This past weekend was the Catskills Fly Fishing Museum’s Summer Days where the 2015 Hardy Cup Bamboo casting championship and Hardy / Wulff Products Graphite Casting Championship were held. These casting tourneys offer a great opportunity to practice honing your skills as a caster in preparation for the event and also while at the event. The atmosphere of every event I have been to has been welcoming, educational, insightful, and fun.
One of the first things you will notice at a casting event is how smooth the best long distance casters are. You will also notice there are many different shapes and sizes of casters. However, the physical stature of a caster has very little to do with distance. It is the technique and specifically the application of power (amount, direction and timing) that is critical.
A big problem I have been facing is one of the most fudemental parts of fly casting. As Joan Wulff says “This is a target sport, you cannot cast to nothing.” This seems so simple to an angler stalking a sipping riser but to an amateur casting competitor it was something I lost along the way while developing my distance program.
I get by with help from my friends. Luckily for me, one of the competitors was the great Craig Buckbee. I say this in all sincerity because I learn so much from Craig everytime I am around him. Whether it be his advice for my cast or watching him teach a group of beginners or instructors. Craig is a thinker and he finds a way to connect his message and goals with his audience.
So after I cast my lot in the tourney we headed over to the other field to cast some of Mike McFarland’s new graphite rods. Mike is the rod builder/designer for Seele Fly Rods in Bellwood, Pa. He is also one hell of a caster and Seele’s fly rods are evidence of this. While casting I lamented to Craig about my tracking issues. Everyone has seen it but I have struggled curing myself of it. Craig gave me a great exercise to practice which has REALLY helped. Craig didn’t stop there though, he couldn’t, its not his nature. He proceeded to give me 3 points to work on. Stance, tracking, and targeting. They all work together and they are all fundemental parts I must continue to master to have a solid foundation for distance casting.
That being said, this is what good casting instructors are all about. Sharing knowledge honestly and concisely so that you can continue to progress.
Thank you to
Craig Buckbee, you can find out more about Craig at www.easterncaster.com
The Catskills Fly Fishing Museum
And of course
The Wulff School and Royal Wulff Products