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#&%*@^# Caster
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Here are some photos courtesy of Charles Sainsbury-Plaice.

Photo 1:

Scott MacKenzie of Inverness responds to the acclaim of the crowd as he is announced winner of the Musto International Spey Casting Championship at the 2004 CLA Game Fair. His magnificent cast of 59 yards outdistanced the remaining five finalists and could be established as a World record.

Photo 2:

Scott MacKenzie of Inverness, Musto International Open Spey Casting Champion for the second year running, receives congratulations from the finalists. He was presented with a cheque for £1000 and a trophy.
From left to right: Ian Gordon from Speyside, James Chalmers, Glasgow, Scott MacKenzie, Inverness, Steve Choate, USA, Gordon Armstrong, Inverness, Andrew Toft, Glasgow.


Photo 3:

Scott MacKenzie of Inverness relaxes after winning the Musto International Open Spey Casting Championship at the 2004 CLA Game Fair, after casting 59 yards, an event and possibly a World record.
 

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Just out of pure curiousity: How the heck do they measure the casts during these events? Are there some kind of marks across the water? Or do they measure the amount of line you´ve managed to shoot?
 

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All the above pictures posted by me were given to me by Mr Magnus Angus who writes for Flyfishing and Flytying Magazine in the UK. He has an article on the Musto in this months magazine.

If anyone would like to see the pictures with more pixies please contact me and I will speak to Magnus. Magnus and I have been removing pixies for days now.

EDIT He now tells me they were mega pixies the mind boggles and that I managed to spell his name wrong, but I blame the gnome in the keyboard. (Sorry Magnus and thanks again for your help)
 

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fredtrout said:
Just out of pure curiousity: How the heck do they measure the casts during these events? Are there some kind of marks across the water? Or do they measure the amount of line you´ve managed to shoot?
Now that I eventually got the photos up. Look at the front of the pontoon and you will see the meausuring ropes coming off. The angle between them is 30 degrees and they are bouyed every 5 yds. The judges sit in a boat and wait for the monster casts to land.
 

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Great photos of Scott and the other competitors. There's a little article in September's 'Fly fishing and Fly Tying' by Magnus Angus which has some analysis of Scott's style that you may find interesting (if you can get hold of a copy). Also, incidentally, an article by Ally Gowans (inventor of the Ally's shrimp) about technique for the double spey, though this is primarily aimed at beginners.
 

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Damn fish ladder
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I remember..

i remember the few times i was able to get that kind of bend (and make a productive cast) in a big rod I had and was SHOOK by the recoil of the thing unloading. That SM is amazing!
 

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Damn fish ladder
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One more....

Scott's rod's near parallelism to the ground on the back cast really reminds one of a single-hander tournament cast. Wonder if the other guys were reaching/drifting that far back?
 

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Hi Guys

Glad you like the pics - hope they'll be of some use.

A couple of comments have been of the type - "look at the bend in that" - yup pretty much my own reaction when I saw these. However, having taken pics of casting for a while the rod-bend is often far more extreme that the caster might think.

What surprised me was the position and shape of the bend - one shows quite a distinct bend low in the rod, a hinge/corner almost, while the upper part of the rod is all but straight - I assume that has to do with rod taper - but is it?? - and is that bendform helpful?

I am certainly not an expert spey-caster so I'd be interested in your opinions. And as a photographer information like that helps me.

Scott - it seems to me - simply had the longest casting stroke from rod straight position (RSP) on the back-cast through to butt stop and eventual RSP on the forward stroke. His stroke seemed to start with a pulling phase from overhead, his elbows lead down from above his head, that smoothly turned into a thrusting or pushing phase where the upper hand thrust forwards - the lower tightens to his belly. God knows how far the tip actually travelled.

And as Malcolm and Ian Gordon have pointed out to me Scott had far and away the best controlled line prior to his casting stroke.

Magnus
 

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Very wild photos. Looks like Scott has a very flat, low back cast to form a very tight D loop. Everything I have heard about forming the D loop is to keep it flat but rising to a firing position (to help ensure you do not dump the line on the back cast). It appears that all Scott is doing is raising his arms and hands from shoulder height to head height with the rod still parallel to the water - this really allows a huge acceleration distance on the forward stroke. Most other casters at the end of the D loop formation have the rod cocked up at around the 1 or 2 o'clock position.

I also find it interesting that Scott is casting with right foot forward, so not using as much body rocking in the cast
 
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