[Casting Log] PULD & wind.

Back on the lawn yesterday, there’s a lot going on castingwise these days, so I decided to start a casting log, if only to keep actual track of what I’m doing.

I’ll probably never really get past this distance mental illness that compells me, when I’ve got a fly rod in my hand, to try and see how far I can punch the line. I may resist, but sooner or later I’ll be zinging all out. Still, I’ve made some progress: in a 60mn session, I kept the madness well under 10′, which left me plenty of time for doing actual training.

I was back to basics, and doing Pick Up and Lay Downs, focussing on loop shape, accuracy, and changing directions. I was inspired to learn the PULD again by that great piece of teaching (and loosy piece of filming (man, get a tripod!)) by Peter Hayes:

What made things interesting was constant guts of wind, as I was using a 4wt. I like to train with a light line in the wind, because the wind is an unforgiving sonnovabitch. If you don’t get a good loop at good speed, your cast goes poopshaped. And not in a good way.

It’s also good for staying focussed on trajectory. Marc once said to me that every training cast should have a target, and daisies patches make for great rises. Aiming in the wind is a good drill, and most certainly something very useful when you fish. If you’ve got some space around you, just turning around to change the wind’s direction will put you in a whole new setting and keep things interesting. You’ll have to do backhand PULDs for instance.

After an hour or so, the kids came in and they had invented a new casting game which was great fun. More on that later.

The wall

My tracking sucks. That’s no news but now I think it’s the next big problem to solve on the road to progress. I cast farther and farther, I’m a couple of feet short of shooting a whole Barrio Mallard 5wt, but my loops are ugly and plagued with tails.

I tried to cast along a wall this afternoon. If your tracking is bad, you know it because you hit the wall, so it helps keeping everything in plane. It may work, but after some contacts with said wall, I began to fear for my rod’s tip so I went back to my usual routine. But I think I’ll have to do that wall thing again. A lot.

My mug from now on

Actually, the farther I cast, the more I think my casting as a whole is shit, and that the more I work on it, the more my bad habits entrench. I’ll need a clinic soon, before it’s too late to correct them.

Things in urgent need of attention:

  1. tracking
  2. wrist (am I using it correctly?)
  3. casting plane (tilted 45 deg, can’t make it vertical)
  4. sharp stop
  5. power application

and probably tons of other stuff like grip, stance, casting arc and whatnot.

Does anyone know a good casting instructor within a 2 hrs drive from Lille?