Friday, 18 July 2008

Can Trout Laugh?

"When the beginner can cast his fly into his hat, eight times out of ten, at forty feet, he is a fly fisher; and so far as casting is concerned, a good one."
James A. Henshall, MD, 1881

In the spirit of 'what gets measured, gets done' I thought James Henshall's criteria could be tracked. I mulliganed the first two casts, but as you can see from the landing sites of one through ten, I'm still falling some way short of the hat. When you deduct the length of the rod (eight feet) it's even worse! I keep telling myself the Chalksteams are only ten to fifteen feet wide and that the fresh Trout aren't the only reason I'm doing this......

"Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done."
Charles F. Orvis, 1886


But then he would say that wouldn't he? He's got an agenda to push, and fishing gear to sell!!

I'm lovin' spending time outside, but the Trout are perfectly safe.

Any pointers gratefully received!



Mungo said...

Having never fly-fished, I sort of wonder what the excitement is. After all, flies aren't particularly wholesome, and it would take at least a handful of them to provide even a half-satisfying meal.

Anyway, my advice is to swish the rod about in the air and then release the stringy thingy.



Anonymous said...

I love watching people flyfish, it's so graceful. I'm not sure I could ever do it though. I don't think I'd get as close to the hat as you did.

Keep practicing, you'll get it.

Tom Sorenson said...

No pointers here! I tend to follow the school of thought from Mr. Orvis! And a good thing, too - otherwise I'd be entirely miserable when fly fishing! My casting would make yours look world class! That's what I enjoy about flyfishing, though - even if I'm not catching anything, I can constantly work at getting better - every trip is casting practice, and if I accidentally hook a fish, well, so much the better!

hill said...

While I understand your comment about Orvis's quote, it has some truth to it. Being outside is the greatest reward. I think we get so caught up in results we miss the roses along the way. What a challenge to hit a hat at 40 ft. I'm sure you'll improve greatly with practice. You're making me miss flyfishing.

Anonymous said...

I count myself a below average caster even after many years fishing. I used to be very self concious about other anglers watching me when I used to fish the stocked fisheries in England, standing side by side with someone blasting their fly into the distance with very little effort. I now fish my local river here in Ireland, short casts and no laughing behind their hand audience. At nearly forty years old you think these insecurities would have gone.
If you can get the line in the air and land it somewhere near where you want it I wouldn't worry to much. Use the flow of the river to get your fly over the fish by casting upstream, trying to land your fly on the nose of a feeding trout is a recipe for scaring every thing away in my experience. Don't forget to enjoy it.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Firstly thanks for commenting everyone.

Mungo - you make it sound so simple! Forthwith I shall think of you as the Yoda of Fly fishing.

It does look good doesn't it, I'm sure someone will give a lesson, its a lot of fun and probably not as hard as I'm making it look!

You're very kind to say that.

I'm making myself miss it too!
I'm going to try to make it to the chalkstream this week.

Thanks for getting in touch.
I really like your blog