My main objective with Karen's second lesson was to improve her confidence with the overhead cast. Although pupils always start their second lesson with a few crap casts, they seem to all of a sudden jump ahead and it 'clicks'. Lesson one is about understanding something completely new. Lesson two is really about enhancing feeling and confidence. Of course, I also wanted to teach Karen something new as well and so I decided it would be a good time to introduce the wind. So I arranged for some.
Lesson 2: Casting into the…
Karen: Icy cold winter breeze. I'm freezing!
The first stage was a review of the overhead cast. There are 5 components:
Starting with 10 yrds of flyline lying straight in front and the tip of the rod touching the water, slowly lift the rod. The entire line should move as well as the fly at the end.
Pick the line of and flick it upwards
Wait until the loop straightens. The line should straighten out behind and be horizontal.
Make the forward cast. It is very much like flicking an apple off the top of the rod. Make the movement too sudden and it drops off behind you. A slinging action is a nice description.
Lower the rod tip as the loop straightens out and the line lands on the water.
There are two things to concentrate on when practising:
Make a high back (up) cast. Imagine that you are going to cast the line vertically upwards.
Sling the apple out there.
Karen's first few casts with lesson two were fairly typical for a beginner. Which was good :-)
Often a beginner can get away with a low back cast by choosing where to cast. Karen didn't have this luxury and I arranged for the wind to blow directly on shore. This emphasised any low backcasts. A low backcast will result in either a high forward cast, or an open loop. Stick either out into or across the wind and you're in for some fun!
We started with a crosswind. It is critical to get a high backcast. When casting with any sort of wind something pschological goes on. The pupil thinks 'hell, this is going to be hard' and automatically tenses up and attempts to force the line out there.
This doesn't work (as we all know). It is important with a cross-wind to consciously relax, make a high backcast (lift the elbow into the stroke) and don't think about the wind.
I was telling Karen this, and trying to get her to imagine that she had to throw a vertical upcast, when it clicked and she made her best cast so far.
Of course it went straight into a 'snag'.