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"Casting Practice or Steelheading?"


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 19th September, 2007

Spent the weekend steelheading on one of my favorite rivers. The trip was a success. I escaped the weekend and only fell in once, causing just minor bruises and abrasions. I moved a few fish to the fly, hooked a couple, and landed 2 hatchery fish. This is pretty good steelheading. Occasionally it is better, but often you come home after a long weekend on the river with sore arms from casting and only a vague notion that you might have felt a slight pull from a fish halfway down that really long run you fished the day before. Sometimes, steelheading is indistinguishable from practicing your casting on a big river that is a long drive from your home.

The fact that I was finding some fish had little to do with how well I was casting my two hander. I was pleased that I was able to beat the wind one evening with a left hand snap-T that I was getting to unroll very low to the water. Other than that, I really struggled with my right hand (dominant hand) double spey and snake rolls. Crashed anchors were the culprit on the snake rolls. The double spey was just all over the place - anchors torn from the water, poor D loops, and most of all, poor anchor placements that resulted in quite a few "bloody Ls".

Fortunately, my signed copy of Way Yin's "Spey to Z" DVD arrived last week. I'm planning on taking a second look at it tonight so I can think a bit more about the fundamental problems that I was having. Sure, a DVD is no substitute for a lesson with a great casting instructor, but having a DVD around can help in a pinch when you need a little reminder or inspiration to help fix a casting problem that appears over the weekend.

If you haven't ordered your copy of "Spey to Z", you can do it here. Great instruction. And some casting footage that will inspire you to practice, practice, practice. Rumor has it that Way might even be willing to sign a few more copies if asked nicely. If that's not enough, it sounds like Way and Topher are donating some or all of the proceeds from DVD sales to organizations and charities that help protect our fish and rivers. Hard to think of a way to better spend a few bucks!!

When you get a chance, check out the Daily Planet, our environment and conservation related forum. We've received (bad) news of another fish kill on the river Wandle, and were plotting some action with the help of the locals. Join in. Make a difference.

Until next time,


Pic Of Day

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