I thought I'd let everyone know how things went with Juro on Sunday. If you don't know what I'm talking about see:
and because I like to hear myself talk.
And because I have a point to make about teachers.
Because Juro didn't have a lot of time, and I was cutting into his practice time, I mainly wanted to let him cast and do a little casting myself. But if he was willing to give me a few tips I was willing to listen. But I got a lot more.
There are times when you think you have a pretty good handle on something. Then you meet someone who REALLY knows what they are doing and you get blown away by how little you really know. It's like that working with Juro. Honestly, I'll be lucky if I rememebr a quarter of what he told me. Even though we only had a hour or so to work I learned a bunch. Here are some of those things:
- Casting on grass is NOT the same as casting on water. If all you do is grass cast you will struggle on the water. The reason is you learn to slide the line through the grass and never learn how to do a proper lift.
- The lift is critical. If you lift poorly the rest of th cast is not going to work well.
- When the experts tell you that if your anchor lands in a heap that the end of your line, leader and fly are going to land in a heap, believe them. It's REALLY true.
- If only a foot of line anchors you are probably going to snap your fly off.
- If 20' of line anchors your cast isn't going anywhere.
- When casting think "ballet" not "football." If you muscle the line through the cast you are going to stuggle and have to force everything. If you make fluid dance like movements you will find casting easier.
- Don't hold the rod way out in front of you. It makes you tired and your arms will be in the wrong position. (Among other things you will tomahock the rod.)
- It really is true that casting off your opposite shoulder or opposite hand is easier if you've overhead casted before. (Casting off your left shoulder with right hand high, or casting lefty if you are right handed.)
- Keep the handle end of the rod below your high hand elbow. As near as I can tell your lower hand and the handle end of the rod should be almost resting against you belly just about between your belly button and the bottom of your sternum.
- Don't watch your loop form. Watch the leader fly line connection. If you watch your loop form you really have no idea what your anchor is doing. A large part of making a really good Spey cast is making the ideal anchor. If you make a great anchor a great cast will follow. All of the wild rod gyrations really are fancy ways of placing an anchor. If you are busy watching your D loop form you aren't watching your anchor.
- A good portion of a back cast is off plane and to the side. At the end of the back cast you need to bring the rod back up towards vertical. If you leave it off plane the line will cross over on the out bound loop and you will tie knots in your line and leader. But if you get the rod back up a bit, (it doesn't have to be all the way), you eliminate the nasty loop and the cast rolls out nicely.
I think that is about everything. That was just an hours worth of teaching, and we both got some good practice time in that hour.
Now I'll get to the point of all this rambling. (I told you I like to hear myself talk.
) Practicing on your own is a reasonable way to get started. But it's very helpful to spend a little time with a qualified teacher. They see a lot of very subtle things that you are doing wrong that you will never find on your own. Amongst other things, the part above about bringing up the tip to vertical is something Juro noticed. I would NEVER have figured that out in a million years on my own.
Oh, one last thing. Walk around the root system of a stump in the river, not over it. Even if it means going up onto the bank. Otherwise you will slip and fall in. Yes, I fell in and got soaked. My wife and kids thought it was hilarious.