neither well.

as for the pic, yup it’s me and yup it says FF&W, Jason Borger’s site Fish, Flies & Water but more on that later !