Published Oct 2. 2003 - 14 years ago
Updated or edited Sep 29. 2015

Paralysis by Analysis

How much do you care about your casting stroke?

A friend called the other day and asked if I had seen the latest Fly Fisherman magazine article about some casting analysis tool that a couple fellas designed.

I hadn't. I probably won't.

He asked why, but I didn't really have a good answer. I feigned disinterest. Why bother? What would I do with the data? It's not like I have time to practice my casting. That was just a dodge, though. I have an hour lunch break every day from work (when I take it). I could practice then. I could get up early, go to bed late, whatever. If I wanted to - I could find time to practice my fly casting. I mean - sure - I'll take a rod out on the grass to fool around on occasion, but honest to goodness rigorous practice where I'm trying to accomplish something? Nah.

Why not?

Honestly - I dunno. It's certainly not because I'm already a world class caster. I'm not - far from it in fact. My casting technique can be summed up with the words "limp wristed". I can fake a decent loop at short range, and I can catch a few trout now and then, but nobody would ever stop in their tracks and say "Man - he's good. Let's stop and watch".

If I'm fishing the Beaverkill, every now and then I'll happen across someone who is one of those guys, and I will indeed stop and watch. It is fun watching them cast laser beam loops with seemingly no effort at all. The line shoots from their rod tip as if rocket propelled, only to straighten in mid air and drop silently to the water surface. How cool is that?

"If only I could do that", I say.

Really? If only I could do that - what? What would happen? What would I accomplish? Would I catch more fish? Would I enjoy the fishing more? Would I impress more people? Would I be able to reach those blasted trout on the far side of Cairns Pool, who appear to taunt me year after year? Would I fish different places? Would I *still* fish beyond my abilities?

Ask yourself this question - if you could take a pill that would improve one single aspect of your casting a gazillion percent, what would it be? How do you think it would improve your enjoyment of fly fishing?

It seems every other year I tell myself "I'm going to improve my casting this year". Yeah - and I'm gonna give up donuts, too. And exercise more.

Uh huh.


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