Friday, September 12, 2014

Let's Get It Started!

All of this cool weather and rain has me thinking about steelhead.  Of course, I'm always thinking about steelhead, but even more the past week.  I decided to get out for a few minutes this morning a poke around a few streams.  Right before sunrise, this little hen gave me the good morning kiss I was looking for.  Things are still pretty quiet on the tribs, but with this continued cool weather and more rain, there will be chrome screaming up the streams.

The question is: Are you ready?  Fall dates are booking fast.  Call me.  LET'S GO FISHIN'!

The cork has been popped off for the season!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CASTING COACH: Two-Handed Casting Grip

Before we go any farther with single-handed casting, I want to stop and introduce a couple of things about two-handed casting. There is a lot of interest in two-handed casting these days. Two-handed casting is as simple as single-handed casting. I want to introduce the two-handed casting grip here because much of what we learned about single handed casting up to this point is EXACTLY the same for two-handed casting. So, you might as well come to the realization that you are learning important things about them both at the same time, whether you previously realized it or not. And for those of you that already have single-handed casting down and are interested in two-handed casting, this will show you that you are already farther down the road than you thought.

Knowing the point of balance of your 2-handed rod is important. This point is where you will place your hand on the forward grip. Gripping the forward grip in this place cuts back on fatigue because you won't have to grip the cork so tightly to lift the tip off the water all day long. Now, if you have shorter arms and want to move that balance point back a little, you can add weight to the reel or get a heavier reel. This is one reason you should consider getting your reel after you get your rod. Shoot me a note if you would like for me to share with you how to properly balance your rod (too much info for this segment). Also, depending on what you are casting, you may need the forward hand closer to or further from the reel. You may need to move your hand up further on the grip when using long belly lines. You may need to move the hand closer to the reel when casting short belly lines like Skagit or Scandi lines. Shorter belly lines require more use of the bottom arm to casting the short belly lines. So, find the balance point of your rod and then work on your grip from there.

Now, look back at our lessons on how to grip a single-hand rod. The grip on the forward rod grip of a two-handed is the EXACT same grip.

See, you already know what to do. More important, I want to you focus on the position of the rod in this picture. This picture represents that point right after a cast. Notice the forward rod grip is right along my forearm and the back grip is practically in my armpit. Practice holding the rod in this position, build muscle memory for this position, and make it feel natural. This combined grip needs to be wide and the back grip needs to be in next to the body at the end of a cast (not extended a foot away from the body). Trust me! Practice this position. Make it second nature. Fixing this now will make your casting so much easier when we start discussing it.

This is just a view from the opposite side of the body. 

Grip the Back Grip with your opposite hand as if you were shaking the rod's hand. Now, relax and be comfortable with that grip. No hard white-knuckling squeeze is necessary.

This picture is also a great place to discuss stance. 

As with the grip, stance should be comfortable and allow you to make the necessary rotations and transfer of body weight needed to cast. 

If you cast right-handed you want the left foot forward so that you can rotate around to the right. If your right foot is forward, you cannot rotate enough (back to the right).

If you want to make a cast from the opposite shoulder or cast left-handed, switch your feet so that the right foot is forward to allow for adequate rotation to the left.

While you are practicing the grip and post-cast positions, be mindful of your stance as well and get used to it.

Work on all of the things suggested in this series. Build your muscle memory and make it comfortable. You'll be ready for the next lesson of roll casting with the two-handed rod in no time!

Are you ready to work on your casting? Call me. LET'S GET CASTING!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

From Grandpa...

Jacob's grandmother called me a few weeks ago. His grandfather passed several years ago and left Jacob some fly fishing gear. Now that he is about to turn 12, she wanted to get him some casting lessons so he could put the old fly rod to work. Of all of the stuff we do at Fisher of Men Outfitters, this is the stuff I live for! What a great time introducing the next generation of fly fishers to the sport. Jacob really took to casting quickly. Below are the feedback pictures I sent to Jacob this morning. These pictures are not staged. They are photos I take throughout the lesson as we work on each technique. This is the stuff I do for each casting lesson so that you have a way to better reflect on your lesson and make ongoing adjustments.

Are you ready to start casting or tweak your casting? Call me! LET'S GET CASTING!