Not Ability but Obsession
All very good points, and I think everyone would agree (including LA's Scots Junior Champion) that developing the "skill" of speycasting is a good thing.
But that's different than an "obsession with distance". Many of the finest casters I've ever seen (and yes, I have seen "Steve the Mighty" cast and Yes, I do count him as one of the "Best") don't even know or care how many feet they can cast.
Distance is only one aspect of one's refinement of speycasting. Perfecting the various casts, being able to adapt them to wind conditions, deep or shallow wading, and obstacles are equally important IMO.
And just because you happened to cast 100' one day under one set of conditions doesn't mean you can repeat it or that it's comparable to another's cast of 80' under different conditions.
So all the blathering about "I cast BLAH BLAH BLAH feet" (and it's ALWAYS over 100') sounds a bit juvenile when you consider that many of the best aren't even concerned about it.
It's a wonderful thing for contests and fun to talk about in the pub afterwards, but it also contributes to the idiots that wade out to their naval and begin by chucking as much line as they can (and inevitably crashing many casts trying to exceed their maximum distance) and in the process whipping the run to a froth.
Doesn't really matter where the fish are, since their goal is to chuck their fly as far into the drink as they can.
If you think I'm exaggerating, just ask any of the Steelhead flyfishing guides you know what the biggest problem they encounter with their speycasting clientele is and it's more often than not "trying to cast too far".
Maybe that's what makes a "Steelheading God" - they're actually more concerned with effective fishing, presentation, and reading water than how far they can cast. :devil:
If anyone thinks i'm throwing virtual "rocks", those that know me will attest that I'm as much a sucker for enjoying a good long cast as the next guy :chuckle:
DS "Will Speycast for Food"