What are you looking at? How to use your eyes when speycasting!
We’ve all seen it. In fact, I probably used to do it. In fact, I probably still do do it, but I really shouldn’t. It really serves no purpose whatsoever. What am I talking about? I’m talking about all those little affectations we have when we are casting. You know the ones, looking down the rod as the line forms a loop off the tip, or even worse looking at the tip as the loop forms. I call it sleeping on the rod or star gazing. Stand in front of the caster, their head is lying on the rod as though they prefer to look at the world obliquely or they’ve just spotted a plane.
Laser guided vision......
Hey, it looks cool no doubt. It looks like you have certain laser guided powers and that you’re so instinctively involved in the cast that your eyes are pre determining the final destination of the fly. Or that you are such an artist that you are looking for tiny imperfections in the line as it unrolls perfectly in line with your rod.
Both feet forward (not just your best one.....
Myself, I prefer to align my feet direct to the target and I mean both feet, not one askew. I don’t want one foot going the chippy and one coming back with the change. Then, I really do like to make sure my hips are facing the dangle and that my rod tip is touching the water, my rod is on my non casting shoulder side and my back is straight. I also really like to keep my hands on either side of my body and in a comfortable place in front of me, not like I’m trying to carry a washing bowl full of nuclear waste in front of me.
Ideally, I just love keeping my top hand at eye level unless I’m wading up to my eye balls. I find no benefit in ‘waving to aunty on the train station’ as the great philosopher and orator Simon Gawesworth once said.
Here’s the bomb
When I’ve set up all these foundations and greased the joints in my hips, ankles and neck, I see no benefit in cocking it all up by looking sideways at the world or even skywards. Even more bizarrely if I do find myself looking for inspiration in the line after I have made the stop, or wondering why the tip is making a lovely curve around my shoulder, whatever benefit I am thinking this cool affectation is giving me was unfortunately defined a long time ago by the way I stood, held the rod, my back and head.
You know what, next time I think I’ll just keep my head straight and look above the water direct to my target. It’ll save me a trip to the chiropractor, the tackle shop for a new rod because the one I’m using is obvioulsy a ‘poor tracker’ and I’ll just settle to looking less cool.
Old habits die hard but die they must!
That’s my bitter rant to my old self, chastising my old habits I picked up off the internet. In all seriousness though, if your feet, body and head are working the way god intended, facing your target and driving a straight line, horizontally and vetically, mate, you could close your eyes and it’ll sing out every time. Beautifully simple this casting lark. I love it love it love it love it.
By Tom Bell, Qualified AAPGAI Instructor, www.bellflyfishing.co.uk