The beauty of fly fishing, especially fly casting is that improvement is visible. It can be a hard and frustrating past time at times, that can soon turn into obsession if left unchecked. Fishing is one of those things that can be measured by the enjoyment that you have. It's not always about catching fish. Sometimes it's just as good to be there. But when the fish are on, and your up for the fight, then it pays to be sharp. This is where the long days of practicing comes in. It's not always the case of flicking a small dry fly to a sipping trout. There are the days when the hood is up and the weather is closing in, fighting the elements and obstructions to pitch a fly on target.
Unlike all other forms of fishing, fly fishing consists of more casting. It isn't very often you come across carp anglers practising their 'spod distance' on a field. I have come across guys practising beach casting during my travels, but in my personal opinion fly fishing is where constant practice is worth the effort. When you are met with such a wide variety of fishing situations, and have an arsenal of casts to help you out, then learning them to their best potential will help you to pull them extra few fish. On the other side to this is only learning half of a certain cast, or Struggling with the ones that you use. I hope I don't sound like I am touting for business (that's not my style). But if you can afford a professional lesson with an AAPGAI instructor, it can takes months off your learning curve and pull out any niggling faults that may exist.
Fly casting is easily practiced (as long as your working on the right thing). Find any open area and your away. Over the years I have practiced on multi-story car parks, wasteland, fields and of course on water. Dry line casting soon damages fly line coatings and can soon dig into the guides of the rod. So unless you are lucky enough to be sent free rods and lines in the post, then it's best to stick to an older outfit that you don't mind the wear and tear. At the moment I am trying a batch of Rio fly lines that are orange for demo purposes. With this in mind try to use a bright coloured line for your practice sessions. This will help to show your line speed and loop shape easier.
When practising try to work with a short line to start off with. Find what you're looking for and build from that. We are all guilty of ripping line off the spool, and spending the next few hours trying to cast it to the horizon. Practice for your next fishing trip. If you're going on a small river or stream work on presentation cats. Learn about different drag free casts that will work the fly longer. It pays to play around and learn casts that will help when your faced with deep cover or steep bank sides.
The kind of cover you can soon get tangled into.
There are the other benefits that fly casting brings with it. First, when it's going well, it feels good. In this modern world of 'we must eat this' and 'run here and there', fly casting has it's own chilled way of helping you stay in shape. It must be more active than sitting on a box and pulling a few maggots out of a tub and throwing them in the water. Take a look around any typical fishery or down river and check-out all the fine figures smoking tabs, and eating biscuit's! Or is that just me?
Trying a new Rio line and checking things are OK with the casting.
It was nice get an email from Helen Stubbs regarding her time down in Devon with us:
Hi Mark, thanks for the great time again. It's always good to meet up with you. We will be down again next year for another couple of day's fishing. I can't wait!! As long as you don't make me wear them waders again, that make me look fat in the photo's!! (Thanks). Jon sends his best, and looks forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you for a brilliant time,
Helen and Jon. xx