07/28/09

Insects and other foods the trout may be eating:
1.   Blue-winged Olives - mostly Little BWO - Isolated hatches
2.   Cinnamon Caddis - Mostly Abrams Creek
3    Little Sister Caddisflies - Mostly Abrams Creek
4.   Midges - hatching in isolated locations
5.   Little Yellow Stoneflies - hatching (Little Summer Stones)
6.   Slate Drakes - hatching
7.   Little Green Stonefly - hatching
8.   Cream Cahills - hatching in Isolated locations
9.   Beetles
10. Grasshoppers
11. Ants
12. Inch Worms
13. Crane Flies
14. Helligramite
15. Streamers - matching sculpin, baitfish and small crawfish

The Learning Process - Part 37 - Casting
One of the biggest concerns people have about taking up fly fishing, is that they
are afraid they won't be able to cast as well as they will need to There have been
hundreds of magazine articles and books written on the subject of fly casting. There
have been dozens of videos produced on fly casting. The fly shops have schools
that teach people to cast. Anyone who is considering taking up the sport of fly
fishing is going to be driven to focus on one thing - casting. Most likely they will
quickly form the opinion that casting is the challenge. Catching fish will be an after
thought.

The first thing they think about purchasing is the fly rod. They see fly rods priced
from $30.00 dollars to $800.00, unless they happen to notice the bamboo rods that
can cost upwards of #3000.00. The next thing they notice is the hundreds of
different combinations of fly rod lengths, weights, sections and intended purposes.
That makes it seem even more complicated. They automatically get the impression
that the fly rod is the most important thing there is in fly fishing. The high cost of a
fly rod just increases their concerns about casting. Sometimes they associate being
able to cast well with the cost of the fly rod. They feel like if they plunk down some
real dollars, they will be far ahead in the game. Fly rod manufacturer's magazine
ads and brochures tend to make the sport appear difficult. They are all focused on
getting seasoned fly anglers to purchase their fly rods, not the beginner.

The first time the new guy picks up a fly rod without someone there to help them
learn to cast, they usually end up standing in a pile of fly line frustrated. They often
begin to think they are going to have to graduate from fly casting school before
they can go fishing. There is no shortage of homes with new, unused fly rods in
their basements and storage areas. How many times has someone told you they
own a fly rod but have never really used it? I hear it all the time. Those guys usually
fail to ask anyone to help. They just drop the desire, thinking it is going to be a
difficult thing to learn.  

If they have cast other types of rods and are athletically inclined, sometimes they
can cast fairly well and don't even realize it. They see and hear so much about the
"art" of fly casting, they think they are not even close to being able to cast. Anyone
just getting started can easily form the opinion that casting is all there is to fly
fishing. Sometimes the new guy is afraid someone will see him trying to cast and be
embarrassed about it.

When they think about casting, all of their concerns center on one element of the
cast -
distance. No one that is just getting started goes out on their lawn and tries
to cast a fly to a target twenty or thirty feet away. They try to see how far they can
cast. Without any help, the harder they try to make longer cast, the worse things
get. They natural inclinations is to try to increase their distance with power.

With ten minutes of help, anyone should be able to learn to cast
far enough to
catch plenty of trout from most streams. No one tells them that. They cannot find
anything written they tells them that. They can't find a video that tells them that.
They want see any fly rod ads that tells them that.  Everything they see and hear
makes casting a fly seem highly complicated. Everything they see and hear helps
them form the opinion that casting is all there is to fly fishing. If they happen to run
into one of the many idiots that are far more interested in making beautiful, artistic
cast than they are catching trout, they will be ruined for life.

My 12 year old Grandson, at age ten, was able to easily cast forty feet with less
than five minutes of instructions. That was as long as I could get him to listen to me
anyway. He could play golf fairly well at age ten. He was already a very good
baseball player and he fished in his own farm pond often. Within ten minutes, Angie
taught our twelve year old granddaughter to cast that far this past year. She was
very graceful at it. Both of the kids can cast well enough to catch trout in the
Smokies. Both of them have already caught a few wild trout in the Smokies.

I'm sure most of you reading this can relate to similar situations where they have
quickly taught others to cast well enough to go fishing. I'm certainly not saying that
is all anyone needs to learn. I'm just saying that is all thats required to get most
people casting well enough to get out on the water and fish. They can continue to
improve each and every time they go fishing or practice their casting - that is,
if
they focus on the right things.

Focusing on the right things is what the next few articles will be about. Casting is not
near as difficult as it is made out to be. Distance is one thing to focus on, but there
are many other things about the cast that are far more important than distance.  

Copyright 2009 James Marsh