Fly fishing club sponsors casting clinic
rusty chinnis | sun
Master Casting Instructor Captain Pete Greenan explains the
fundamentals of fly casting to participants at Saturday’s fly
On Saturday March 21, the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishing Club, a member of the Federation of Fly Fishers, sponsored a fly casting clinic. The event, held once a year, attracted close to 40 participants both from the club and the public at large.
I participated as an instructor and was joined by FFF instructors Captain Pete Greenan, master casting instructor; Captain Rex Gudgel, master casting instructor; Captain Rick Grassett, certified casting instructor; and Captain Dayle Mazzerelli, master casting instructor. The event was held at Twin Lakes Park on Clark Road.
The morning started with an introduction by Greenan, who went through the fundamentals of a proper cast. While fly casting can be said to be an art, there are physics at play that must be observed. They are referred to as the five essentials and are as follows:
1. There must be a pause at the end of each casting stroke, which varies in duration with the amount of line beyond the rod tip.
2. Slack line should be kept to an absolute minimum in the casting stroke. Slack line prevents the rod from loading and applying power to the cast. Common mistakes include: Not anchoring the line against the rod or with the rod hand,;movement of the line by outside forces like wind and water; starting the cast too high; rough, jerky application of power; and poor timing between the forward and back cast.
Of these, the most common comes from starting with the rod too high, which forms a belly in the line between the rod tip and the water. To prevent this, start with the rod tip pointing at the water.
3. In order to form the most efficient, least air resistant loops and to direct the energy of the cast toward the target, the caster must move the tip in a straight line.
4. The size of the casting arc must vary with the length of line past the rod tip. If you are making a short cast there is only a small amount of line needed, which only weighs a small amount, and only a small casting arc is necessary to load the rod in a straight line for a cast. As the length of line increases, the stroke must be increased to load the rod. Participants were reminded, short cast-short stroke, long cast-long stroke.
5. Power must be applied in the proper amount at the proper place in the stroke. In general, the power is applied slowly at first, gradually increasing to a peak at the end of the stroke. There should be a crisp stop at the end of the stroke, forcing the rod to come out of its bend. This is commonly referred to as the speed-up and stop.
After discussing the fundamentals the participants were broken up into groups, and one of the instructors worked with the individuals according to their needs and what the instructor determined would help their casting.
While many of the group knew the fundamentals of the cast, working to help them tighten their loops and learn to shoot line seemed to be the most helpful. Instructors also helped the participants work on how to make the most efficient cast given issues such as shoulder and other injuries.
A large percentage of the group fished either exclusively or often from a kayak, so Captain Dayle Mazzerelli spent time with the whole group explaining how to make casts from a seated position.
The event was a big success judging by the performance of the casters before and after the instruction. While there was much improvement, instructors were adamant that the fly casters practice often to improve their skills.
If you are interested in joining the Mangrove Coast Fly Fishers or attending their meetings, check out the Website at www.mcff.club. Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of all months except December at Twin Lakes Park. Casting and fly tying begins at 6 p.m., the meeting begins at 7 and usually includes a presentation on some aspect of fly fishing.