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'And I'm left handed'
The Pupil


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Shooting Line

Now that you have the feeling for the roll cast, I'd like to take you back to the overhead cast. Try and incorporate the bounce feeling that you felt in the roll cast. Remember the backcast! With the backcast you must make a crisp stop in order to send the line upward and behind. Beginners always seem to have trouble when going from roll to the overhead. Recap the overhead cast in your mind; lift, up-flick, pause, forward tap, follow through. Remember to start with the rod tip touching the water.

Once you have the overhead cast working again, it is time to start to try and cast a little further. Pull three or four yards of flyline off the reel and let this fall to your feet. The line is still trapped against your index finger remember. Now make an overhead cast concentrating on an abrupt stop in the backcast. On the forward delivery, after the stop, and not before, release the index finger.

If you get it right the momentum of the line travelling forwards will pull the spare line out through the rings. If you release too early the line shoots up through the rings, the rod uncompresses, some line wraps around the rod, other bits around your head, and you get the feeling that you have done something terribly wrong in your last life. If you release too late nothing happens. If you get an open loop, nothing happens.

Incidentally if you let the line slip through your finger during the lift element (or completely forget to trap it) lay it down as quickly as possible :-)

Make sure that you remember to lower the rod tip as the line is landing.

If it doesn't work the first time; don't worry, concentrate on the stop in the backcast (bit of a paradox that one) and remember to bounce the rod tip on the forward cast and not make some dramatic, yet ineffective, lunging motion.

Once you have successfully shot some line, you will need to bring it back in again:

Making certain that the rod tip is touching the water (so that if a fish does take you will feel him, and besides it's the best position for starting any cast), gently re-trap the line between the forefinger and the handle and pull the line in short 2 foot lengths from behind the finger. This is one method of moving the fly and making it look interesting and life-like to the fish.

You want to pull in enough line so that you have approximately 10 yards of flyline left on the water.

Now I'd like you to practise this. Continue overhead casting, shooting the line as you do so, and retrieving the line after each successful shoot.

The next stage is to go from trapping the line between your index finger and the handle, to holding it in your free hand. The position to place your free hand is in front of your chest. Make sure that you hold the line tightly between your forefinger and thumb. I would like you to consciously keep your hand here and not by your side, for at some point in the future you are going to use this free hand during the cast, and when you do so, it's going to be much easier to learn if it's already in the right place. (Good habits!)

Karen: Can I take my hand out of my pocket now?


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